After several years of breeding and selecting, Colombian breeding company Icon Selections put their first commercial chrysanthemum variety on the market in 2018. Since the introduction, the interest in their robust and diverse chrysanthemum assortment increased steadily and last year, they also ventured into roses and their first rose variety on the market in 2019. They are expanding their assortment and grower’s base rapidly and ready to grow further. Therefore, they decided to add a new member to the team, namely Guillermo Mahecha. In November 2020, he was appointed Commercial Director and is responsible for the sales and marketing.
F.l.t.r.: Mark van Oijen (breeder), Luis Felipe Jaramillo (Technical Director), and Guillermo Mahecha (Commercial Director).
Young company – 100% of breeding in Rionegro
Icon Selections is a relatively young company as it started six years ago. Unique about the company is that they breed and trial all their Chrysanthemum varieties in Rionegro, where the bulk of the Colombian chrysanthemums are grown. And over the years, they are noticing that this approach is bearing fruit. “When breeding a plant in its indigenous climate and trialing in the Colombian soil, it is used to the Colombian climate, which brings several genetic advantages,” says Mahecha.
Diverse colors and “damage and diseases proof” varieties
At Icon Selections, the first commercial variety – a pink spray named Sweet Dreams, was put on the market in 2018, the assortment quickly expanded afterwards. Currently, it consists of more than 50 commercial varieties in all kind of colors, shapes and diameters. “We have plenty of special colors, for example vintage colors which are very popular at the moment.” However, the focus goes further than colors shapes and textures. We also focus heavily on the quality of the foliage and stems, making them “damage and diseases proof.” Our varieties are very suitable for transport via sea container, a manner of transport that gained more interest over the last years.”
Also into rose breeding
Besides the breeding of chrysanthemums, Icon Selections also ventured into selection of roses with partner Select Breeding in The Netherlands and commercialized their first variety – Clementina – and put it on the market in 2019. “The roses are being evaluated and selected in our greenhouse in Flores El Tandil, in the Sabana Bogota area at 2600m altitude. Currently, we have commercialized 5 varieties and we will add more varieties in the future.”
Since the first variety was put on the market, Icon Selections expanded their grower’s base fast and they are now ready to grow even further. So, in order to assist the existing, new and potential growers, they appointed Guillermo Mahecha as Commercial Director in November 2020. He has experience in the chrysanthemum industry and was honored to promote and sell the varieties of Icon Selections. “The potential of the varieties is high and I felt honored to show this potential to the growers and all other members in the industry.” In order to do so, he is inviting and visiting growers regularly and started to present the varieties of Icon Selections on several social media channels like Facebook and Instagram to reach an ever wider audience. On top of that, he is sending out a monthly newsletter to show what’s happening and trending at their trial station. Mahecha is very pleased with the positive responses and the interest they are receiving. “I started promoting just a couple of months ago and I’m very happy to notice the positive reactions. This again proves that the assortment of Icon Selections is a good addition to the existing chrysanthemum assortment already in the market.”