October 1-15,2015:

Ornamental production/sales affected by situation Russia, Cotopaxi volcano, El Niño and Brown rot

Situation Russia, Cotopaxi volcano, El Nino and Brown rot all had an effect on the ornamental sales in October 2015. But more happened this month, below an overview of October 2015.


Russia: Increasing demand for Indian medium head roses
Russia is known as a large flower loving country. However, in September 2015, the demand for medium to smaller size flowers started to increase. This trend was also recognized by Narendra Patil of Soex Flora who grows medium head sweetheart roses in India. He attended the FlowersExpo 2015 in Russia for the first time and his flowers received a lot of attention. According to him, the drop in value of the rouble and the changing trend of Russians loving to order more rose bouquets, like 51 roses or 101 roses or more, might contribute to this increasing demand for this type of roses.


Canadian orchid grower adds wishing cards to increase Breast Cancer Awareness
From October 2015 on, CosMic Plants started shipping their Orchids with a Wishing Card to increase Breast Cancer Awareness (the card says: Strength, Courage, Hope). "The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we are sincerely excited to have partnered with Hamilton Health Sciences for a great cause: For all of October we added a tag- a wishing card - to each 5” Orchid and each Mini Orchid in Glass," said Mike van Steekelenburg of Cosmic Plants.


"Russia, high energy costs made it challenging"
In October 2015, the season of potted roses came 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."


"The dianthus is popular again in the UK"
"The dianthus is popular again," said David James of Allwoods, a British breeder and grower of dianthus and other garden plants in October 2015. According to him, dianthus went through a sort of slump over the last few years, but are now gaining back popularity.


Ecuador: Cotopaxi volcano eruption fears affecting market
Since August 2015, the Cotopaxoi volcano in Ecuador has been restless. It will erupt, but the question is when. It might take days, weeks, months or even years. When it erupts, it will not only destroy the surrounding neighborhoods, but also some rose farms in the area. In October 2015, a grower that has a farm in that area, told us that the fear of the eruption is affecting the market. So, as well as the fear of losing their farms, growers also fear losing their customers, as they might start looking for other growers to ensure the deliveries.


"Cutting deals with airlines is the trick”
One of the consequences of ongoing technological developments and ever faster and more efficient logistics, is that perishables go all over the world. Thanks to shorter lines, cooling technologies and better communication it is becoming increasingly more common, to transport flowers and plants, as well as cuttings and in vitro plants to the most distant and unknown regions. "Thirty years ago, when I began in this business, it was unthinkable."


New trays for orchid production
After years of developing and testing, HerkuPlast (based in Germany and Holland) introduced 2 new models for production of phalaenopsis/orchids in October 2015. The trays come in different thicknesses and colors, as a 45 and a 60 cell tray with danish size (310 x 530 mm.). The trays have special features that allow for the best root results when used with glueplugs from different producers.


Ball FloraPlant farms are neonic free
In October 2015, Ball FloraPlant was pleased to announce its offshore cuttings farms did not use neonicotinoid-based pest management chemicals during its spring crop production last shipping season, and will continue to be neonic free this year. Instead, the company and its greenhouse managers have relied on alternative means to supply insect-free cuttings to its global customer base.


AU: Entering the green life market as a vegetable seedling producer
In an article published in the Groundswell Journal in October 2015, Boomaroo Nurseries explain their journey of entering the green life market and building a new brand. Originally, Boomaroo Nurseries is a vegetable seedling producer, that supplies around 300 million vegetable seedlings to growers across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. A couple of years ago, they started to enter the green life market and created a successful brand, called BOOM.


Dutch Food Safety Authority researches brown rot infection in roses
In October 2015, The Dutch Food Safety Authority (NVWA) was investigating potential brown rot infections among Dutch rose growers. Brown rot is a plant disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum. The bacterium is known as a pathogen in potatoes and poses no danger to public health.


Kenyan farmers preparing for El Niño
In October 2015, the preparations for El Niño were in full swing at many Kenyan farms. This weather phenomenon will cause heavy rainfalls in East Africa in November and could damage a lot of farms in that area. So, in order to minimize the damage to their farms, growers were preparing their greenhouses and crops. At Harvest Limited, a rose grower, preparations were also in full swing.



“Dutch trade hardly notices the Russian measures.”
"The Russians are still holding onto their position. In flowers from the Netherlands, insects are not allowed." Robert Roodenburg, Director of VGB, provided this answer when questioned about the current state of affairs in October. "In practice it is hardly noticeable. Most products simply cross the border. The Russians get the products here themselves. The Dutch exporter has in that sense little to worry about. On the other hand, the merchant is of course more cautious and the trade actually faces much worse economic conditions in the country compared with a year earlier."

CalFlowers leads effort to standardize flower shipping boxes
In October 2015, the California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers (CalFlowers), announced major steps to standardizing the boxes used to ship flowers from the field to users, who include wholesalers and retailers.



Sales success for AU waxflower varieties in USA Market
Wafex USA is the sister US trading company of Helix Australia and also distributes Helix Australia waxflower varieties to cut flower wholesalers across North America. WAFEX USA President Steve Dionne commented on the uptake of Helix Australia varieties in the US market. “At this time of year Australian waxflower faces very strong price competition from large volume waxflower plantings in Peru. The Peruvian plantations operate under a lower labor cost in addition to having access to cheaper freight rates…” said Steve.


"All Sweet Home Roses® booked by Major Norwegian garden center chain"
In October 2015, Roses Forever announce that the Norwegian consumers will be able to create a wonderful summer atmosphere with their pots on terraces from north to south in early spring 2016. A major Norwegian garden center chain booked all the Sweet Home Roses® available on the market from Roses Forever.


Photo report Canadian Greenhouse Conference '15
On October 7 and 8, the Niagara Falls was the place to be for the North American greenhouse industry. The 36th Canadian Greenhouse Conference and sold out trade show attracted a large amount of interesting visitors to the Scotiabank Convention Centre. Our colleagues of HortiDaily were also at the show to make a photo report.


"Cyclamen becoming more frivolous"
In October Beekenkamp Plants organised cyclamen trials. According to John Boenderof Beekenkamp Plants, the cyclamen cultivation in Europe is growing. One of the causes of this is the diversification in the assortment. "There is more variation in color and shape. The cyclamen becomes frivolous."

Da
nish affiliate of Sogo Team Ltd, Taiwan went bankrupt
In October, the Danish nursery Sogo Team ApS went bankrupt. Several Danish newspapers reported about the financial problems of this nursery, which is owned by Sogo Team Ltd in Taiwan, and specialized in breeding and producing Phalaenopsis. According to Fyens Stiftstidende a Danish grower took over the bankrupt company. The daily paper mentions a name of the possible buyer, but he denied it. For the time being, the new owner remains unknown. However, a Danish trustee should have confirmed the take-over.

Sun European acquires Finlays Horticulture
On October 14, James Finlay Limited (“Finlays”) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Horticulture business, Finlays Horticulture Investments (“Finlays Horticulture”) and its subsidiary companies to an affiliate of Sun European Partners, LLP (“Sun”) for an undisclosed sum.


British MP asks shoppers to back British flower industry
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has called on shoppers to back British-grown flowers following a visit to a Walberton nursery earlier this month. Ben Cross invited Mr Herbert to Crosslands Flower Nursery to see how he grows British Alstroemeria flowers, also known as the Lily of the Incas or Peruvian Lily, and highlight the difficulties faced by British flower farmers.


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