Home » Valentine’s Day: this is the impressive logistics to transport 700 million Colombian flowers to the United States and Canada

Valentine’s Day: this is the impressive logistics to transport 700 million Colombian flowers to the United States and Canada

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Valentine’s Day: this is the impressive logistics to transport 700 million Colombian flowers to the United States and Canada

Colombia exports roses, carnations, hydrangeas and varieties of chrysanthemums, among others – credit Colprensa.

Thousands of tons of flowers from Colombia and Ecuador have had to go through a marathon journey to reach stores in the United States and Canada on the eve of Valentine’s Day, a date on which lovers show their love for each other.

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According to the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), 90% of the roses and other flowers (18,000 tons) sold on Valentine’s Day pass through Miami International Airport, where they are also carries out hard work to receive them and send them to other destinations.

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“This season we brought around 460 million flowers from Ecuador and Colombia,” said Diogo Elías, vice president of Avianca Cargo, in a press conference.

Floral products are much more difficult to bring into the United States than other imports, due to strict requirements from CBP and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Flowers must be free of pests and diseases. Additionally, each type of flower has its own requirements.

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Additionally, it must be guaranteed that they arrive at North American stores with the same beauty with which they left the farms of origin in Colombia and Ecuador, and also that they last at least five days in that state in the homes of the people who bought them. buy.

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It is not an easy task considering that the stems must be carried almost 2,500 kilometers away. In Colombia, Valentine’s Day generates around 200,000 jobs and 60% of the profitability of flower exporting companies.

During this season, the largest exports have been roses and carnations produced in the Bogotá savanna and hydrangeas and varieties of chrysanthemums produced in Medellín, according to Avianca in a statement.

Mostly young people give flowers and balloons with messages of love and affection on Valentine’s Day – credit VICTORIA VALTIERRA/CUARTOSCURO.COM / Infobae México.

But the Valentine’s season really started in January and will end this February 14th. In that period, around 300 flights with shipments of flowers from the Avianca airline have arrived at the Miami airport, according to Elías, and about 215 from the Latam airline, according to the newspaper El Tiempo.

At the US air terminal, customs agents inspect the flowers to verify that they do not carry exotic pests. According to the AP News portal, by February 8, 832 million cut flowers had already been processed, 75,000 samples had been inspected and 1,100 plant pests had been intercepted. A titanic task too.

The newspaper El Tiempo visited a flower-producing farm near Bogotá, where around 23,000 employees work cutting, cleaning, arranging and packing the flowers in the boxes where they will be transported to North America.

It is a farm owned by the Elite Flowers company, which has 1,200 hectares of flowers of all kinds. From there they are transported to bouquet rooms where they assemble the floral arrangements and place them in a machine that classifies them by size and opening. Then they are taken to a room of about two degrees Celsius and from there their journey to El Dorado Airport begins.

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There they are received by Latam operators, who check them with x-rays and then put them in another cold room, so that they are later mounted on a tray on the plane that will transport them to Miami. There, a crane dismantles them and puts them in another cold warehouse, where the North American authorities arrive to inspect them. Once this operation is completed, the trucks begin to be loaded to distribute the flowers throughout the city.

A couple in a room celebrating Valentine’s Day with a gift, heart-shaped balloons and red roses – credit Getty Images.

A bouquet of Colombian flowers in the United States costs between $49 and $150. “Colombian flowers are the most desired here, it is what people ask for, the quality, the colors, the detail with which the arrangements are made, they value all of that and if it says a product made in Colombia it is worth more,” one told her. Elite Flowers saleswoman at El Tiempo.

Once Valentine’s Day is over, export companies can rest a little before beginning their preparations for the next big sales date: Mother’s Day, which is in May.

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