Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Joerg Kaehler, Flortec:

"Guatemala, a perfect country to grow all kinds of flowers"

What is it like to grow flowers in Guatemala, also known as the land of eternal spring? Joerg Kaehler of Flortec has been doing it for 16 years now, growing snapdragons and sunflowers year-round, among others, and gradually expanding their assortment. According to him, flower production in Guatemala is increasing, and several years ago, they even became a distributor of Ball, selling cuts and seedlings in Guatemala.

Joerg Kaehler at Proflora 2023

Why snapdragons?
Together with the sunflowers, the snapdragon is Floretc's biggest crop. But how did it all start, and why the decision for snapdragons? "I have a friend from school (Christian Hoffmann) who always wanted to do some kind of business with me on my farm. For a long time, I didn’t have an idea of what kind of business to start with him. One day, another friend from the University invited me to go and check out where he was working... long story short, he was growing snapdragons and told me about the good quality snaps grow in Guatemala. That’s when I had de idea of starting this business with him." They started small, with a 3000m2 greenhouse, growing 5,000 snapdragons a week.

Snapdragon - Product for decorations
Now, they have been growing snapdragons for nearly 16 years, mainly exporting them to the USA. "But we also have a market in Salvador and Honduras. When talking about the demand, the market is stable, says Kaehler. "We do not see an increase, but it is a product that is always in the mind of decorators for events."

Later, they also added sunflowers, and more specifically, the Vincent Choice variety. "We started this because our distributor in Miami (Jetfresh/ Mike Black) whom we started our business, wanted us to try this variety. So, we just started to grow this sunflower, and we managed to have an excellent quality of this sunflower. It was so good that the breeders of this variety sent Mike Black a letter, telling him that the Vincent choice sunflowers that he had from Guatemala were one the bests that they had seen."

Sunflower - High demand in fall
Also, the sunflowers are mainly going to the US, and according to Kaehler, the demand for their sunflowers increases during the fall season. "That’s when we sell more of our sunflowers. During summer, the demand decreases significantly because there is a lot of local production in the US."

Expanding assortment
At Flortec, they are always looking for new crops. It’s not a good idea to put all your eggs in the same basket, so if you have some kind of problem with one crop, you have other kinds of flowers that help you with your sales. That’s why is so important for us to grow different kinds of flowers. And as Guatemala is a great country to produce all kinds of flowers, we have many options. We have regions from sea level to up to 3000 meters above sea level, so we have so many microclimates that for sure, you will find any climate you need for any flower production."

Right now, they grow snapdragons, sunflowers, ammi majus, bupleurum, dianthus, carthamus, and strawflower. And the marigold is another product that they grow, but that product is only for the fall season. "We have it only from September until November." In order to expand their assortment, they want to do some trials with Asters, matricarias, and Didiscus.

Distributor Ball
For about four years now, Flortec has been the distributor of Ball, selling seeds and cuttings in Guatemala. Flower production is increasing in the country, and according to Kaehler, that is for both the local and export markets. "There are two regions in Guatemala where cut flowers are produced. One area in which a lot of flowers are produced is mainly for the local market. This area is composed of a lot of small farmers, and they usually sell only in the local market. And there’s this other region, where the production units are bigger, and the growers here have the goal of exporting their flowers."

For more information:
Joerg Kaehler
Email: [email protected]