22 April 2020
BOGOTA, Colombia: Colombia’s flower industry maintains the exceptions that allow it to operate during quarantine. The logistics chain will operate also on Sundays until May 3.
“Companies are currently concentrating on meeting demand from the United States and Japan mainly, which are the most active; however, the level of activity of the farms differs widely depending on the markets and the channels they serve, farms are now receiving orders from European countries”, says Augusto Solano, president of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters- Asocolflores.
“We will work tirelessly, even on Friday May 1, date on which Colombia celebrates Labor Day. We have already activated our ‘Petal Plan’, a security and coordination mechanism involving all relevant authorities, created and led by Asocolflores since 2006, to support mobility, cargo flows and prevent illegal activity.”
The ‘Petal Plan’ was strengthened by systematising its processes along the logistics chain to avoid physical contact and reduce the risks derived from Covid-19. Likewise, the country’s ports and airports increased the number of people in charge of phytosanitary and inspection processes.
On the other hand, the phytosanitary authority, ICA, is providing a special service for inspection requests required outside normal business hours and arranged for additional electronic certificate signing-off mechanisms for Pompons and Chrysanthemums at El Dorado airport, in Bogotá, and José María Córdoba, in Medellín.
The Anti-Narcotics Police added 60 guards to reduce inspection times and improve efficiency levels in customs, health and illicit substance controls.
The National Customs and Tax Authority, DIAN, authorised additional hours for delivering certificates of origin and to support activities during Mother’s Day season. In general, so far there are enough cargo flights available.
Asocolflores, continues to emphasise the enormous responsibility of all producers operating during Mother’s Day season and will constantly call on them to strictly follow hygiene and preventions protocols, in order to maintain the exception to operate.