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Capella petunia series stealing the show

Israel: A visit to Danziger's NovemberFest 2019

With over 800 varieties on display, Danziger's NovemberFest 2019 has come to an end. More than 100 guests from all over the world visited their R&D location in Mishmar HaShiv'a, Israel during this month-long event.

NovemberFest is about meeting Danziger’s experts and industry leaders together to discuss new genetics and plans for the next seasons. Visitors gained exposure to new and existing genetics, marketing concepts, engaged in setting future trends by sharing their experience with colleagues from different geographies, and enjoyed some quality fun times, good food and sightseeing together in perfect weather.

Liat Shemer (Global Marketing Manager) and Amir Zuker (VP Research & Development ) in between the plants.

“For us NovemberFest is a great opportunity to meet our customers and discuss current and future needs, we believe these discussions are what makes our genetic valuable for our customers“ says Amir Dor, Director of Sales - Annuals & Perennials

Doug and his daughter Kenna Cole of DS Cole from the US checking out the retail ideas.

The most popular series - visitors' choice
Throughout November, many growers, young plant producers, journalists, industry leaders and trend setters from around the world selected their most favorite varieties by using a new scanning system. These selections give a good insight into what's popular. Out of the 3,000 different scans that were made, the series Petunia Hybrida Capella™ was the most selected series with the Capella Cherry Vanilla™ (new 2021) as the most scanned variety.

CAPELLA™ Cherry Vanilla.

At the top 5 popular series you can also find Vanessa™ (Verbena hybrida), Gem™ (Lantana) and Colibri™ (Chalibrachoa hybrida). (Click here to see the top 15 most popular series)

From the most popular varieties there is the new introduction of Hippy Chic™ (Petunia hybrid) and Eyeconic Sunset™ and Ombre™ Pink (both Calibrachoa hybrid) that are new and very promising varieties. (Click here to see the top 5 most popular varieties

Hippy Chic™ Violet was also present to see their large display - probably one of the largest displays created by one breeder - with all their existing and new 2020-21 and even showing what's in the pipeline for 2022. In total, 1,000 flowering pots in 50 different crops and 60 series created a sea of colors. This year, the main categories were; inspire, explore and innovate and for the first time, they showcased retail ideas in an extended retail inspirational display. 

Ayala Zilberman, Sales Manager Europe at Danziger, showing  customers around.

90 novelties on display
For many years, this Israeli annual, perennial and cut flower breeder is inviting their customers to their R&D facility in Mishmar HaShiv'a, Israel. Most of their customers who are growing annuals and perennials are visiting the facility during this time of the year as it is in between their seasons. "Therefore, we branded this bedding plant event as NovemberFest. Then, guests can schedule it in their agenda", says Amir Dor, Director of Sales - Annuals & Perennials. At this event, growers can see the newest novelties and decide which they want to trial." In total, around 90 novelties were on display.

Inspire, explore and innovate
The three main categories this year were inspire, explore and innovate. "With inspire, we inspire the growers how they can present their plants in retail." To visualize, this year we extended our retail inspirational display and presented 5 retail solutions for 5 different series, see below.

The retail ideas for the series Scoop, Splash, Sol-luna, Vanessa and Capella and Amore. (Click here for the enlarged picture)

The next category is explore, "With explore we show the trends pin production and in general what's going on in the world."The third and final category is innovate. "And this is what Danziger is all about", says Liat Shermer. "R&D is Danziger's essence department with more than 100 people all over the world. Creating innovative varieties is what we do. Especially nowadays people are more open for a change and are actively looking for something new. 'New is sexy'."

Currently, Danziger has 46 annual, 19 perennial and 30 cut flower crops in their assortment and the numbers are going up each year. But where does it all start? "The base is in Israel", says Amir Zuker, VP Research & Development at Danziger and according to him, this is a huge advantage for breeding heat-resistant varieties. "With the earth warming up, breeding the varieties in a hot climate is a plus." After breeding a variety, they do trials all over the world to check that the varieties are performing well in the different climates, before commercializing it."

In order to breed more accurate and accelerate breeding, they use different techniques. "We are almost scientific breeders." Besides Genotyping, they also built another technology named phenotyping. "It is a unique technology that we built here. With genotyping, we look at the DNA markers and eliminate the seedlings without a desired trait at an early stage. Then, with phenotyping, we are more observant and we use digital technologies to check the growing progress of a variety."

In Danziger's R&D departments both in Israel and global, we have over 100 employees working, making it one of the industry's largest R&D departments."

Zuker is working for Danziger for 20 years now and for the last 7 years as the R&D manager. Over the years, which variety is he most proud of? "They are all my 'children', so it is very difficult to say. However, as a breeder, when you achieve creating something different, something really different, it makes you very proud. Vanessa Verbena, Lia Calibrachoa, and Sol-luna New Guinea, for example, are now varieties that I am very proud of."

Osnat Yanai, Cell Culture Research Manager.

Tissue culture lab
In the tissue culture lab, they keep a clean stock of all Danziger's varieties. It takes four stages to produce the in vitro plantlets. Osnat Yanai, Cell Culture Research Manager tell us the stages: "The first stage is introduction and establishment of aseptic culture. We'll disinfect the in vivo plant material and then wait for 2 to 3 weeks to see if they are free of contamination. Then, with the clean in vitro material, we continue and go to the next stage; multiplication, where shoots are being multiplied. The third stage is rooting, followed by acclimatization and transplant to the soil. In this in vitro bank of Danziger, thousands of varieties are being grown and maintained as a disease-free, vegetative,  genetic stock which is also used to renew all of Danziger's commercial varieties at the production sites all over the world." 

Danziger Marketing team with our Editor Elita Vellekoop

Cut flowers
Novemberfest is a real bedding plant event, but at this location also cut flowers are being bred. We had the chance to quickly meet the breeder. Danziger owns a large assortment of cut flowers as well but the Scoop® Scabiosa and Xlence® are the varieties they are mostly known for. "In gyps, we are the worldwide leaders and for the Scoop® scabiosa, we made a new cut flower crop, including focal scoop® (with a 6-8 head size and 60-80 cm stem length) that we made." 

IPM Essen and AIPH Awards
Eager to meet the Danziger team? They will be exhibiting at the IPM Essen 2020 in Germany in Hall 2 at stand 2D40.

And this year will be a special IPM Essen edition for Danziger as their facility in Guatemala is nominated for the AIPH awards, that will take place the first evening of the IPM Essen show


For more information:
Liat Shemer
Email: [email protected]