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Frands Jepsen, Queen Genetics:

Denmark: “Our ethylene resistant flowers lead to 25% more sales”

“For almost 20 years, we have been breeding for high ethylene resistance. Now that we have achieved the highest ethylene tolerant flowers on the market, tests show that they sell faster and lead to half the waste,” says Frands Jepsen, managing director at Queen Genetics. As it is one of their major goals to become more sustainable, the company has launched its Queen Grows Greener report. “It is important to show our customers that we are on a journey, on which they can follow along.”

Ethylene resistance
For almost 20 years, Queen Genetics has been breeding for more ethylene-resistant flowers. Jepsen explains that higher ethylene tolerance not only improves the flowers’ quality, and thus sales, but is also a major step towards more sustainability. “Ethylene is a natural gas released from ripening fruits and vegetables, exhaust gas, and candles. During transportation, flowers get exposed to high amounts of ethylene, and when the flowers arrive at the retailer and are placed next to the fruit and vegetables, that is furthering the aging process of the flowers. Many ethylene sensitive flowers can start to appear faded, closed, and withered within 48 hours under these circumstances.”

"Now that our breeding has achieved the highest ethylene tolerance on the market and extremely long-lasting flowers, the tests show that there are some major benefits. Our varieties sell 25% faster, leading to half the flower waste. When the flowers are more open and fresh, consumers are much more inclined to buy them, and because a lot of the waste in our industry is because plants don’t get sold on time, this is a great step towards being more sustainable.”


Queen Grows Greener
As increasing sustainability is one of the major goals for Queen Genetics, they decided to provide their customers with the opportunity to follow along on their journey. “Everything is about sustainability these days, and we notice the interest among our customers as well. Queen Grows Greener is our way of telling our customers that we are on a journey to become more sustainable and that we take it very seriously.” The report shows the many aspects in which the company is reducing its environmental impact. “From heating to packaging and transportation, all aspects are included in our journey. For example, we harvest the heat from the greenhouse at daytime, so that we can use it at night. Especially during the spring, summer, and fall, this is a great way to level out our energy consumption. So far, we have also replaced 20% of the lighting with LED lighting, reducing our energy consumption by 25%, and we are gradually increasing this number.”

Additionally, there are several Queen Grows Greener varieties available, which are naturally compact varieties grown with biological control only, without the use of any growth regulators. “Currently, we can grow our kalanchoe varieties, Juliette and Geneva, free from growth regulators in the growing process. This new flower concept is an essential part of the Queen Grows Greener strategy, and we will definitely be expanding the line.”


For more information:
Queen® Genetics
Frands Jepsen