Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Orchid growers eye Brazilian business

BLOOMING MARKET:As the buying power of Brazil’s middle class grows, Taiwanese growers hope to use their advanced cultivation skills to ramp up exports

Staff writer, with CNA, SAO PAULO, Brazil

Taiwan’s orchid growers are eyeing the Brazilian market with the aim of selling highly priced varieties to the South American country.

Taiwan Orchid Growers Association secretary-general Tseng Chun-pi (曾俊弼) visited the municipality of Mogi das Cruzes in the state of Sao Paulo earlier this week, where he talked about orchid growing and business management with Brazilian growers of Japanese descent.

Taiwan is competitive in the global orchid market due to its advanced cultivation technology, and the quality of locally grown orchids stands out against ones grown elsewhere, Tseng said.

He said he expects the upper hand Taiwan has gained in the global orchid sector will make it easier for the country’s orchid growers to grasp a share of the Brazilian market.

Luiz Ishikawa, one of the Brazilian orchid growers that Tseng met, said as the Brazilian real is appreciating against the US dollar, Brazil’s middle class is benefiting from increased consumption power, which is paving the way for increased orchid sales.

In recent years, sales in the Brazilian flower industry have risen about 15 percent annually. Sales of orchids in Brazil have grown by 20 percent annually, with Phalaenopsis and Cattleya species gaining popularity in the market, Brazilian business sources said.

Charles Suzuki, another Brazilian orchid farmer, said Taiwan uses highly regarded orchid growing technology and grows a wide range of orchid varieties, in particular Phalaenopsis orchids, while Brazil has great potential for orchid sales.

Suzuki said the two countries should work together by taking advantage of each other’s strengths to create a win-win situation.

However, Tseng said, Brazil imposes strict quarantine regulations on agricultural imports, which makes it inconvenient for Taiwan’s orchid growers to sell their products directly to Brazil, the largest country in South America. Instead, they have to ship their products to a third country, such as the Netherlands, Japan or Thailand, before the flowers can be shipped to Brazil.

Currently, Taiwan sells orchids to 86 countries, with Japan, the US and the Netherlands being the major buyers.

Last year, Taiwan’s orchid exports totaled US$140 million, up 20 percent from a year earlier. Phalaenopsis species accounted for about 80 percent of the exports.

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