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September 16-31, 2015:

Low prices for Ethiopian roses, the Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2015, expansion greenhouse MZurrie, Takii's anniversary, Italian maffia busted at FloraHolland and more

Low prices for Ethiopian roses, new product introductions, new partnerships, the Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2015, threat el Nino, expansion greenhouse MZurrie, Takii's anniversary and last but not least; the police arrested suspects at FloraHolland that were likely connected to the Italian maffia. This and more happens in the second half of September 2015: Below a short overview:

Ethiopia: "It's a struggle to break even"

In September 2015, the Ethiopian rose growers received very low prices for their flowers. As a consequence they had to struggle to break even: "We are struggling to break even and sometimes we are forced not to send the flowers as we cannot reach our break even point," says Emebet Tesfaye of Et-Highland Flora, a 12.4 ha sized Ethiopian rose farm that mainly exports to Europe.

"A story sells better than a product"
Increasingly more growers are using a pot to add value to their plants. But in order to differentiate from the competition, more is needed. According to Kees Waqué of Desch Plantpak a story will put your product on the market successfully. "A good story sells better than a product," he says. In order to inspire and inform breeders, growers, and retailers, Desch Plantpak developed a trend book, named ‘Colour Your Story’ and launched it in September 2015. "This trend book is inspired by the trends in fashion and interior. For spring/summer 2016 we selected three color themes; LOL, Natural and Clear," says Waqué.

Smiemans Projecten will build for MacKenzie & Cruickshank in the UK
MacKenzie & Cruickshank signed the contract with Smiemans Projecten for the engineering of the extension of the existing garden centre at the Glee on September 15, 2015. A cold part of 380 m² will be realized under the same name, where most of the outdoor plants will be sold. This part will be a curved glasshouse, the HighLight type. Next to this one, a canopy will be realized with 2 widespans of 665 m² for the outside sale. The design is made by architect Malcolm Scott Consultants and the principal contractor of the project will be AJ Engineering. The planned opening is spring 2016.

Kenya: "El Nino is likely going to affect production"
Kenya’s flower exports may stall this year as wet weather curbs production and costs increase because of the weakening shilling, the Kenya Flower Council said in September 2015.

Van Krimpen dealer of complete Desch Plantpak range
On 16 September, the Dutch firm Van Krimpen became an official dealer of the complete Desch Plantpak product range. Van Krimpen has been a dealer of the E-pla products for years. E-pla has been a part of the Desch Summit Group since 2011. Thanks to that, the extension to the complete Desch Plantpak-range feels like a natural move.

Using sports to promote plants
Plants and sports, is it a combination? According to the American Cortland Smith of Walnut Springs Nursery, it is. He came up with a concept that represents the colors of a football team with annuals and called it Sporticulture. "Growers always want to expand their plant sales and reach for new customers. This concept enables them to do so," says Cortland. At the Cultivate '15, the Sporticulture concept made its debut and received many positive reactions, it even won the Fresh Ideas Award. In September, FloralDaily had an interview with him and wrote the following article.

Kenya: 4,000 visitors at Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2015
"The fair ended on a high note," says Jack Atambo of the Naivasha Horticultural Fair. This two-day event, held from the 18th till 19th of September 2015 in Kenya, attracted about 4,000 visitors. Jack Atambo took photos of the fair to give us an impression of the show. Click here to view the entire photo report made by Atambo.

Original Lowe introduces new pruning shears
In September 2015, Original Lowe introduced two new pruning shears, the LÖWE 14 and the LÖWE 15. The bypass pruner LÖWE 14 convinces with its compact design and good balance. By installing a dual shock absorber they have minimized cutting impact, the slim and pointed design offers access in tight locations as well and the possibility for a clean cut. The blade with built-in wire cutter completes the picture of this lightweight model.

Kenya: New 10 ha farm for Mzurrie Flowers
In September, 2015, the construction of Mzurrie Flowers' new 10 ha sized farm was in full swing. This farm will be added to their three existing farms which are all located at different altitudes in Kenya. This new farm is their highest and is located at an altitude of 2,160 meters which will enable them to grow bigger headed varieties. This new farm will not only increase their annual production by 15%, but also their product range. "We will better satisfy the needs of our customers, who are mainly situated in the United Kingdom, Russia, the Netherlands, Australia, and the Middle East among other countries," says Irene Njeru, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mzurrie Flowers.

Oboya acquires Danish Combipot
Oboya acquire the bankruptcy of Combipot A/S in Odense, Denmark. With the acquisition, Oboya takes over all assets and rights. Oboya will continue to run the business of Combipot in Odense. With this acquisition Oboya intends to strengthen its position in Northern Europe with a broader product range. This is fully in line with the company's strategy to offer customers complete solutions.

Takii Seed celebrates 180th & 25th anniversary
It was a memorable event at Takii in De Kwakel, the Netherlands, on September 24, 2015. Takii Seed celebrated its 180th anniversary. Takii Europe, which has its head office in De Kwakel, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Therefore Mr. Takii, a Japanese delegation and employees from all over Europe travelled to De Kwakel. The company welcomed a large number of guests and breeders as well, and several lectures and presentations were given.

Italian mafia busted at FloraHolland Aalsmeer

The Italian mafia seem to have been active at the auction in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands for years. In September 2015, the police arrested suspects that are likely connected to the Italian mafia, who have defrauded a dozen Dutch export companies over the last few years. The Dutch police are cooperating with the Italian police, who have also arrested 44 people.

Ecolander launches environmentally friendly alternative to plastic pots
"It is an environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic pot." This is how Paul Willetts of Ecolander describes their new range of biodegradable pots; the Ecodegrade pots. These plant pots are made from 100 percent natural plant fibers and can be planted directly into the soil, without re-potting. "It enables growers to grow more sustainably and the consumer/customer to decrease their disposal costs."

Detection dogs can be used to detect diseases and pests

Dogs have the right nose to detect diseases and pests in plants and flower bulbs. Another possibility is to use them for other crops, in greenhouses, cooling cells and in open fields. This was the conclusion of two Dutch students - Samantha Dooijenburgh and Haye van Leeuwen, which they presented on the 9th September 2015.
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