Quality control bridges the gap between producer and buyerAugust 23, 2018
Andres Romero, High Control Group
“Quality control bridges the gap between producer and buyer”
What if the grower’s list of criteria doesn’t match the buyer’s? Claim problems arise, and this usually leads to commercial breaks between producer and buyer. Andres Romero saw this scenario unfold often between South American growers and US buyers and discovered that it is a field that was not working objectively. So, in 2001, he established High Control Group, a company specialized in fresh cut flowers with a focus on preventing quality problems throughout the chain. Currently, they make inspections on small and large farms in Ecuador (approx. 1,100 ha in total) and Colombia (approx. 1,500 ha in total).
Quality – since when a hot topic?
According to Romero, quality has always been a hot topic. “Relationships in the flower industry mature and grow based on quality, trust and service. If one of these factors breaks, the commercial relationship will be in danger.” But he thinks it all started when the communication between the supplier and the client became digital and grew with the help of modern technology. “As a consequence, there appeared more ways to demonstrate the lack of satisfaction with a product, so then a greater demand for quality begun.”
Lack of objectivity
The lack of objectivity that he discovered among Ecuadorian growers motivated Romero to establish High Control Group. “We saw that it is a field that was not worked objectively. Each company believed they are handling the best quality according to their own criteria, which often was not the same criteria as the buyer’s. Claim problems were an everyday normal issue and usually led to commercial breaks between producer and buyer.”
“So the objective of creating the High Control Group was to create objective parameters for flower quality, which are requested by the client and provided by the farm with the help of an auditor like High Control – that guarantees the compliance with those parameters.” With these parameters, they aim to prevent quality problems in all processes, from growing and cutting to packaging and transportation conditions. “Actually, we are the facilitators between the client and the farm”