Today’s cut flower industry is globalized. In the United States, imports of cut flowers began in the 1960s (Conlon, 2016). Over the last 20 years, cut flower exports have more than doubled in size from about $4 billion in 1995 to more than $8 billion by 2015 (Simoes and Hidalgo, 2011). The cut flower industry is highly dynamic; the cultivars, production techniques, markets, and retailers are continuously changing. This dynamism challenges the adaptive abilities of producers and postharvest handlers involved in this business (van Liemt, 1999) and demands more research and development.
Cut flowers are a highly perishable commodity, which are often traded over long distances because the centers of production are located mostly near the equator—while the main consumers are in Europe and North America (Dehnen-Schmutz et al., 2010; van Liemt, 1999). The United States currently is the biggest importer of cut flowers in the world, obtaining the majority of its flowers from producers in nearby countries: 81% from South American countries and 9.5% from North and Central American countries (Simoes and Hidalgo, 2011; van Rijswick, 2016). Rose (Table 1) is the most important cut flower imported into the United States, followed by carnation, chrysanthemum, alstroemeria, and baby’s breath, in order of importance, by production volume.
Taxonomic classifications of organisms discussed in this article about South and Central American cut flower production and postharvest issues.
The authors completed surveys of the cut flower industries in the United States and Canada (Loyola et al., 2019) and noted the need to do similar surveys on the cut flower industries of South and Central America. The purpose of the current study is to assess the major production and postharvest issues that affect the cut flower industries in South and Central America. This work will provide a guide for industry and academic researchers regarding the most important issues to be addressed.
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