Roses from Ecuador are some of the most sought-after flowers in the world, making the nation the world’s biggest rose exporter after the Netherlands, thanks to their unique characteristics.
“Our roses have bigger heads, brighter colors, and longer stems — and thus a longer vase life,” Eduardo Letort from Hoja Verde, which recently participated in a wedding festival in Jakarta, said.
Head sizes usually range from 5 to 6 centimeters and the flowers can last between eight and 20 days in vase.
Letort, who has been in the flower business for 18 years, attributed the appearance of Ecuadorian roses to climate and geography, as the flowers are grown at around 2,000 meters above sea level on the plains of the Ecuadorian Andes.
The nation’s position on the equator, which means it receives about 12 hours of sunlight a day, is another reason why Ecuadorian roses thrive.
Meanwhile, Lucia Carrion of Hoja Verde said that greenhouse temperatures that ranged from 35 degrees Celsius during the day and 5 degrees at night also influenced the size of rosebuds.
Despite their unique characteristics, only a few varieties actually come from Ecuador, Letort said.
Daria Bogacheva from the Rosa Ecuador Group said that growers in Ecuador typically bought varieties from breeders in the Netherlands, France, Belgium or the UK.
There are currently 400 varieties of roses cultivated in Ecuador.
According to the Ecuadorian Embassy in Indonesia, there are 629 flower farms in the country. Most grow roses.
Flower production accounted for 10 percent of the country’s agricultural GDP in 2013, with roses comprising 74 percent of the floriculture sector.
Most roses grown in Ecuador are for export, making flowers that nation’s fifth-most exported product, behind cocoa, bananas, petroleum and shrimp.
In 2013, Ecuador exported 109,569 tons of roses worth US$602 million, with the US as its biggest customer with 41,644 tons, followed by Russia with 28,332 tons and the Netherlands with 7,040 tons.
Meanwhile, Ecuador exported 50.6 tons of roses to Indonesia in 2013, the embassy said.
On Valentine’s Day, most of Ecuador’s export roses go to the US and Europe; while during Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, most of the roses usually go to Russia and the US
Carrion said that roses were subject to trends influenced by the fashion industry.
“One day, a pale color is popular and another day, roses with brighter colors are in fashion,” Carrion said. “This year, garden roses — the type that has a fun and wild shape — is trendy.”
Javier Pallares of Greenrose, who was also at the festival, said that companies in Ecuador have started to realize the huge potential in Jakarta due to a high demand for premium roses.
“Wedding parties are huge here, and people are willing to pay for quality,” Pallares said. “I think it’s going to be a very interesting market, because our products are different from the local ones.”
Exporting roses to Indonesia was quick and relatively inexepnsive, according to Pallares: It takes four days to send roses from Ecuador to Jakarta, as opposed to the 10 days required for shipments to Russia, which are first flown to Amsterdam and then sent by road to Moscow.
Hana Flower Boutique in Plaza Indonesia, Central Jakarta, sells roses from Ecuador, among other flowers.One florist, Muktiwidari, said the shop used to sell Holland roses, but stopped when they found out that Ecuadorian roses were of better quality. “The flowers are bigger, the petals also thicker, and the colors are varied, so they look nicer in floral arrangements.”
She said that apart from arranging flowers for big projects, Hana–which has been in business for 13 years — receives orders from individuals and sells roses for Rp 45,000 ($3.50) each.
“We do table decorations for parties, or simple bouquets for Valentine’s Day and we can sell thousands of Ecuadorian roses during Valentine’s Day,” Muktiwidari said.
Meanwhile, freelance florist Ferliza Pangestu said that she was thinking of importing Ecuadorian roses for some upcoming projects after seeing their quality at the exhibition.
“Their vivid colors and their size will look good as wedding decorations,” Ferliza said, adding that she usually bought flowers in Rawa Belong in Kemanggisan, West Jakarta, the biggest flower market in Southeast Asia; and at Nirmala Rose shop in Kemang, South Jakarta. – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/04/24/blooming-business-ecuadorian-roses.html#sthash.pKJPi670.dpuf