For many years, Agriflor has been held at the Cemexpo, a very nice but remote location, an hour’s drive from Quito’s city centre. Our man in the United States, William Armellini, carried out an informal show floor poll and described the new facility within the city as “cozy”. “It was a much smaller venue, but the proximity to the hotels and the city center was well worth the change. In past years, the venue was well outside the city and inevitably a two hour bus ride from anywhere. South American cities were designed and built for horses not automobiles and certainly not for the huge buses that zip around like motorbikes,” said Armellini.
The event went off with the normal pomp and circumstance that are a staple at these events. However, the speeches were short and the ribbon cutting commenced. “The first thing one noticed upon entering the building was the birds eye view from the second level balcony where attendees could survey the whole show from one vantage point. This came in handy when you wanted to locate a particular stand or person (or perhaps hide from someone.) A wonderful advantage of the smaller space since the main mission of most attending is to find something or someone.”
Attendees could discover the latest industry trends or focus on more in-depth education through farm tours. “There were many grower tours where one can get up close and personal with the farms and the businessmen and women who have such a big passion for growing flowers. Some are so advanced they are really in the science of growing and improving how and what they nurture up from the earth. Many herbal concoctions can be seen brewing in clean rooms as they tinker with their recipes to be as organic as possible.”
True to tradition, Agriflor offered an avalanche of roses varieties old and new and one more beautiful than the next. “I do not envy buyers who must gaze over the pinks, reds, green, yellows and nearly every combination in between and decide which to buy. With that said there were many other beautiful flowers on display and more and more preserved roses that I have ever seen,” reported Armellini.
Cargo, airline and logistics companies lined the upstairs and there was even a complete pallet vacuum cooler in the building. Armellini had the honor and privilege to walk around the show with his camera and take images that reflect the feeling and mood of a show. “As I do I get to talk to many people and many ask me what I think of the show and the word Cozy kept popping up as the halls filled with people for three long days. As with any good flower show there were any number of stands where one could get an adult beverage starting early in the day. As well the sushi was rolling in many stands and one could nibble their way through the show. But one highlight for me was the Cappuccino barista who made these beautiful foamy afternoon delights.”
Due to size of the hall the booths/stands were less grand then in years past yet still beautiful and effective and from the reactions Armellini heard everyone was very pleased with the turnout and the quality of the show. “The hall floor was crowded and cozy by every afternoon as visitors returned from farm visits and or a late night with friends.”
While the Russian market is not the gold mine it was at one time, not so long ago, the Russians are indeed still buying roses but there is an emphasis on smaller stem lengths since the prices are less and more can be packed in a box. Ecuadorean based farms continue to diversify and the North American is obvious choice.
Armellini ended, “Finally I can certainly recommend attending one of these shows and then take a day and see the sights in the beautiful old city of Quito. My personal favorite is the permanent flea market style market they have in the city center called the Mercado Artesanal where you can find great deals on beautiful handmade goods at a bargain price and where they expect you to haggle. And you get to use your US currency since the Ecuadorean’s do as well.
Agriflor hosted its annual Quality Competition with Caraluna submitted by Grupo Pontetresa winning Platinum. In the category Other Cut Flowers, Florisol walked away with the highest honour with its premium quality Kalanchoe. In the Breeders Category, Conectiflor won the first prize for its variety Kathy, while Konst Alstroemeria won the higest accolade for its Alstroemeria Dubai.
Agriflor 2016 video review