10 Questions to Eduardo Letort, General Manager Hoja Verde Roses

"Creating a brand out of your roses, accords you access to even the strictest of markets globally."

By: THURSD. | 06-06-2024 | 5 min read
Eduardo Letort

This week's 10 questions to Eduardo Letort, the general manager of Hoja Verde Roses is an insightful read into his life and love for agriculture. With a career spanning more than two decades in rose growing, Eduardo reckons that with the ever-changing market demands, it is crucial to create and position your rose farm as a brand. Read on to learn about Eduardo Letort and his exploits at their farm, Hoja Verde Roses in Ecuador.

Question 1

For those who don’t know you, who are you and what do you do?

"My name is Eduardo Letort born in Quito, Ecuador. I have a Bachelor in Agriculture Science. Since I was young I always loved agriculture: dairy cows and farming. So it was a vocation really in me. I did my studies at Lincoln University in New Zealand.  When I came back to Ecuador I took with me the work ethics the 'kiwi' have in them.

I worked for a few years in the advising and working on our own family dairy farm. In late 80’s early 90’s the boom of the floriculture started in Ecuador, and we had our farm in one of the best locations for rose production. So in 1997 we started the rose farm Hoja Verde, together with my father. Since then I have managed the company."


10 Questions
Eduardo Letort, General Manager of Hoja Verde


Question 2

What is so special about your job?

"My job has evolved with time. At the beginning I had to do almost everything, selling, managing, technical, etc. with time my position has evolved to a more strategic position always keeping in mind the objectives we have had since we started. Do things differently, always attention to details, quality is not negotiable independent of the time, weather, or situation, taking care of employees and the communities around us."


10 Questions to
Hoja Verde Laboratories


Question 3

Are there any specific challenges or obstacles you’ve faced at work, and how did you overcome them?

"One of the obstacles that we face in this business is that our product could become a commodity, driven only by prices and not by added value; so we have focused to get away from that thus creating a brand that supports our roses and allow us to reach the most strict markets in the world."


10 Questions
Harvesting of roses at Hoja Verde farm


Question 4

What are the threats in the industry, and if so, do you have any solutions for them?

"There are many threats and opportunities in the industry. Maybe one of them is the potential reduction of some markets due to new regulations such as the new regulations in the EU. Where all import companies are responsible for the traceability of the product through the traceabiity code and the CO2 footprint is becoming more and more important. Other threat is the war in Ukraine that is affecting the market in Russia that was and still somehow a very important market.

An opportunity I see is reaching the new generation such as millennials with a product that is filling their expectations with being more in line with the ESG requirements.

We have a challenge to demystify the image that flowers have in certain parts of the society by telling our story well and the importance of the industry for our community and to avoid big issues such as migration."


10 Questions
Eduardo Letort with his kids


Question 5

How has technology like e-commerce platforms or digital marketing affected your industry, which strategies have you employed to stay competitive?

"New technologies are here to stay. We need to use them well to remain competitive. Digital marketing and e-commerce allow us to reach deeper into the chain, to tell our story. AI will certainly have an impact on us and we must keep track of it, understand and learn how to take profit of it. We have implemented an e-commerce B2B and a new software that is more in line with having a direct contact with our customers allowing them to see our inventory in real time and ordering according to their needs."


10 Questions


Question 6

Who (in or outside the floral industry) is an inspiring example to you? And Why?

"In the flower industry one of my first inspirations was Peter Ulricht, who was the owner of Hilsea. I loved the way he managed his business and the details he put in every company. He was a serious entrepreneur and very charismatic leader.

And every day I get inspirations from my colleagues that are doing things right and different. This is a wonderful industry in which we compete very hard, but we share common purposes."

Question 7

How do you handle stress or difficult moments in your life?

"Stress is always there; we must accept it and take it as part of the job. If we accept it then we reduce anxiety and becomes easier to handle. Also get surrounded by good people, empower them, guide them and they will help carry the burden and make it easier on everybody. Of course,exercising, having a moderate life and looking at the good things we are doing helps to put things in perspective when the situation is difficult."

Question 8

What has been the best (floral or non-floral) news for you lately, or of the last year?

"The best news come from my kids, I am very happy and grateful that they are doing very well in their studies and becoming people with good character and a balanced life."


10 Questions
Hoja Verde Farm


Question 9

Which is your favorite flower/plant and why is it good for you?

"I am a rose grower and of course, roses are my favorite. My favorite rose is, Free Spirit (Rosen Tantau) my old favorite. I think it reaches perfection in all senses, beautiful opening, scented and has a very good vase life."

Question 10

What are you doing this weekend?

"I just came back from a trip to Netherlands, visiting clients after Mother's Day. This season was not that good for some countries in the EU, because the Thursday before Mother’s Day, was a holiday,  and disrupted in some way the business.

This weekend I will be attending the wedding of the daughter of an excellent friend so I will see a lot of the old group of friends, that is always a good time for relaxation and joy."


10 Questions
Hoja Verde pack house


All pictures courtesy of Eduardo Letort.



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