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Byron Salazar, Ecoroses:

"Ecuador: "We need to undertake action in order to survive"

Many growers are suffering from the situation in Russia as well as in Europe, this is also the case for Byron Salazar of Ecoroses, a rose production company in Ecuador. "Due to the devaluation of the rouble, the prices for roses have decreased drastically. Fortunately, our volumes shipped to Russia have remained about the same, even though shorter roses are being shipped. Not only has the Russian market been a problem for flower growers in Ecuador, but also the European market has been shrinking both in quantities as well as prices," he says. With the pressure from the deteriorating Russian and European markets, Ecoroses needs to undertake action in order to survive.

Same volume but lower prices Russia
"In Russia there is a problem with prices," says Salazar. The rose prices of Ecoroses to the Russian Market dropped by 20% on average. Interestingly, their volumes to Russia have remained about the same even though they are shipping shorter roses. Depending on the season, they export to Russia between 30% to 35% of their entire production volume. "The majority of the remaining production volume goes to the United States and Canada, about 50%."

Strengthening US dollar against Euro
According to Salazar, the European market has also been shrinking both in quantities as well as prices, due to the continued strengthening of the US dollar against the Euro, for the last 6 to 8 months. "Ecuador has the US dollar as its currency and therefore it cannot compensate the increased value of the dollar with devaluation of a local currency, as it happens in other producing countries such as Colombia." The United States market has remained steady for us, which has limited the damage. However, overall, the American market is also facing an oversupply of flowers that are trying to find their way from Europe and Russia into this market. In order to survive, we need to find new export markets and to do this, we are renewing our assortment of varieties and choosing varieties that are more productive in an effort to decrease unit production costs and remain competitive," explains Salazar.

Increase production by 11%
The production of Ecoroses will increase by at least 11% or close to 2 million stems. "Last year, we produced 18 million stems." So, this year we hope to reach 20 million says Salazar. In order to reach this production Ecoroses cultivates 24 hectares of roses inside plastic greenhouses.

New export markets
The expansion and continuous search of opportunities will enable them to reach other export markets. "We are going to supply China and Australia, for example, these markets are new to us." As we pride ourselves on being a supplier of high quality roses, we aim to get higher prices in these countries, he says. Ecoroses will expand its export market with these and other countries, but they still continue to supply the Russian market. We have good customers in Russia, our brand is well positioned and we hope that the rose prices will slowly increase again, even if it is not at pre-crisis levels. World demand for roses is increasing at a rate of 3% a year, and demand for quality roses will continue to be strong.

For more information
Byron Salazar
Email: [email protected]

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