Guatemala’s Plant Exports Bloom Despite Rising Costs

The challenges brought by the high costs of freight, fertilizer and packaging have not wilted the country’s plant exports, which are expected to total $50 million this year

Guatemala's plant and flower export sector expects to see continued growth this year
August 09, 2022 | 03:20 PM

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Guatemala City — In 2021, Guatemala’s plant and flower export sector saw sales totaling $36.4 million, mainly in products such as foliage, fresh flowers and buds, even as the Covid-19 pandemic generated challenges in the sector, such as the delays in transportation, an increase in the costs of fertilizers and cardboard for packaging, and the closure of some markets, and which was followed by an economic downturn in many export markets.

However, projections are positive, with the country’s plant exports forecast to grow between 8% and 10% year-on-year in 2022, to around $50 million, and which include cut flowers, perennials, foliage and ornamental plants, in general, according to Andrés Sempe, director of the ornamental plants, foliage and flowers commission of the country’s exporters’ association Agexport.

The commission’s members total 80 producers and exporters that produce 300 species and 5,000 varieties of products per year, complying with the quality and sanitary standards required worldwide, he said.

The ornamental plants, foliage and flowers sector employs around 60,000 people in Guatemala, 20,000 are direct jobs, while 80% are women in rural areas.

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Guatemala boasts a wide variety of flowers such as orchids, and which are in demand abroad.dfd

First ornamental plant congress

Exporters, producers, technicians and professionals will gather later this month at the first Congress of Ornamental Plants, Foliage and Flowers in order to unite and strengthen the sector’s value chain.

The event will be held on August 18 and 19 in Santo Domingo del Cerro, in Antigua, organized by Agexport and co-financed by the European Union.

The objective of the gathering is to improve the quality and marketing of plants, foliage and flowers at a national and international level.

Seven conferences will be held, with the participation of sector experts such as Raquel T. Mahomar, a supply chain executive with more than 15 years of global experience in sourcing, financing and analysis; Bob Goedemans, an entrepreneur in the sector, and Andrés Sepe, CEO of TAK Global, the largest producer and exporter of ferns in Central America.

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