San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Orchid Exports On the Rise

A bumper crop of orchids has boosted exports and encouraged growers of the flowers to expand, according to the weekly El Financiero.

Three of the companies growing in Costa Rica are Taisuco Costa Rica, Orchimex de Costa Rica and Orquídeas del Bosque, according to the weekly. Taisuco, a subsidy of the Taiwan Sugar Company and the winner of last year’s Chamber of Exporters (CADEXCO) award for best Small or Medium Business, opened here in 1998 and produces one million phalaenopsis hybrid orchids per year. Orchimex opened in 1991 and sells two million orchids per year; Orquídeas del Bosque produces the plants at its laboratory in western San José.

Taisuco is in the process of building two new high-tech greenhouses by the end of May, and plans to expand its laboratory in Alajuela, west of San José. The company employs 90 people, most of whom are single mothers and students, and uses only organic pesticides and fertilizers, El Financiero reported. Of its orchid exports, 95% go to the United States,Mexico, elsewhere in the Americas, and Spain, but one goal of the expansion process is to increase sales in the European market.

Orchimex, whose orchid plantation in the central Pacific port town of Puntarenas is the largest in Central America, plans to increase the volume of its exports to American countries that already buy its products, while Orquídeas del Bosque is in negotiations to add Mexico to the United States as an export destination. It also sells orchids over the Internet, and in Café Britt stores at JuanSantamaríaInternationalAirport in Alajuela.


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