How can the success of flower producing countries help other agricultural businesses succeed? We asked Peruvian agronomist Rogelio Leon who investigated the recipe for success - "the success equation" - of the flower industry in Colombia, Kenya and China. He noticed that the agricultural industry can benefit from his findings, which he summarized in his book “Super flowers” (Spanish version: Con Aroma a Flor). We asked him how the agricultural businesses can learn from the successes (but also mistakes made) in the flower industry in these three countries.

Can you tell us a bit more about the agricultural part of the book?
"Super flowers" is a temporal and geographical journey through Colombia, Kenya and China; three countries that, despite their notorious cultural and geographical differences, were able to consolidate an interesting, multi-million dollar, agricultural business. But, above all, they generated development and prosperity for the population.

Agricultural production, business management and international trade are addressed equally in this book to identify the drivers that are guiding the agribusiness of the future. Those who are associated with an agro-export chain cannot and should not neglect any of these pillars. This is where the flower industry becomes an excellent case study, to analyze its successes and, why not, also its mistakes.

How to achieve success with an agricultural product?
The book points out that to achieve commercial success with an agricultural product, optimism and hard work are not enough. A series of factors must coincide in a timely manner. Factors such as excellent climatic conditions, availability of productive resources, infrastructure, as well as nearby markets of high demand are necessaries.

Author: Rogelio Leon

What should be the focus of an agricultural business?
Today agriculture has no flags or borders. It is established in places where you find the greatest number of factors that boost your competitiveness. But, a high competitiveness is of no use if it does not translate into sustainability. An agricultural business cannot and should not last 6 months or depend on an unstable market niche.

Agricultural companies must look international and become complete suppliers. Being able to offer a product 365 days a year, with a constant volume and quality. That is why today, the large agricultural transnationals have operations in different regions. There are also medium-sized companies from different regions that no longer see themselves as competitors and create alliances to link their production schedules or the entrepreneurial integration of producer-trader, transferring each other; expertise, and commercial and productive intelligence.

Buyers are beginning to value the experience generated by an agricultural product. The importance of the brand, the presentation and the social and environmental content that they represent as a product. Today the quality or the price, do not define by themselves, an intention of purchase.

The consolidation of productive clusters becomes more evident in the sector. Concentrating suppliers, producers and marketers in a geographical space has become a natural search for industries to create innovation laboratories "in situ". Why not think of Silicon Valley-type business ecosystems for agriculture in different productive points of the world? This, for example, is what Bogotá has developed with its flower industry.

How can companies in the agricultural industry benefit from the book?
The book provides the keys to understanding the directions the fresh produce industry is going to. It also explores the new role that agroindustrial companies should fulfil, the importance of governments in promoting agribusinesses with potential and how the words competitiveness and sustainability are beginning to become the most important pillars.

I invite you, to explore the industry of an agricultural product as interesting as the cut flowers are, and take from it, what you think might help you. Finally, I invite you to take some time to identify the factors which should be present for you to achieve your business goals.

The English version of the book entitled "Super flowers", is available from Amazon Kindle, for free until October 30th.

For more information and to order the book go to  

You can also purchase the Spanish version entitled "Con Aroma a Flor", also available on Amazon Kindle.

For more information
Rogelio Leon