2021 has been a good year, but marked by high and increasing prices in almost every category. So, how will 2022 be? Will the end consumer be ready to pay a higher price? Will growers be able to survive the high rises in energy prices? Will all growers get the pots they ordered, to produce the number of plants they have planned? In this article, Claes Bastrup of Danish nursery PKM looks back on 2021 and forward to 2022.
2021 - A year full of challenges
According to Bastrup, 2021 has been a year filled up with many challenges and unpredictable tasks for all growers. "The continued impact of COVID-19, rising prices for pots, trays, sphagnum, and so on and most recently the huge rises in energy prices have hit our industry very hard".
At PKM, they have experienced an exciting year, with both ups and downs, he explains. "It has been a learning process to follow our Muehlenbeckia, with a huge demand in the spring, where we did not have plants enough - to a very low demand in the autumn, and now we are pushing quite a few plants in front of us. We also got both Crassula Schmidtii, Crassula Rosularis and different Sedum varieties in our assortment and we have tested Bouvardia and new Lavender varieties. The Campanula season has been good, and we are pleased with and proud of the feedback we receive from some of our customers. The Schlumbergera season went almost perfect, and we were able to report that we were sold out early. Regarding the Gentians we were challenged but had to fight our way through - here we have made several improvements, which should ensure a better production and thereby a good 2022 season."
Initiatives to become greener
During 2021, PKM has worked with several initiatives that makes them greener. One of these is to reduce their plastic consumption. "By the end of January, we will be able to present new designs of both sleeves and wraps. We will continuously be switching to using only paper wraps, and we will introduce a nice paper sleeve. These initiatives will reduce our consumption of plastic."
Another initiative to support the green profile they envision is that they have continuously made new and more energy-efficient investments. "Among other things, we invested in new energy-optimized growth lights in some of our greenhouses, we have replaced some of our curtains with high insulating and we have improved our utilization of the greenhouse area."
Expectations for 2022
So, what to expect for 2022? Besides being excited about their 2022 assortment, Bastrup highlights several challenges that the industry will face in 2022. "Will the end consumer be ready to pay a higher price? Will growers be able to survive the high rises of energy prices? Will all growers get the pots which they have ordered, to be able to produce the number of plants they have planned?"
Essential is the challenge if the end consumer wants to and will be ready to pay a higher price for a plant. "It is important that the industry stand together now and fight for better prices for our products and it is more important now than ever. Better prices will give us all the opportunity to secure our workplace and give us the opportunity to make investments that can ensure an even greener production."
At PKM they are sure the customers are willing to pay more for the plants and therefore they choose to look positive into 2022. "Therefore we have also decided to keep on going with the “greener” PKM."
Usually, the team of PKM meets a lot of their customers at IPM Essen in Germany, but unfortunately, the 2022 is cancelled. For this reason they look forward to their customer visits at their nursery in Odense. "We look forward to present some of the many things we work with every day."