Rural Horizon, a tool to support sustainable flower production in Colombia

Flores, Sostenibilidad, Rural Horizons, Horizonte Rural, Plataforma Comercio Sostenible


From April 8 to 10, a series of meetings were held between Solidaridad and the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters (ASOCOLFLORES).


Since the second half of 2014, Solidaridad and ASOCOLFLORES have been teaming up to support companies in the Colombian flower industry during the process of preparing for certification by Florverde® Sustainable Flowers. As part of their project, the Rural Horizon tool will be adapted to this certification standard, providing a continuous improvement approach designed to support flower growers in their progress towards a more sustainable production of flowers and ornamental plants, aligned with the standard mentioned.


Towards this goal, a workshop was held in Bogotá from April 8 to 10, 2015, for Rural Horizon and Florverde® Sustainable Flowers to interchange methodologies and systems. This was a fundamental step in structuring the self-assessment guides for flower growers in the country.


According to Ximena Franco, Director of the Florverde® Programme, ten floriculture companies will participate in this pilot stage of the project. Andrea Olivar, Manager of Solidaridad in Colombia, indicated that, "this is the first time the Rural Horizons tool is being implemented in Colombia. We are very eager to see the results, and we hope to be able to replicate the tool in other sectors seeking to encourage sustainability in their supply chains."


During this April meeting in Bogotá they also visited a carnation plantation to understand the production process, from planting to harvest and post-harvest for export.


The Colombian flower industry


The growing demand for sustainably grown flowers has led exporting companies operating in Colombia to certify their production in order to guarantee their market position. Colombia currently is the world's second biggest flower exporter. Some 39% of national production is certified under the parameters of Florverde® Sustainable Flowers.