Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Eyal Inbar, Hishtil

"With our joint venture we can meet the demand from the US Growers"

"The new generation of consumers are interested in aesthetic and decorative plants and at the same time want to consume a fresh product from them. This is the conclusion we drew from our numerous meetings about defining the preferences of today's customers and what made us decide to develop a new and unique ornamental product that can be consumed directly. So, after conducting several trials we were able to put three, so-called, FunTaStick pepper tree varieties on the market." This is explained by Eyal Inbar Export Sales manager at Hishtil, an Israeli young plant grower.

The FunTaStick pepper is part of Hishtil's new concept which entails uniquely shaped edible ornamentals. This concept and subsequently the FunTaStick varieties were introduced at the IPM Essen 2015 in Germany and attracted a lot of attention. "Currently, the demand for these plants is high and keeps increasing. And with our new joint venture in North America we are now also able to meet the demand from the US growers," says Inbar.

Ofir Elasar and Eyal Inbar at the Cultivate'15 in Columbus Ohio in the USA.

The FunTaStick Pepper tree is a product developed by Hishtil’s R&D department. "It is a unique grafted plant, which Hishtil has a worldwide patent for," says Inbar. This decorative edible plant can be placed indoors and outdoors, if the temperature is not under 10 degrees Celsius. As well as the ornamental appearance, the peppers are also suitable for consumption. "The Medusa variety has a sweet flavor and sharp tip, and the Conic variety has a refined spicy flavor."

Maya Avni, Eyal Kleinberger and Ofir Elasar at the FlowerTrials in the Netherlands, last June.

The FunTaSticks are available in 12 cm and 15 cm pots. The time it takes to grow the plants to finished plants is 10-12 weeks for the 12 cm pot sizes and 12-14 weeks for the 15 cm pot sizes. According to Inbar, the growing method of this product is similar to that of regular peppers. "However, it can be grown by everyone as we provide technical support before and during the cultivation process. Our aim is that this plant will fit the cultivation processes of both ornamental and vegetable growers," says Inbar.

Increasing demand
According to Inbar, the demand for the FunTaStick pepper is high and is increasing nicely. "We only introduced it last January, during the IPM Essen, and we see a sharp increase in demand. Currently, the FunTaSticks are mainly grown in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, but there is also a high demand for this plant from the USA. However, due to the regulations over there, we could not export these products and therefore could not meet the demand. Fortunately, we will be able to supply the US growers with the first young plants in the beginning of next year as we established a joint venture in North Carolina, where we will graft and grow several vegetable varieties, including the FunTaSticks," he says.

This basil plant combines the performance of bonsai-tree with the desired aroma characteristics of Basil. Due to grafting, the basil will develop a real woody trunk and a decorative "Ball head". The plant can be placed in the window or in the garden and can be harvested all year round.

High demand Basil Tree in Asia
The Basil Tree is also part of Hishtil's new concept and are highly demanded in Europe and recently also in Asia. "We took part in the US Pack trials & Flower Trials in the Netherlands, and showcased our varieties. We met growers from Japan and South Korea and they were in love with this plant and ordered it right away," says Inbar. This boosted Histil's sales of this plant. "We started the production with small quantities and we produced hundreds of thousands of plants in 2015," says Inbar. "These Asian growers also showed a high interest for the FunTaSticks, but due to the same reason as the USA, the regulations, we cannot export them to Asia yet," he added.

More varieties in future
In the future, Hishtil is planning to add more varieties to its concept. Continuously, they are conducting trials, but introducing commercial varieties that are suitable for commercial production takes some time. "Next to the appearance, the taste of the vegetable is highly important. Medusa and Conic could be edible, but are more suitable for decoration. Next year, we hope not only to introduce completely new varieties, but we also hope to add new FunTaStick varieties that have an enhanced taste," says Inbar.

'Clean to eat'
All year round, Hishtil grows hundreds of species of young plant, herbs and vegetables, in specialized nurseries, which are located all over the world. They make use of their new concept: 'Clean to eat'. With this concept, all the production line is monitored to ensure health, avoid pathogens and pollutants. "We take care from the beginning; the water, growing media and sources of propagation materials." Besides that, the pests are also continuously monitored. "Due to the residue regulations and the different residue regulations in the EU, we use integrated pest management methods, adopt organic methods for pest control like natural predators, and develop new application systems that enable minimizing chemical control."

For more information
Eyal Inbar
T: +972 3 9373141