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Chinese Flower Sector Facing Challenges, In Ecuador, Growers Switch to Hemp

Chinese flower sector is having issues it must tackle before launching into the growing lane. But, in Ecuador, flower sales decline, forcing growers to switch to hemp.

After the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a decline in Ecuador’s flower sales, the country’s farmers have turned to hemp as a new crop to make ends meet. Its s total flower exports decreased by 8% last year, according to a Reuters report, and rose farmers are now planting hemp, which Ecuador law defines as cannabis containing less than 1% THC.

Floriculture Manager of Boutique Flowers and President of hemp startup CannAndes, Klaus Graetzer, says “the project was born from hard times.” Boutique Flowers, located in Tabacundo, constructed greenhouses for hemp production after cutting rose production by 37.5% in 2020.

“In the pandemic, the flower industry was hit hard. We saw the chance to take advantage of this new regulation.”

CannAndes’ Manager, Felipe Norton, said that the company plans to export smokable CBD flowers to Switzerland, which he said is the largest market for hemp flowers. CannAndes is also seeking federal licenses to sell CBD products in Ecuador, according to the news outlet.

However, China’s cut-flower industry can be traced back to 1984, its roots based in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong. The wholesale flower industry has been growing steadily since then, developing especially quickly after 1990.

Cut flowers are grown all over the country, including Hainan, Heilongjiang, Shandong, and Xinjiang, with freesias, gladiolus, calla, roses, sunflowers, orchids, and peonies being among the 30 species that are commercially grown.

Keep on reading to discover how the wholesale flower industry in China operates, the success stories that have come from the nation, and the challenges it faces moving forward.

One of the major catalysts of the growth of the wholesale floral industry in China was the Yunnan province’s booming flower industry. The province, located in southwest China, is now one of the largest cut-flower centers in all of Asia.

The rural area once faced extreme poverty. According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), its cut flower industry is now valued at $415 million. Furthermore, 50% of China’s domestic cut flowers come from the Yunnan province.

This success story unfolded over a decade. Once, Yunnan’s wholesale flowers consisted of 16 hectares. Now, wholesale flower production takes up more than 10,000 hectares. It’s also known for its exports and partnership with the world’s biggest flower-cut action, the Verenigde Bloemenveilingen Aalsmeer (VBA) in the Netherlands.

One of the most impressive statistics from this is the increase of cut-flower exports by 400% in only four years. This highlights the importance of a concrete export strategy, streamlined production, and support services.

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