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Queen Genetics makes debut on FlowerTrials 2018

"It is time to show all our crops"

Danish breeding company Queen Genetics will make its debut on the FlowerTrials, where they will present their latest breeding innovations in new crops. Next to their well-known Kalanchoes, Queen Romantic Roses, Queen Green (succulents), Queen Regent Asters and Queen Chrysanthemum will be on display. Several years ago, they started breeding and trialing these varieties and are now starting to supply cuttings to selected partners all over the world.

Why expand the breeding assortment?
Queen Genetics has been breeding Kalanchoe for many years, and their Queen branded products have gained a worldwide presence. So, what is the reason for expanding the breeding activities? According to Commercial Manager Frederike Israel, the idea arose after establishing their joint venture, Queen Tarim, in Turkey. "In order to be more attractive to Turkish retailers, a broader assortment was needed which was one of the reasons we decided to expand our breeding activities with crops that are in line with the Kalanchoe product. The new crops are pot plants and will also enable growers to alternate between the Queen crops and grow, for example, a particular crop in a particular period of the year", she explains.

Breeding criteria
It is important that the new crops meet the breeding criteria of Queen Genetics. "Ethylene resistance, a long shelf life and beautiful colors are some of the main points on which we select our varieties", says Israel. These criteria are mostly focused on the demands of the retailer and end consumer. "Along the supply chain from transport to shop to consumer's home, plants are exposed to ethylene. So, with a good ethylene resistance, the quality of the plant will not be affected and this combined with a long shelf life, will keep the retailer and consumer satisfied. However, it all starts with the willingness to purchase the plant. Therefore bright colors and a perceived high quality attract the attention of consumers which is essential as plants are often purchased on an impulse."

Another important focus point on breeding are the growing habits and reduced need for chemical crop protection products. "Increasingly more retailers come up with stricter rules for growers regarding the use of crop protection products. We try to breed varieties that can be grown easily with biological crop protection products and limited need for chemical crop protection products." 

Queen Golden Yellow Romance and Queen Pink Romance

Competitive advantage
Queen Genetics added succulents, asters, roses and chrysanthemums to their breeding assortment, and according to Israel, the company managed to achieve unique breeding results that hopefully gives them a competitive advantage on the market. "The Queen Romantic Roses have a low water consumption and as a result a uniquely long shelf life. On top of that, we have already managed to breed a full range of strong colors that we are especially proud of." This year, the roses will be commercially available to growers around the world except for the US and Canada.

The succulents and asters, however, have been commercially available since 2017 and Queen Genetics seems to have gained a good position in the market when it comes to succulents. "At Queen Tarim, we have found a way to exactly know the age of the succulent cutting. Our production method reduces the fall-out in propagation, which is one of the main factors why growers have been satisfied with the product.

In our asters breeding, we focus on double type varieties with strong colors that do not fade. We see the biggest challenge of the product that the point of sale where they quickly appear faded and withered therefore we do not compromise when it comes to quality and shelf life testing."

The breeding of the new rose and aster varieties from Queen Genetics are the result of a close cooperation with two skilled Danish growers. Thoruplund has more than 70 years of experience in breeding various potted plants, and cooperated closely with Queen to select and produce the new rose varieties. The other grower, Hjortebjerg, who grows a variety of crops, cooperated with Queen to select and test their Aster series. Both companies are currently growing Queen Genetics varieties commercially.  

At the FlowerTrials Queen Genetics will present its new product series for the first time to growers from around the world - actually, for their roses it will be the second time as Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte, the sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, revealed the new rose series under Thoruplund’s tradename “Ocean of Roses” at the IPM Essen last January. "We feel we are ready and we are confident in our assortment so it is time now to show all our crops. The FlowerTrials provides the perfect platform to introduce our extended product portfolio to growers from all over the world.."

For more information
Queen® Genetics
Frederike Israel

Publication date: 5/8/2018
Author: Elita Vellekoop



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