“We have grown into one of the biggest Italian floriculture companies, and are excited to celebrate this milestone,” says Tommaso De Angelis, Marketing Manager of Flora Toscana, a cooperative of growers based in Pescia in Tuscany. Over the years, Flora Toscana has reached over 250 members and its core businesses are the production and sale of cut flowers and pot plants and the supply of agricultural technical facilities. De Angelis reflects on the road to their 50th anniversary, their preparations for the busiest time of year, and how to seize opportunities during uncertain times.
On September 16 2021, it will be Flora Toscana’s 50th anniversary. De Angelis explains the journey to reaching this milestone. “Flora Toscana was established in 1971 in Pescia, and from then onwards we have been growing into one of the biggest Italian companies in floriculture. We started with the classical kind of sales, and expanded to supermarkets and foreign markets over the years. Now, we are preparing for the future and focusing on digitalization. After all these years, all of our founders and members are very proud of this milestone and our history. Since the start, we have remained a cooperative of growers with the goal to provide growers with the shortest link to the market possible. In addition, we focus on sustainability and providing growers with everything they need to properly produce.” On Saturday, Flora Toscana is celebrating the occasion with their employees and members of the cooperative. Here, they will organize a roundtable discussion with leading exponents of the Italian cooperative world, where they will discuss the company’s history, as well as the past, present, and future of the floriculture industry.
All Saints’ Day: peak in chrysanthemum sales
While preparing a party, Flora Toscana is also getting ready for one of the busiest times of the year. “Our growers are traditionally great growers of chrysanthemums, which is the most sold flower in Italy for November 1, which is All Saints’ Day. Therefore, the end of October is an important period for us, as our flower sales increase severely. We are already getting prepared, as there is such a big quantity of flowers managed in just a couple of days, which means a lot of coordination is necessary.”
“Changes bring opportunities”
De Angelis also reflects on the impact of the pandemic, and shares a hopeful and positive look towards the future. “The pandemic has had an immense impact in our industry. Because of the increased demand, we have had a really good spring, and we are hoping that the rest of the year will remain positive so that we can recover from the previous losses.” De Angelis says that it is important to be prepared for the uncertain future. “We don’t know how long COVID-19 will have an impact on everyone, and there will definitely be a severe distinction between ‘before’ and ‘after’ the pandemic. Therefore, the next years are uncertain, as we don’t know how the market and trends are going to evolve; will people still buy flowers the same way? We need to stay optimistic and seize the opportunities that the changes bring us. For example, at Flora Toscana we are improving the digital connection of our company, as well as improving procedures so that we can be a more flexible company.”
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