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Ecuador In Bloom

Ecuador In Bloom on hosa.com

The positive impact of the floral industry

The floral industry has been very good for Ecuador, and in turn, the South American country has been very good for the floral industry. You can say that it’s a trade marriage that benefits all players.

Although the Andean Trade Preference Act expired in 2013, it was instrumental in establishing a floral economy. With a trade foundation firmly in place, Ecuador is now one of the leading exporters of flowers to the United States. Almost three-fourths of those flowers are roses.

For Ecuador, it’s location, location, location

When it comes to the floral industry, Ecuador is situated in a prime piece of global real estate. On the one hand, it benefits from the equator, where sunshine-filled days are especially long and plentiful. This means there is no need for artificial light to grow plants, not even during the winter.

Then, there is the altitude. Thanks to the Andes Mountains, flowers – especially long-stemmed roses – benefit from the cooler nights. This translates into a longer growing cycle than those cultivated at sea level, resulting in larger heads and vibrant bi-colors.

The floral industry put a large dent in the drug trade

The basis for the explosion in the floral industry can be found in the Andean Trade Preference Act, a 1991 initiative between the United States and several South American nations to combat the drug trade by investing in legitimate businesses.

While Ecuador wasn’t considered a major manufacturer of illicit drugs, it certainly was in a prime location for cartels to funnel narcotics northward.

Women were – and are – the winners

In Ecuador, rural women tend to be the heads of households. In a country filled with poverty, many were often prime targets to be recruited into the drug trade in order to provide a better quality of life for their children and families.

With the introduction of a floral economy, a social revolution began. Women were able to earn more money, in some cases twice the minimum wage. They were offered healthcare, medical benefits, and pensions. In addition, growers invested in educational and cultural opportunities for workers and local communities.

A growing ripple effect

Because the start of the industry was so rapid, it out-paced various criticisms and concerns –primarily about wages, labor issues, and use of pesticides. Over time, many of these issues have been resolved, to a large degree by working with labor groups and other organizations, such as the Rainforest Alliance.

Additionally, other industries – such as trucking and shipping – have also grown as a result of the floral industry. Farmers, too, have adopted flower-growing methods and techniques to enhance the growth of food crops.

HOSA International and Ecuador

HOSA International is honored and proud to have discovered the wonders of Ecuador. In addition, our own commitment to the Rainforest Alliance means that we stand firmly with improving the quality of life of our workers and the communities in which they live and play.

To learn more about HOSA International, our flowers from Ecuador (and Colombia), or to place a wholesale order, call us at 305.470.9991 or complete our convenient online form.

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Flower Distributor

Flower Distributor