Recently, Ecuador has been making the headlines more frequently than ever. Where the small Andean country usually gets hardly any international press coverage at all, the assassination of a presidential candidate and drug trafficking have led it to press prominence. So, does that affect the flower export industry? More or less. And let’s not forget the climate factor, El Niño.
CNN and European media have covered the assassination on 9 August of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, as well as the huge quantities of (Colombian) cocaine flooding the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam from distribution hub Ecuador. In the backdrop, large-scale (gang) violence and political divisions are at play.
So, is it business as usual for the flower sector, or do the above developments actually affect exports? A round of phone calls with those involved reveals that it is mainly the El Niño climate phenomenon that causes concern, and less so the other factors.