Interview with Heike Gronemann

"FleuroStar brings breeders and retail closer together"

Every year the international organization for the ornamental plants industry Fleuroselect presents the FleuroStar award. This is awarded to an innovation, which has the strongest 'wow-factor'; a pot or bedding plant that immediately catches the eye on the shop floor or anywhere else.

In the following, Heike Gronemann talks about the intention and added value of the FleuroStar.

1. Who are you and what do you do?
Heike Gronemann, Business Manager Cuttings at Sakata Ornamentals B.V. In recent years I have focused on expanding the business, now I am concentrating on the production of our cuttings. Furthermore I am chairwoman of the FleuroStar jury. Every year I have the honor, among other things, to announce the new winner and to present the award.

Left: the winner of the FleuroStar 2018/19, the osteospermum Purple Sun of Selecta. On the right: Heike Gronemann

2. FleuroStar is looking for the winner with the wow factor. Do you succeed in this?
I do think so. Every year the competition crowns an eye-catching product that is very successful for the winning company. As a result, FleuroStar creates a very interesting interaction between all parties in the chain. Garden centers, supermarkets, distribution find their way to the source easier, to the breeding, so that new products move faster to the point of sale. At the same time, FleuroStar is for the breeder a motivation to develop special cultivars, products that are very attractive in retail. Also partly thanks to this award, we now choose, next to the classical range, also consciously for special crops and varieties, an evolution that is highly appreciated by traders.

3. What is the greatest strength of FleuroStar?
FleuroStar is a concept from Fleuroselect, the international organization of breeders in pot and bedding plants. Their main aim is to support the development of new ornamental plants. The expertise that is represented in this organization is invaluable.
4. How can growers / retailers make use of this competition?
FleuroStar creates a momentum to make new connections. For growers and retailers, it is an excellent opportunity to establish new contacts with breeders and to renew and / or expand the existing range.

5. What is currently the biggest challenge for potted and bedding plant breeders?
Our biggest challenge is to keep the focus on the consumer. We must develop products that follow the latest trends that fit the lifestyle of the future consumer. Sustainability and user-friendliness are key concepts here. Potting soil, packaging... , as a breeder we can also make a contribution in that area. Our biggest challenge is not only to create beautiful plants but also to develop products that go with lasting consumer trends.

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