The Ecuadorean Rose Industry: In a Rose farm located in the Ecuadorean town of Cayambe, a female employee named Maria Pacheco labor has intensified and working hours lengthened due to the Valentine season. Rose stems are cut at rose farms, and then they are refrigerated, shipped via aircraft, and finally sold at premium prices from New York to London. They are approximately 460 rose farms located in the Cayambe and Cotopaxi regions of Ecuador. The pristine location and conditions of these regions allow roses to flower almost year round, giving Ecuador a comparative advantage in the production of roses. Ecuador’s rose industry started some 20 years ago, giving it First-Movers Advantages resulting in a rapid expansion of the industry. Ecuador is now the world’s fourth largest producer of roses, making roses the fifth largest export. In a ten year period the population has increased, and the infrastructure of this region has improved primarily as a result of the rose industry. Rose farms in Ecuador pay salaries above the average wage in Ecuador and provide benefits such as health care and a pension. This has fostered a social revolution in which women have more control over their family spending, especially in their children education. The rose industry is being criticized by environmentalist. They are claiming that large growers have poor ethical business practices when it comes to safety procedures
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