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Richard Valentin, Valentin Fleurs:

"Bright future for French peonies"

"We see a bright future for French peonies," says Richard Valentin of Valentin Fleurs, a French grower of anthuriums, chrysanthemums, santinies and peonies. "Even though the French floriculture sector has to deal with some difficulties, the peonies are still doing well in France."

"Peonies are popular and we expect them to become increasingly popular in the future," says Valentin. French peonies are one of the few flowers that can avoid the large competition from abroad. "French peonies are the first on the market, earlier than our biggest competitor; the Netherlands." As the demand is growing for French peonies, Valentin Fleurs is expanding their growing area of peonies. "Over the last three years, we are investing in our peony sector and now, we are also growing peonies in a greenhouse. It enables us to bring the flowers on the market even earlier," he says. At the moment, Valentin Fleurs grows peonies on 3 to 4 ha open field and in a 9000 sq meter greenhouse. In the coming years, they will also invest in tunnels. "Then we can spread our production volume even further," he says.

Fleurs de France
Recently, a label called Fleurs de France has been introduced. This label highlights the French origin of cut flowers with the intention of giving the sector a boost. According to Valentin, who uses the label for his peonies, the label is a good initiative and is needed. "Many French people are not aware of the fact that they are buying flowers that are cultivated abroad. They think they all come from France. By seeing this label, they immediately know the flowers are cultivated in France." This, combined with the fierce competition from the flowers that are coming from the Dutch auction, the French horticulture sector shrunk considerably; less business are being taken over from parents. "Financially speaking, it is not attractive to take over your parents' business. Over the years, there has not been any changes in the flower prices. However, the production costs increased," he says. According to Valentin, the label might change the prices. "If the customers are really preferring the French flowers, they might be willing to pay more for them," he concludes.

For more information
Valentin Fleurs
Richard Valentin
Email: [email protected]

Fleurs de France