Valentine’s Day may be known as a holiday of romance, but it’s also big business. In the United States alone, Americans spend about 18 billion dollars on their sweethearts. Flowers make up a big part of that sum-and most of them come from Colombia. CCTV America Michelle Begue reported this story from Cundinamarca, Colombia.
The Colombian government says 500 million of its flowers will be flown to the United States ahead of the February 14 holiday – enough to fill 30 jumbo jets.
Colombia is second only to the Netherlands in global exports of flowers-and about three quarters of its sales go to the United States. With an improving economy in the U.S., Colombians are hoping to see strong sales this year. Russia imports a much smaller number of flowers, but its economic troubles are serving as a reminder to farmers about the importance of diversification.
Colombia sends 500 million flowers to US for Valentine\'s DayValentine's Day may be known as a holiday of romance, but it's also big business. In the United States alone, Americans spend about 18 billion dollars on their sweethearts. Flowers make up a big part of that sum-and most of them come from Colombia. CCTV America Michelle Begue reported this story from Cundinamarca, Colombia.
The Caimitos Flowers farm is just two hours away from Colombia’s capital. This region is known for its flower production as more than 70 percent of the country’s flower exports are farmed here.
“Right now with the crisis in Russia we need to find options so we migrate to other markets. Fortunately we have Europe and Japan that are part of our new Free Trade Agreements and our markets we need to explore,” Santiago Hernandez of Caimitos Flowers said.
The ministry of Agriculture says it’s helping farmers look into prospective new markets in the Asia Pacific region such as India and Australia. After coffee, flowers are Colombia’s biggest export– and an important source of jobs.
The flower sector generates 130,000 formal jobs, directly and indirectly, Sofia Ortiz, director of agriculture and forestry department said.
“Sixty-five percent of which are women who are the main bread winner, and many are also women who have been affected by the armed conflict,” Ortiz said.