December 1-15, 2015:

Low prices Ethiopian roses, El Niño threatens Colombian rose production, good schlumbergera season and more

December took off negatively for some growers, the prices for Ethiopian cut roses were still under pressure and El Niño also seemed to affect the quality of the Colombian roses. However, the Danish potted rose grower Rosa Danica, who grows schlumbergeras for Christmas had a good season. But more happened this month, like the distribution agreement between Danziger and Kolster, the acquisition of Bercomex by Schouten and the acquisition of Geerings Horticulture Products by LC Packaging. Below a short overview:

Auction prices Ethiopian cut roses still under pressure
In the beginning of December 2015, the auction prices for cut roses were still under pressure. Even though the prices seem to have improved a little bit over the last few weeks, they have again come under pressure. Now, all hopes are pinned on the Christmas sales. This is explained by Abebe Shiferaw Workneh of Tana Flora, an Ethiopian rose farm that grows around 21 varieties in a 38 ha sized greenhouse. Their main market is Europe, which they mainly supply through the FloraHolland auction in the Netherlands.

NZ: Strong winds destroy greenhouses at Marlborough garden centre
A popular garden centre run by a local charitable trust has taken a hit after strong gales ripped the roofs off two greenhouses, causing $10,000 damage and leaving stock at risk.

Canada (AB): High Q Greenhouses to offer Night Sky petunia plugs
High Q Greenhouses, in AB Canada, is proud to be a "root and sell" grower for Selecta plants. In December 2015, they announced that they are going to propagate and offer Selecta's new headliner series Petunia NightSky to growers all over Western Canada. "We just have limited availability with this petunia variety," says Naomi Gowing of High Q Greenhouses.

Danziger & Kolster sign European distribution agreement
Aiming at expanding the sales and marketing efforts of its cut-flower variety range in Europe, Danziger reached an agreement with Kolster BV of Boskoop, Netherlands to distribute Danziger cut flower varieties. Kolster is a company in the cut-flower industry, with a presence in Holland, the UK, Germany, Switzerland and several other European countries. In December 2015, they announced that Kolster will be the official and exclusive distributer of Danziger's products in Europe, excluding Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Early frosts threaten Colombian Valentine's Day rose production
Colombian growers are also affected by El Niño; a phenomenon that influences the ordinary weather conditions in different parts of the world. In Colombia, it causes early frosts at nighttime, which negatively impacts the flower production. "If the nights become too cold, it might even kill the entire production," said Alejandro Llano of Unique Collection farm, a rose grower with farms in Ecuador and Colombia.

Netherlands: Schouten to assume 100% ownership of Bercomex
In the beginning of December 2015, it was announced that AG Schouten Beheer BV of Kampen is to take over the remaining 50% interest of the Kroese family, thus assuming full ownership of Bercomex BV of Hoorn as of early 2016. Gerben Schouten is to succeed Hayko Kroese as managing director. In 2012, Schouten took over 50% of Bercomex shares from company founder Roland Kroese. In consequence of the decision by the Kroese family to retire entirely from the business, the remaining shares will now also be transferred to Schouten.

Bill Gates visits EdenParks botanical garden in Kuwait
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, visited the Botanical Garden in Bayan Palace on Monday, December 9. Gates was accompanied by the chief of the accompanying mission of honor, Advisor at Amiri Diwan Dr. Yousef Hamad Al-Ibrahim.

UK: Dobbies garden centers £48m in red
Tesco’s garden centre chain, Dobbies, has slumped £48m into the red after writing down the value of its stores. The Scottish-based chain increased sales by 8% to £153m in the 53 weeks to 1 March. But it slid to a big loss from a pre-tax profit of £6.6m in the prior year, after booking £54.4m in impairments on assets, including stores. Excluding the impairments, profits were down 9% to £6m.

Europe: "Successful season for schlumbergeras"
"It is a very successful season for our schlumbergeras. The average prices are higher and this week, we will be sold out completely," says Torben Ryg, Salesmanager at Rosa Danica, a Danish potted rose grower who supplies European countries with schlumbergeras from October till Christmas.

UK: LC Packaging acquires Geerings Horticulture Products
In December LC Packaging, a company in packaging for industry and agriculture, announced that they acquired Geerings Horticultural Products with immediate effect. Geerings Horticultural Products has been one of the UK’s foremost suppliers of floristry, plant and horticultural packaging since 1903 and was purchased by LC Packaging to expand its range and the market sectors it serves.

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