The phalaenopsis supply in Mexico will grow by at least 25 percent per year in the coming years, Tammo Hoeksema from Ornamental Growers Group expects. "As long as quality remains sufficient, that is not a problem for the market", he observes. Also because of this, the company is starting a collaboration with Ter Laak Americas (TLA) in Guatemala, a joint venture between Ter Laak Orchids Netherlands, HFT Seeds in Guatemala and Agro Orchids from Costa Rica. Together with Ter Laak Americas, the Ornamental Growers Group wants to offer a high quality half-ready product to the Mexican producers.
Two years ago the Ornamental Growers Group (OGG) was founded with the initiative to help local producers in Mexico improve the quality of their products and to introduce them to products from Dutch companies. The focus is on phalaenopsis and anthurium, two products that are doing very well on the domestic market and still have a great future. Since its inception, OGG has invested a lot of time and energy in visiting producers and in mapping out the market. "At the moment we have an excellent picture of who is doing what, where and in what quantities. And also what their market is. Information that is just not easily available in Mexico," says Tammo.
With this information in mind, at the end of last year Tammo's nursery completely switched over to the production of phalaenopsis. In 2018 he expects to be able to produce about 90,000 plants, in 2019 he hopes to double that number. In order to market them in the right way, the Ornamental Growers Group – as the name indicates - is looking for cooperation with other growers. With orchid growers and also with growers of anthurium and calathea, which OGG also offers themselves.
"The growers are not so much competing with each other", Betina Batista, OGG's latest addition, says. "And it is very important to organize this market, because with the growth in tropical crops there are certainly also risks. Especially where market prices are concerned. Smaller growers here do not realize this sufficiently. Producers are competing on the Mexican market and that is not necessary, but that is happening now because there is no communication. To achieve a stable market, we not only invest in technology and in the company, but certainly also in confidence and cooperation."
Tammo states that there is also a need to invest in quality. Because the production of orchids in Mexico will grow significantly in the coming years, the delivery of quality becomes a requirement. The delivery of quality products keeps the price at a good level, according to his experience. "In Mexico, about 1.6 to 1.8 million plants are now produced annually, all for the local market. The largest grower accounts for almost a third of that production. These big companies work together with the retailer and close that chain with logistics and transport. That works fine, but the price that the product generates there is significantly lower."
The floriculture sector in Mexico is running far behind the vegetable sector. The total greenhouse acreage in Mexico has risen enormously in recent years, but the vast majority of these are used for vegetables and only a small percentage is floriculture. Yet Tammo does see opportunities for floriculture in the future, especially when vegetable producers become interested in floriculture, something that is not unlikely, because the margins are still good. That is why Tammo, with the Ornamental Growers Group, is trying to organize the market. "We want to teach the producer to share information: the price, the quality, the opportunities. If we can map that out, we can maintain the good prices with an increasing supply. But that does require cooperation." For more information on how can you expand your Agribusiness from or to Latin America, ask FGH´s International Agribusiness, Latin America's leading Agribusiness Consulting firm