Corruption, Flowers, and Colombian Avocados
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LatAm’s big role in the rose trade and Valentine’s day
How corrupt is your country perceived? (story by Gabriel Cohen)
Colombia’s avocado rise (story by Cesar Villescas)
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Yesterday was Valentine's Day, sometimes called Día del Amor y la Amistad in Latin America. During this holiday, which celebrates the love between couples but also friends, restaurants, bars, and gift shops around the world experience a massive boom in business. In the US alone, an estimated $26B was spent this year in the name of love.
Latin America is at the forefront of the holiday through one of the most common gifts couples exchange: roses. Continuing to use the US as an example (because they've crunched the numbers), $2.3B+ of the $26B mentioned above will go to rose shopping. The options are quite varied: From gifting a sole rose to bouquets that cost $900.
More than a third of all roses exported worldwide come from Ecuador and Colombia. Ecuador has a diversified portfolio of countries it exports roses to, and its volume is 2nd only to the Netherlands. On the other hand, OEC.world data shows that Colombia focuses mainly on the enormous US market, with 81% of all its roses going to the world's most prosperous country in 2020. Colombia is the 4th largest exporter, right behind Kenya.
According to Bloomberg Linea, Colombian airline Avianca has facilitated this flower trade for 50 years. Between 01/16 and 02/8 this year, Avianca operated 300 cargo flights from Ecuador and Colombia to the US, carrying 13% more tons than they did in 2022.
So thank you, Ecuador and Colombia, for your enormous help in delivering a message of love and friendship all across the world this week.
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