“Sometimes the longtime growers that are developed inside their company for years, need someone professional from outside who will come and say: ‘ok, we see that you lose a lot of money, because you do not correctly use top heating pipes”, says Bohdan Tustanivskyi of ProfiFlora, referring to a recent case. “For several years a grower spent thousands and thousands of euros because of not using the climate pipe correctly.”
Bohdan Tustanivskyi and Viktor Hado at IFTF 2019.
The Polish company provides agro-consulting for rose growers around the world in four main directions: irrigation, biological protection, climate and plant service. “All Greenhouses and owners have completely different necessities and need another advice. We do see that all growers are optimizing their costs to the max. This is very important especially on the markets where stable price for roses last 5 years. For example in Poland from 2020 the price of electricity is expected to go up 50%. However, this does not mean that price of roses also will go up. Because there is Ecuador, Kenya and Ethiopia to compete with. They can only win the competition by growing more.”
Tustanivskyi does not think in several years the Kenyan and Ecuadorian roses will have the monopoly position in the market. “We are talking of completely different products. Usually, roses from South America are in the more exclusive segment, roses from Africa have shorter stems and are cheaper. European roses: somewhere in the middle. These are liked by national clients for the main reason that they are fresh. Logistics is always at the expense of quality.”
“However, there are ways to win the competition. Growers need to analyze their position in the market constantly. It is very important to make sure you are growing varieties the market actually wants. In Eurasia we still see growers that plant a certain variety, which is absolutely non-profitable year after year.”
Given the increasing electricity costs in Eurasia, Tustanivskyi expects there is a future for LED lighting. “But it is still some way off. We have not seen fantastic results in tested areas, and most importantly, LED don’t heat, whereas HPS do. Growers here rather go for hybrid lighting.”
300 roses per square meter
On their company website ProfiFlora wrote that they guarantee 300 roses per square meter. “That is ambitious. However, we believe every grower can manage it, step by step. When we visit the company at first, we make a very deep audit and give a series of advices of what the grower should change to get better result. We let them know what we expect the investment will cost and what the results will be.
Usually greenhouses grow different varieties, a mix of quantity and more special varieties. But even companies that produce one variety, for example Red Naomi, we can get the result, even without the best technologies.”
Teaching step by step
ProfiFlora offers different consultancy packages, from long-distance consultation to a full-time agronomist at the greenhouse. “We communicate a lot with our clients via Whatsapp. The main thing is that we don't manage. Instead, we teach people and give them all our knowledge. For example when we show how tie plants - we give all step by step instructions without hiding any details.”
“Our contracts are based on ‘pay for performance’. It means that we take monthly just only part of the reward, the main part is needed to be paid when we will reach the needed result together.” He laughs: “Usually, owners quickly agree because they don't believe that they can cut for example 3 million roses per year from 1 hectare with 12000 luxes lighting. But then, they have to admit they can.”