Cut flowers are Colombia's fifth biggest export product and now make up 80% of flower imports to the US.
How Colombia came to occupy this critical position in US import markets is an exceptional story in itself.
The development of an export-oriented industry posed and still poses dynamic advantages for agribusinesses. The hass avocado and cannabis industries are both examples of agricultural segments that leaned heavily on the model laid out by the flower industry.
After all, because the flower industry requires such a high degree of efficiency and reliability, its processes and methods are very well honed. For example, cut flowers require very tight logistics in order to avoid wasting shipments. They also often involve genetic modification and monitoring.
Today, Colombia's agriculture exports are strong and are becoming even stronger. During 1Q2021, agricultural exports grew by 16.5%. Mexico, Iraq, South Korea, Brazil, and Egypt are the main export markets with growing imports of Colombian agri-products.
Altogether they consumed USD126 million more than in 2019. This success is closely linked to tireless export promotion work and performance strengthening.
For every new potential market there is exhaustive work done to harmonize regulatory protocols and establish trade infrastructure.
Additionally, at the level of associations and partnerships, a lot of effort is put into sharing and instructing associates on industry best-practice and on technology transfer.
In conversation with TBY, the President of the Colombian Asociación of Cocoa growers, Eduard Baquero, noted how 2020 marked the beginning of virtual training for cocoa farmers. The know-how and research have to be made available to farmers in order to ensure the high-quality standards that have become trademarks in the sector.
The transformative potential of agriculture is immense, particularly in Colombia. Crop replacement has proven to be the most long-lasting and efficient method in the fight against illicit crops. Additionally, because agriculture is traditionally rooted in rural and family business structures, growth has a very direct impact on the livelihoods of partners.
Colombia is doing very well in tapping into its agriculture potential—more than 32 million hectares are available for crop production.
Follow our latest interviews from Colombia to find out how companies are learning to improve logistics and production methods in 2022.