Diego Espinosa, General manager Agrocoex

Ecuador: “Cupido impresses any woman”

There are many ways to celebrate International women’s day, but the most beautiful way to encourage, acknowledge and appreciate the superwomen in our life is to give them “the second-best thing God has created after them, a rose”, Christian Dior famously said.

Cupido, a variety bred by De Ruiter, is a rose that resembles a woman’s beauty and grace. In the following conversation with Diego Espinosa, General manager of the Ecuadorian farm Agrocoex talks about his farm’s successes, the role of women in an organization and why Cupido is the best rose for a woman.

Diego Espinosa, together with sales manager Valeria Valdivieso, at last year’s edition of the Proflora

”Our journey began in 1992 with a single client. Since then we have conquered several markets with hundreds of rose varieties under two brands: Black Box and Victoria LV. We have 35 ha area under production spread over three different farms: San Francisco, La Victoria, and El Corazon”, Diego briefly introduces his company.

“The location and altitude of the farms are suitable for the production of roses. Also, we have invested in the latest equipment and technology, and trained people to obtain the best results in terms of quality, strong stems, big buds, and amazing colors.”

Shabistan Khan (editor for De Ruiter): “What is the woman workforce’ contribution in your organization? What is Agrocoex doing for women empowerment and gender equality at the workplace?”

Diego Espinosa (DE): “We have more than 250 full time employees and we do have a significant amount of women in our company engaged in various activities varying from cultivation, to harvest, to post harvest, packaging, marketing & sales, and accounting. You will find women in all our departments playing a very important role in making this organization a success. We believe in gender equality and allocate everyone the position he or she deserves. We are Fair Trade certified and protect our people irrespective of gender, while at the same time being cautious to take care of our environment.”

SK: “According to you, what makes Cupido a perfect rose? What made you gravitate to plant Cupido?”

DE: “Cupido is very beautiful strong rose. When it unfolds and opens it shows a pure red color that appears very nice and it has a unique shape which makes it a perfect rose to give to any woman.”

While selecting varieties we keep market trends in mind, trying to predict what people will like is always the big challenge.

SK:  “How old is your collaboration with breeder De Ruiter? What kind of help and support does De Ruiter provide to its growers?”

Areal view of the farm. Photo: Agrocoex

DE: Our Collaboration with De Ruiter is as old as our company, since we started growing roses. De Ruiter is always developing new varieties, and they always offer us small numbers of plants to test for production conditions. Also, De Ruiter is always promoting its selected varieties in different exhibitions across the globe to market them. This is very important and is to the benefit of the growers as well.

SK: “What will Agrocoex look like in the future, what plans do you have?”

DE: “We want to double our production area in the next few years. We are planning to form strategic partnerships with a few selected customers and sell most of our produce in the direct market. We also want to improve the lives of everyone depending on our business.”

SK: “Which woman do you admire and why? Would you gift her a bunch of Cupido roses on the international women’s day?”

DE: “My wife is my strength and support. She is the first woman I will give Cupido roses on Women’s Day. Also, I would like to send bunches of Cupido roses to those women who influence the market the most. I am convinced they will be impressed and buy Cupido for their family and friends in the future.