It’s an odd sight: Quito covered by a white layer of hailstones. It’s rare, but we got to see it this afternoon for the second time in one month. The weather has been truly awful: 40mm of rainfall in less than an hour. Calling it a cloudburst would be an understatement! Half the city was flooded and in our office, all the leaks were uncovered at once.
Today’s stormy weather is totally in line with the general weather pattern we’ve been having here the last couple of months. Quito got 320mm of rain in March. That’s more than double the normal value. It was the wettest March in 30 years. And April doesn’t seem to be much drier. And it’s not just us, in the city, who are getting fed up with it. The nurseries in the surrounding area are slowly starting to feel that they’ve had enough, too.
Through our quality team and via WhatsApp and Facebook, we’re staying informed about the situation at our suppliers. Many growers have had parts of their greenhouses flooded. Threats of infections haven’t been too bad for a long time, but since a few weeks we’ve noticed a steep increase of downy mildew and botrytis. Hence the precautionary measure of many growers to include a sheet of Floralife transport paper in each box of flowers. The producer of this paper claims that it inhibits the growth of fungi during transportation.
The million-dollar question is of course, what the consequences are going to be for the supplies for Mother’s Day, the coming week. There have been years when the crops that were cut for Valentine’s day were ready with the next flush exactly in time for Mother’s Day. We don’t expect that that will be the case this year. With the exception of red roses (the least popular colour for Mother’s Day), there might in fact be quite a shortage of flowers. Demand from North-America and Australia is excellent at the moment.
And it’s not very different in Colombia. The Mother’s Day prebookings have already been placed weeks ago at most gypsophila and carnation growers. And many rose growers haven’t even sent out a special offer list for Mother’s Day. Simply because they know that delivering the regular weekly orders will be enough of a challenge as it is!
Area manager Ecuador and Colombia, FleuraMetz