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October 16-31, 2015:

Dümmen Orange acquired by private equity, photo report IFEX, 641 chrysanthemum varieties on one plant and more

The second half of October 2015 took off with an announcement from Dümmen Orange: BC Partners firm buys Dümmen Orange. Funds advised by BC Partners (“BC Partners”), a leading private equity firm, have reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Dümmen Orange (“the Company”), from H2 Equity Partners and the Dümmen family. But more happened this month, below an overview:

Photo Report IFEX 2015
From 14 till 16 October 2015, growers, breeders and suppliers showcased their new and existing assortments at the IFEX in Tokyo, Japan. The show was held concurrently with the Gardex, Tool Japan, Agritech and Agrinext at the Makuhari Messe. was present to make a full photo report of the 12th edition of this show. Click here for the entire photo report.

Dümmen Orange's ambitious growth strategy worries small breeders
Dümmen Orange and its ambitious growth strategy worries small breeders. British private equity firm BC Partners acquires a majority stake in Dümmen Orange. This was announced last Friday, in a press release. Jean-Baptiste Wautier, Managing Partner at BC Partners is looking forward to backing Dümmen Orange as they pursue an ambitious growth strategy, fueled by investments in sales & marketing, advances in breeding technologies, and selective acquisitions. Especially the latter, selective acquisitions, are what worry the smaller breeders.

Japan: Merit Award for Mystery Lady Aster series
At the Flower Trials Japan 2015, the aster series Mystery Lady of the Danish breeder Nursery Raahöj, won a garden merit award in week 40. This prize was awarded by a famous Japanese Garden designer.

Danziger to introduce 30 new cut flower varieties
In October, Danziger, 'Dan' Flower Farm announced that they will launch more than 30 new varieties of cut flowers, that will be introduced to the market in the 2016 season.

Netherlands: New greenhouse for Kwekerij Piet Vijverberg
In the second half of October 2015, the construction of the new building started at Kwekerij Piet Vijververg at the Alkemadelaan in Monster, the Netherlands. This new greenhouse of 9400 m², will replace the old dipladenia greenhouse, which was destroyed last August, and it will also take a piece of newly acquired land. Kwekerij Piet Vijverberg will quit the production of dipladenia and use the new greenhouse for the production of phalaenopsis. The greenhouse is being built by VB Group.

UK: Neame Lea shows new nursery to 60 growers

David Ball of Neame Lea Nursery, gave 60 assembled growers an insight into the development of the family firm to an established ‘multiples’ supplier with, around, 40 acres of production on October 14, 2015. Also the designers and constructors of the new nursery and facilities, Kees Greeve bv, gave a talk on the ‘tailor made solution’ and how they work on turnkey projects.

China: 641 chrysanthemum species grow on same plant
In October 2015, China set another Guinness World record after successfully grafting 641 varieties of chrysanthemum onto the same plant in Kaifeng, Henan Province. The extraordinary chrysanthemum measures 3.8 metres in diameter and it took one year to cultivate, reported the Chinese language China News Service. The massive plant has about 1,500 blossoms.

Ethiopia: Fontana joins horticulture development in Bahir Dar
In October 2015, Fontana Flowers Plc, the largest Indian based horticulture company in neighbouring Kenya announced that they will begin operation of its horticulture farm in Ethiopia in the next few weeks at the cost of 11 million dollars. The company has leased 100ha of land at Wenjeta and Wegelta kebeles 20Km from Bahir Dar in the Amhara Regional State. Currently Fontana, which has hired 1,300 employees, is clearing land for growing roses and for warehouse construction. The company will exclusively grow different cut rose varieties. It will first start growing on 65ha, with a target revenue of 95.9 million dollars a year.

Photo Report: Royal van Zanten's basin renovation
"A nice project for a nice company," the men of GWW Van Daalen summed up the renovation of the water reservoir at Royal van Zanten. Between 7 and 15 October 2015 they completely renovated the existing basin. This meant draining, cleaning, removing the cover and foil, the dykes were re-secured, piping system adapted and new foil and cover were lined. Which resulted in a week's hard work at Rijsenhout, the Netherlands.

Vietnam to become a permanent fixture in Lufthansa Cargo network
In October 2015, Lufthansa announced that Vietnam is to become a permanent fixture of the Lufthansa Cargo route network as part of the new winter schedule. Following a successful test phase over the summer months, the cargo airline will be flying a Boeing 777F weekly to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN).

"A bright future for cut flower kalanchoes in Japan"
"The Queen cut flower kalanchoes will have a bright future in Japan," says Torben Pedersen of Hasfarm YoungPlants, a Vietnamese producer of Queen kalanchoe cuttings. Last week, this new flower won the Runner-up Flower Award for cut flowers at the IFEX in Tokyo, Japan. "Besides that, the auction price of the firstly harvested Japanese Queen cut flower stems were high," says Torben.

"Ethylene blockers to make sea freight more attractive"
Sea freight is becoming an increasingly more used means of transport. It is 40 percent cheaper than air freight and the temperature fluctuates less due to the enhanced refrigerated sea container technology and the fact that the containers are loaded only once. However, the longer transportation time is what often prevents perishable good producers from using sea freight as it affects the freshness and quality of the perishables. For Lytone Enterprise, Inc., a Taiwanese company with 15 years of post harvest experience, this is a well-known problem. For this reason, they spent years researching to find a solution, and they succeeded. They developed a tablet and sticker which blocks the ethylene gas adsorption and increases the shelf life of the perishable goods as a result.

"More growers to use peat free biodegradable pots"
Over the years, increasingly more growers have been investing in ways to grow more sustainably. Using biodegradable pots is a way that enables growers to enhance their environmentally friendly cultivation process. However, these pots are not always approved by every country or by every grower as many still contain peat. For this reason, Fertil, a French producer of biodegradable pots invested years in creating a peat free pot. "The worldwide demand for this type of biodegradable pot is high and the sales are still increasing," says Fred Schenk International Sales Manager at Fertil.

Brown rot infection identified in Dutch roses
In the extensive investigation into the extent of the outbreak of the brown rot bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum, the Dutch Food Safety Authority (NVWA) identified contamination at three rose growers in October 2015. Suspicious samples have been taken from two other plant growers and two rose growers. More companies are included in the investigation. The bacterium is known as a pathogen in potatoes and poses no danger to public health.

Ball Straathof exclusive distributer Danziger in 4 African countries
In October 2015, Danziger and Ball Straathof have announced a cooperation agreement making Ball Straathof the official and exclusive distributor of Danziger's products in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. Ball Straathof is one of the largest specialty seed and young plant companies in South Africa. It has offices in Johannesburg, distributes nationally and internationally and has vast experience in the Southern African market.

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