Floribusiness Blogs ‘Argentina got everything, apart from good flowers’

    ‘Argentina got everything, apart from good flowers’


    We’re back from Argentina. We had completely underestimated the size of this country.

    You wouldn’t start a company there before you’d gained an understanding of the climate and the surroundings. Three days in Buenos Aires were enough to realise that it’s a vibrant – quite European – city, which has seen better days. From there on, everything in Argentina is done by plane, a 2-hour domestic flight is not uncommon. In a nutshell: Argentina is a country with endless possibilities. They’ve got everything, apart from good flowers.

    Quality flowers are imported from Ecuador, while the ordinary stuff is cultivated locally, outside the cities. The Argentinians clearly do love quality. We attended a wedding party, where all the floral decorations were made with flowers from Ecuador. Stunning creations, everyone was talking about it. How great was the commotion the next morning, when it turned out that the owners of the party tent had taken all the roses with them.

    In the meantime, the building works of Tima 5 in Kenya were steadily progressing. The pump house was roofed, the pond filled with water and the first greenhouse now has its gutters. Receiving all these updates through WhatsApp made me feel very privileged. Wherever you are and whatever you do: a team of motivated people makes all the difference.

    We even managed to fit in a return trip to Barcelona (a small version of Buenos Aires). The Catalans were still busy talking about their independence. They were of course very unhappy that their leader was held by the police in Germany. As outsiders, we don’t really get it, because to us it looks as if Spain, and Catalonia in particular, is doing very well.

    An advantage of travelling is that you don’t have to watch or listen to the news every day. Especially when it’s about things like the Kenyan elections being over now, the rain that fell recently and the fact that the euro is getting stronger and stronger. And the weather in Europe of course: cold and wet. Not great for the garden, but good for our flowers. Just like the fact that Easter fell early this year. Whatever sales percentage we lost around Valentine’s and Women’s Day, we made up for during the last couple of weeks.

    That’s the beauty of flowers: you never know, you just have to be there. I shouldn’t say this out loud, but I get the feeling that many people are breathing a sigh of relief in the corridors of Aalsmeer. Finally, calm has been restored and everyone has come back down to earth. The auction is busy with logistics and things like the clock, the focus of (almost) all of their activities.

    You’ll understand that we haven’t been bored the last couple of weeks and collected more than 50 hours of airmiles. We’re feeling ready to get back to work in Timau. And for the time being, Argentina will remain something to fantasise about.

    Simon van der Burg

    Timaflor, Kenya

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