Exhibitions are important ways to show your products to the world and last week would have been an important week for the international ornamental industry with two international exhibitions to be held in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, Covid-19 threw a spanner in the works. For many companies, a big disappointment and particularly for the ones who are really showing a physical product, which are many in the ornamental industry.
Rosa and Harley Eskelund at IFTF 2019 in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands.
"It is great to have special or new varieties, but how to show the world when all exhibitions in cancelled?", says Rosa Eskelund of Roses Forever. For many years, this Danish rose breeder showcases her products at large exhibitions, like IFTF, IPM Essen and the FlowerTrials and met the majority of her current licensed growers at these exhibitions. So how was 2020 without exhibitions then?
Breeding is not enough
Rosa is a passionate rose breeder and she quickly discovered that breeding alone is not enough. "I'm very proud of my recently introduced pot roses that are compact easy to grow and with big long lasting fragrant flowers. However, how to let the world know that these plants really exist? Usually, we always did by bringing them, our babies, to the exhibitions and show them to all our new, potential and existing licensed growers. It is something we do since the establishment of Roses Forever, 25 years ago, and it contributed to our growth and where we are now.
Good year so far
So how to grow when there are no exhibitions? It was one of the first questions Rosa asked herself when the first exhibitions were cancelled and when participating at an exhibition in 2020 became more and more unlikely. However - and according to Rosa quite surprisingly - so far, 2020 has not been that bad at all. Even though there were no exhibitions, she still received requests from new growers who asked for a license to grow one or more of their series. "It’s not only our roses in the pot roses series Infinity and Love Roses Forever there is a increased demand on, but also the garden rose series Plant’n’relax and Sweet Home Roses are growers ask for license to grow."
Jim The Viking Plant’n’relax garden rose. Medal winner 2019, Plant’n’relax I am Grateful Gold winner rose, and 'The Matador' gold winner 2020
Why a good year?
But what is the reason for this good year? Rosa: "Firstly, I think that we, as well as our growers, got more time when working from home. In the midst of the pandemic, they may have had more time to look for a new crop or answer our offer from last year. Secondly, the plant sales this year have been good. Many consumers stayed at home - no holiday far away - and therefore spent and invested more in their garden. Finally, we send new varieties to our main growers to test for production every year. Also from this selection, growers may have had good experiences and therefore increased their production."
Also this year, Roses Forever presented their product more and more via Social Media. "It was the only way to show our products to the growers and everyone else. We shared pictures and videos on our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn account."