“Orange is a multitask color and is in my opinion the most versatile color among all”, says Alessandro Ghione of NIRP International. And the sales figures appear to prove him right. “Over the last 15 years, the total sales of this color to direct markets and auction increased by over 10 percent.” The rose breeder saw the potential of this color many years ago and is therefore continuously investing in enhancing their range of orange varieties and developing new ones. One of their latest additions is Copacabana. “It has the capacity to adapt to different agronomic conditions, showing different high level products. But above all, the striking and perfect orange color is what makes it unique. It has great potential to become one of the greatest oranges ever.”
Team of NIRP International at the IPM Essen 2019 presenting Copacabana (on the left) and Hotspot (on the right)
Orange in the rose market
Most colors in roses are doing very well for a particular occasion, like red for Valentine’s Day, pink for Mother’s Day and yellow for Easter. But what about orange? It does not seem to be a color that is used for particular festivities, so how is the demand? According to Alessandro, it is responsible for quite a part of the total sales and has increased significantly. “Over the last 15 years, the total sales of orange increased by about 10 percent and can now easily take up 25% of total sales to direct markets and auction. It is a 'multitask' color, perfectly fitting into luxury arrangements or mixed bouquets for daily use. It is a color used for all occasions and not limited to holidays.”
Also at the FloraHolland auction, orange has an important share. "If we look at the top 25 varieties (auction) on Royal Floraholland, we see that the color orange is the 4th color, with a share of 17 percent", says Aart Buizer, Sales Manager at Fresco Flowers - a flower packing company located at the Royal FloraHolland auction in Aalsmeer and Rijnsburg. They check, pack and supply the flowers from several Kenyan rose growers.
So, orange is a good color that can be sold year round. However, retrieving the true orange color and fulfilling the growers’ cultivation expectations is quite a challenge, mentions Alessandro. After years of trialing and testing, they found this variety. “The color is what caught our attention. It is striking orange, which makes it unique.”
On top of that, this new orange rose seems to perform well on high and low altitudes. “Copacabana has got the capacity to adapt to different agronomic conditions showing at the end two different high level products for different markets – for retail when grown at a low altitude and for wholesalers and florists when produced at a high altitude. In practice it is like having two different varieties, both carrying great characteristics even though very different from each other. The striking and perfect orange color – which is probably difficult to emulate for many years to come - is the link between the varieties and characterizes Copacabana." According to Alessandro, it has great potential to become one of the greatest oranges ever.
Not only NIRP's team was impressed by the color of Copacabana; the growers were too. "The color is one of the main reasons for the rose growers to start growing them." In the first semester of 2019, it was introduced on the direct market and in the second semester at the auction. So, how is the demand for this variety now it has been actually put on the market?
Top orange varieties sold at the FloraHolland auction
"Copacabana is still at the beginning. Orange is especially popular in Germany, but this is also a traditional market and loyal to the old familiar varieties. Therefore, the top 3 in orange varieties sold at the FloraHolland action are the well-known older varieties", says Buizer.
Stems orange roses per country (auction)
Nevertheless, he has high hopes for Copacabana. With the positive features of the Copacabana, such as vase life and the pure orange color, there will be a market for a new fresh orange rose. "I expect the share Copacabana will probably substantially increase every year."
Alessandro is pleased with the number of growers who started to plant Copacabana and the positive reactions they received so far. However, their entrance to the Ugandan growers enabled by Copacabana excites him even more, and further boosts his trust in this variety. "Since several months also growers in Uganda decided to start growing Copacabana. It will be the first NIRP variety planted in this country after the very well known first red."