BOGOTA, Colombia — 4,200 boxes of flowers aboard a Centurion MD11 cargo plane to land in Miami at 1:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 15th
Colombian flowers will be the nation's first product to enter the U.S. market Tuesday, May 15th under the new Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Colombia.
Augusto Solano the president of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters – Asocolflores, announced that 4,200 boxes with more than 1.200.000 Colombian flowers will wing their way to the USA on an 80-ton Centurion and Keuhne + Nagel MD 11 cargo plane bearing products from 9 Colombian flower farms. The aircraft will lift off on Monday, May 14th at 9:00 p.m. with an ETA at Miami International Airport of 1:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 15th, making this shipment the first Colombian product to enter the United States under the new Free Trade Agreement.
Solano stated that even though Colombian flowers already enjoy preferential tariffs, the passage of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is strategic to ensuring floriculture product permanence in its main market constituting 76% of its exports.
Solano went on to point out that approximately 80% of all flowers the US imports come from Colombia, and that thanks to the US distribution network currently in place Colombian blooms and foliage can be found coast-to-coast in supermarkets and florist shops.
Colombian floriculture generates over 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in 48 townships around the country and is the top-ranked national non-traditional agricultural product with 2011 sales reaching USD 1,250 million. Colombian flowers also generate employment inside the United States producing nearly 225,000 jobs set mostly around the products' main port of entry in Miami.
"Colombian floriculture celebrates the passage of the US-Colombian FTA and hopes it becomes a tool for generating more jobs in Colombia", said the president of Asocolflores.
2011 Stats from Colombian Floriculture
- Exports: USD 1,250 million (USD 950 for the United States)
- Markets: 88 countries
- Product Portfolio: 1,600 flower varieties
- Jobs Generated: 150,000 direct and indirect legal jobs
- Geographic Impact: 6,955 hectares in 48 Colombian townships
Source: Association of Colombian Flower Exporters