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Michael Larsen, Evira Rose:

"Russia, high energy costs made it challenging"

The season of potted roses has come to an end. According to Michael Larsen of Elvira Rose, a Danish grower of poinsettias and potted roses, it was a challenging season. "Last year, we had a better season. This year, the low prices and high energy costs have made it challenging."

Michael Larsen holding the Gloria Q-IRose at the Nordic Flower Expo in Sweden.

Pressure on price due to crisis in Russia
Elvira Rose grows around 50,000 potted roses on a weekly basis, in a 11,000 square meter sized greenhouse in Denmark. Their main export markets are Europe and Russia. However, the volumes to this latter export market decreased drastically over the last few years. "We used to export quite a bit to Russia, but when the crisis hit the country, we, along with many other growers, had to find other ways to sell our products. So, we all put them on the European market. As a consequence, the European market was flooded with ornamentals which the market could barely handle. Therefore the prices dropped drastically, including those of the potted flowers. Compared to last year, the prices of this year were 5-8 percent lower," explains Larsen.

High energy prices
On top of these low prices the Danish grower also had to deal with high energy prices. "The energy prices in Denmark increased around 12 percent." Therefore, the cost price of their potted roses increased too.

Differentiate from the competition
Due to the fact that the European market was flooded with potted roses, companies had to take steps to differentiate themselves from the rest. "Our main competitors in the European market are the large Dutch and German growers. In order to differentiate from these growers, we are putting a lot of effort in the presentation of our roses. We have our own special sleeves and display boxes. Fortunately, as we are a smaller company, we also have the flexibility to adjust this presentation to the needs of our customers."

Next season in February
Now, it is the end of the potted roses season and the poinsettia season starts at Elvira Rose. In February, in the run up to Valentine's day, the season will start again. "Hopefully, the prices will be back at their old level again," concludes Larsen.

For more information
Elvira Rose
Michael Larsen
E-mail: [email protected]