René van Kester, Chrysantenkwekerij R. & A. van Kester;
Netherlands: Extremely low Chrysanthemum prices
This was explained by René van Kester from Chrysantenkwekerij R.& A. van Kester from Kwintsheul. The cause of the drop in prices were the worrying messages concerning Russia. The chrysanthemum is together with the rose and tulip, in the top 3 most exported flowers to Russia. The schools will start the 1st of September in Russia, it is a tradition that children take a flower, normally a chrysanthemum for their teacher. That's why there will be 2 peak weeks for the chrysanthemum."
"That's why we hope that the controls aren't too bad," says Kester. "Two weeks ago it appeared to stay with threats, but now it seems a bit more serious. The prices are this bad because everyone is waiting on what's going to happen. But we will see what happens."
Overall, the actions are attributed to political motives, but Kester thinks it is a bit more nuanced. "Try to ship a cargo to America, they don't let everything into their country. You can try whatever you want but if the Russians say no thrips, then there'll be no thrips."
Government is a bit hypocritical
It is possible to have a thrip free cultivation, but it is difficult, says Kester. The Dutch government is an enabler of an increasingly cleaner production, in which biological solutions are leading and chemical applications are more and more limited. That's good but also a bit hypocritical, says Kester. "It has to be cleaner but the available resources are becoming more limited. Bio is good but there has to be a recourse for when it goes wrong. Like we have medication if we feel sick. Especially in this 'bug-month' thrip free cultivation almost impossible."