Producing in suitable countries has always been one of the most difficult decisions for breeding and propagation companies. Climate, labor costs, and logistics are key determinants to be considered. Since 2017, Elsner pac has developed their southern production in Portugal, besides their large mother plant location at Lake Naivasha, Kenya, where pelargonium, dianthus, and more hardy crops are multiplied.

"In Portugal, we produce mainly solanaceae, lobelia, and more sensitive crops at the highest possible hygiene level. The mother plants for herbs and pot potatoes are even bio-certified," confirms managing director Christoph Hoffmann. A large proportion of the cuttings and young plants arrive safely from there by road in refrigerated trucks instead of air shipments, which have posed major challenges to off-shore producers in the industry, especially in the recent past.

That the decision in favor of Portugal was the right one is confirmed this year by many grower customers, who are supplied from there. "Especially in times of crisis, locations within Europe are more in demand than ever." Currently, the production area covered by greenhouses lies at 3 ha, with plans to be further expanded.

Additionally, outdoor spaces for production are allocated to the site. "We are convinced that our location is perhaps the best location in Europe to produce calibrachoa and petunia," adds Jörg Mehle, sales manager at Elsner pac.

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Elsner pac