Italian horticulture strives to lift itself up and sends out signs of confidence in a possible sector recovery. In September, despite problems related to the Covid emergency, 30% of companies showed a significant improvement in performance (with turnover up from 15% to over 30%). The share of companies claiming to have reacted positively to the crisis is also up, with signs of good resilience and a desire to make a new start (53% against 38% in June).
Picture from the Flormart 2019 edition
This is the picture emerging from the second survey by Flormart Green City Report, the observatory on new trends in the sector launched by Fiera di Padova in June 2020 as part of the “Data Monitor” project.
“The signs from our observatory are positive for the sector”, affirms Luca Veronesi, CEO of Padova Hall, owner of the Fiera di Padova brand responsible for developing the exhibition centre. “This second survey continues the journey that will take us from the lockdown to December 1, when the green community will finally be able to meet again face-to-face in the utmost safety at the Flormart City Forum where we will be presenting the third and final survey. This will give us precise and exhaustive indications on the evolutions underway in the sector”.
The Report's findings
There is an increase in the percentage of companies declaring that their performance is increasing slightly or strongly (30% compared to 18% in June). Expectations are stable or positive for 72%, compared to 52% in June.
The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly left its mark on the sector (substantial or moderate for 85% of the sample) and the picture for the third quarter shows no apparent improvement with respect to the previous period. But the good news is that the industry's reaction seems significantly better compared with the last quarter, with 53% of operators claiming they have reacted well, compared to 38% in June.
The survey also took stock of the latest trends and orientations among green supply chain operators. What characteristics will urban green spaces have in the coming years? At the top of the list are communal gardens and allotments (36% of answers), extensive green roofs (35%) and recreational gardens and parks (33%). The direction that seems to emerge is towards communal use of green spaces. Among interventions in urban areas, enhancement of the existing prevails (65% of answers). Compared to June, in September there was, however, a slight tendency towards innovation, with an increased propensity to create new areas (from 36% to 42%) or adopt new solutions.
As far as market segments are concerned, the most promising are related to the “raw material” and its uses: plants and design and maintenance of green spaces (stable or growing for 9 out of 10 operators). The machinery and recreational/sports furniture sectors are, on the other hand, in greater difficulty, although the outlook is stable, rather than negative.
The results of the survey were presented during the online Flormart OnLife Roadshow held on Tuesday 6 October. The webinar saw the participation of a number of leading operators in the Italian green supply chain who exchanged views on “Urban green spaces, preserving historical green areas and the quality of cities”. Taking part in the webinar were Luca Veronesi, Padova Hall CEO, Renato Ferretti (Italian Order of Agronomists and Foresters, CONAF), president of Flormart's technical-scientific committee, Giorgio Strappazzon (President of the Italian Association of Green Roofs and Walls, AIVEP), Maurizio Crasso (Harpo Spa), Francesco Mati (Mati 1909), Novella B. Cappelletti (Director Paysage) and Antonio Maisto (President of the Italian Association of Green Space Constructors, Assoverde).
With 167 participants, the survey gathers together the points of view of sector operators, including producers, designers, agronomists, administrators and academics. The Report documents the operators’ moods, gathers ideas and trends and measures market outcomes and expectations, providing participants with key insights for effective decision making. Findings and data analysis by GRS Research & Strategy.
The snapshot of the sector, based on the data collected in the various surveys, will be previewed at Flormart City Forum 2020, a special event dedicated to urban and extra-urban green spaces scheduled for December 1 at Fiera di Padova.
The survey can be downloaded at this link https://flormart.it/it-IT/flormart-green-city-report
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