That's because any buying decision by the United States' largest retailer can single-handedly change the flow of roses on two continents. Valentine's Day falls on a Wednesday, a boon for Colombian growers, as they believe Americans are more likely to splurge on midweek sales and still count on extra purchases on the weekend before and after.Andres Osorio, managing director of Bogota-based Avianca Cargo, said he expects business to be up 7 percent from 2017, and the airline he works for added new warehouse space in Miami to make room for 12 daily flower flights.
He eyeballs a stem, cuts it 25 inches below its red top, and places the flower in a basket. He's one of 850 workers at the Flores de Serrezuela farm, roughly 20 miles west of Bogota.
But the rose industry offers a striking reminder of why it is so hard to roll back the economic relationships between countries. And in the United States, corporate giants such as Walmart and its competitors have replaced florists as the top seller of roses, ordering flowers in huge masses for consumers who have little interest in paying for the cost of a domestically grown rose. 14, 30 cargo jets make the trip from Colombia to Miami each day, with each plane toting more than a million flowers.
Where it used to face horrific violence and corruption, Colombia has nurtured an industry that produces roses faster and cheaper than anywhere in the United States - and can even get them to many U. - - - Colombians don't even celebrate Valentine's Day, but among flower growers, the foreign holiday can account for close to 20 percent of annual revenue. From Miami's airport, the flowers are loaded into refrigerated trucks - 200 are needed each day - and from there many go to warehouses in South Florida, where they are repackaged, assembled into bouquets, and then shipped all over the country.
"I've been sold out since December." - - - When Samper's father founded the family flower farm on about five acres of land in 1985, Colombia was a much more dangerous place. So in 1991, Congress passed the Andean Trade Preference Act, a law that would lift duties on numerous exports from Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.
Colombian drug cartels used coca plants to produce cocaine in the South American jungle. Bush and other officials sought incentives that would push Colombians away from cocaine production and toward more legitimate parts of their economy, promising to open up access to U. The roughly 6 percent import duty on Colombian roses disappeared. When flowers leave farms outside Bogota, they are sealed in the back of trucks to prevent anyone from tampering with the delivery.