Farms 101: Rionegro Edition

Last month, we visited the farms that we represent in the Rionegro Valley. The purpose of our visit was to learn more about their cutting-edge facilities, high-quality growing methods and their continued commitment to socially-responsible practices.

Some of us were visiting for the first time and it was exciting to see that their core mission of “generating memorable experiences through the cultivation of flowers” goes hand-in-hand with our motto of “helping people express feelings with flowers”. Working with farms that have the same values and speak the same “language” made us feel right at home!

Photo courtesy of Flores El Trigal. 

Rionegro is a municipality and city located in the Antioquia Department, very close to Medellin, which was named the world’s most innovative city in 2013. The people of Antioquia are characterized as hardworking, friendly, passionate and are dedicated to their craft. This rings true when visiting the farms; everyone you meet is devoted to their work. They are always looking for ways to not only improve the quality of the products but also the quality of their performance. The knowledge they have about all things flowers—specific traits, growing processes, skills training and innovation—left us impressed and wanting to learn even more.

Rionegro is the second largest flower producing region in Colombia and its topography and climate is home to many species, plants and native fruits and is also ideal for growing flowers. These farms are Florverde and Rainforest Alliance certified. While visiting, we saw an array of birds, majestic horses, impeccable water reservoirs, greenspaces full of vegetation and we even got to pick some tangy and sweet guayabas right off a tree. They also have remarkable benefits for their employees and their families—from healthcare and scholarships to rewards programs and company-wide sponsored events, the farms pride themselves in creating positive and healthy work environments.

During our days in Rionegro we got to see Snapdragons, Spiders, Pompons, Hydrangeas and Cremons in both the harvest and post-harvest stages.

We learned about all the various phases of the INV (Introduction of New Varieties) process and we paid a visit to the breeder of new varieties, which is part of the farms.There we learned how meticulous and committed you have to be to develop and grow new varieties. Working with this breeder has many advantages, one of them being that it allows us to offer exclusive varieties to our customers. Unlike in Europe, where the process can be done only twice a year (due to seasonality), Rionegro has the advantage of breeding year-round.

The breeder is devoted to only developing the strongest, most reliable floral varieties, allowing us to sell consistent, fresh and high-quality flowers that are Grown to Last.

Gabriel Becerra, President of Golden Flowers

Although short, our trip to Rionegro was special and incredibly memorable. Connecting our customers to the farms we represent is of great importance to us and we hope you’ve enjoyed this little recap. Don’t worry, we’ll be back for more!