Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine’s Day, Colombia and Reciprocal Trading Relationships

Colombians growing flowers for your sweetheart.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

If you are in a committed relationship and this is news to you, don’t worry—you’ve still got time to go pick up some flowers before she suspects anything.  

Before you go sprinting off to Safeway, Trader Joes or that little flower shop down the street in search of the colorful plant that will save your ass tomorrow, you should say thank you. Not to me—well okay, feel free too if you like—but you should really say thank you to Colombia.

Why? Well, because the flowers you are about to buy most likely came from there.

Colombian Flowers.
According to Colombia’s Flower Growers Association, in 2011 Colombia exported around 500 million Valentine’s Day flowers, with 90% of which were shipped to the United States. In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, Colombia sent 28 flights of flower shipments every day—to satisfy the United States’ rapacious demand and to make sure your significant other doesn’t give you the silent treatment for the next three weeks.

Besides being a critical component of the Colombian economy, the demand for flowers is also good for you and I—Colombia’s flower shipments support almost 200,000 jobs in the United States.

For Colombia, love pays.
Ultimately, although for the United States Valentine’s Day represents getting yelled at by your disappointed girl—erm—I mean an annual commemoration celebrating love and affection between intimate companions, for Colombia it means making bank while cultivating a reciprocal (legal) trading relationship.

Oh, yeah, Colombia’s take on Valentine’s Day—El Dia del Amor y la Amistad—takes place every third Saturday of September.

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