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Gianfranco Fenoglio, La Villetta:
"Carnations: "Moving away from traditional colors"
Gianfranco Fenoglio and Mauricio Jiminez at the Proflora in Bogota, Colombia. At this show, they won the first prize "Best in Category" for their spray carnation that still has a code.
For many years, there was a large demand for the traditional colors red, pink, orange and yellow, explains Fenoglio. "Russia was a major carnation buyer and therefore an important market for many South American growers. The demand for these traditional colors and red in particular was high. However, when the Russian crisis kicked in, the demand for carnations dropped and growers had to find other export markets. And other markets often mean other demands too. "
Before the crisis, according to Fenoglio, around 70 percent of the carnations produced were the traditional colored ones and about 30 percent other colors. Since the crisis hit these numbers changed and the demand for non-traditional colors, more softer pastel colors, started to increase.
Another variety that was on display at La Villetta's booth at the proflora. At that time, it was still on code and caught the eye of many visitors.
It influenced breeders too. "Breeding and selecting a new variety takes about 3 to 4 years, so adapting to this change instantly is not possible. However, as a breeder you are always looking for new varieties, so we had some new colors in stock and we saw the demand for the pastel colored ones increasing, particularly in 2017. So, for many years, we focused on enhancing the quality and cultivation habits of the traditional colors and now we are very busy with enhancing those of the non-traditional colors too. And not to forget, expanding the assortment with new colors, because the consumer is now asking for new colors."
Currently, the assortment of La Villetta consists of 140 carnation varieties with different colors and tones.
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