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Opportunities for exporting Colombian Hydrangeas (Hortensia) to the European Market

On Thursday 25 February 2016, Kasper Kerver from ProFound presented his study on Opportunities for Exporting Colombian Hortensia to Europe. The seminar was organised by CBI, ProColombia and Asocolflores and took place in La Ceja, Colombia in the presence of 39 Hortensia growers and traders.

Cut Hortensia flowers are gaining momentum on the European market. Colombia, the largest producer of Hortensia for the cut flower market, is looking to expand its exports to Europe. CBI commissioned ProFound to explore the potential for Colombian Hortensia exporters in the Netherlands, France, the UK and Switzerland. The results of this tailored market study were presented in La Ceja, Colombia in the presence of 39 Hortensia growers and traders. The seminar was organized by CBI, ProColombia and Asocolflores.

The tailored study on the European market for Colombian Hortensia is part of the Tropical Flowers, Foliage and Hydrangeas project within the 4-year CBI Country Programme Colombia.

Market analysis

The European Hortensia market has grown significantly in the past decade. Growth has been stimulated by European production. Although European buyer and quality requirements are very strict, Colombia does have a competitive advantage. The country can produce Hortensia year-round, which supplements European production (limited to summer and autumn). Colombian Hortensia, thus, have a window of opportunity in the winter months from mid-October up to April when European production is insignificant. During the summer, competition from European growers is very strong, as they produce high quality and a wide range of colours.

The main segment for Hortensia is the one for exclusive flowers for special occasions. This segment is mainly supplied through traditional channels. The flowers are then traded through auctions, wholesalers and florists.

Buyer requirements

European buyer requirements are relatively high and Colombian growers still have room for improvement of quality management at their farms and in the cold chain. Additionally, retail chains have strict sustainability requirements. They often demand certificates such as MPS-A or GLOBALG.A.P.

Doing business

Before European buyers decide to purchase flowers, they require detailed information and samples. Colombian growers can maximise sales performance by quickly providing accurate and honest information on their capacities.

The study can be found on CBI’s Market Intelligence portal.