Growers in Denmark are hit by the energy crisis as well. In 2022, four ornamental nurseries had to close their doors, some were bought by other large companies, and some are renting out their land and looking for opportunities to get back in business. All in all, it has been a challenging year, but growers are optimistic and continue investing in their operations and in solutions to become more sustainable. "We notice that the growers see this crisis as an opportunity to improve and be more innovative, and they seem to be more eager to be involved in the greener direction," says Line Hougaard Andersen of the Danish marketing association Floradania.
Line Hougaard Andersen and Peter Larsen-Ledet of Floradania at Gartneriet Thoruplund, “Flowers for you by Thoruplund.”
As for many growers in Europe, the energy crisis has been, and still is, one of the main challenges. Whereas for many Dutch growers, the gas prices are the bottleneck that the high electricity costs are for the Danish growers.
"The majority of the growers use central heating, so they are not as affected by the high gas prices. However, the prices of electricity have skyrocketed. Fortunately, as the electricity prices have been relatively high for the last five years, many nurseries have started to upgrade their facilities with solutions like LED light and new curtains to lower their energy consumption. Governmental funds have also been available for this reason, to help growers improve their energy saving."
No significant drop in demand compared to the years before COVID-19
Denmark did see a significant drop in demand, along with the energy crisis, as the war in Ukraine started. However, this significant drop should be seen in comparison with both the years during, and prior to, Corona.
"In 2020 and 2021, the demand for plants and gardening was high, and have been higher than they were for an extended period. If we compare 2022 to the years before Corona, we still see a slight drop in demand, but not a significant one, says Line Hougaard Andersen. Currently, Denmark has 85 growers, and the majority of what is being produced is being exported, around 70%. The main markets are Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands."
Growers are optimistic
According to Hougaard Andersen, growers are optimistic. "I talked to several small and large growers, and they all seem to be optimistic. 2022 has definitely been worse than the peak years of 2020 and especially 2021, and sales were also a bit lower than in pre-covid years, but still, growers are optimistic. In 2022 many growers forecasted the year with the statistics of the year before, so there was quite some overproduction. But this year, and actually since the pandemic, more and more growers and retailers are working with pre-bookings. It was mainly boosted during the pandemic when retailers wanted to secure their products. Now, both growers and retailers seem to favor this way of working as it gives both the grower and retailer more security, while in the past, it was more of a gamble. Now, they downscale their production and try to produce more on these pre-bookings."
Investing in sustainability
The Danish growers have been working on sustainable production for years. In particular, the move towards protecting the crop with 100% biological products or solutions is one they have been working on for almost 30 years now. And over the last few years, they are seeing the demand from both growers, retailers, and consumers increase.
"We see that growers are looking for more sustainable solutions, and the end consumer is becoming more aware of where their products come from and how they are produced," says Line Hougaard Andersen. To support and inform the growers, Floradania arranged workshops about how growers can work with sustainability and in particular according to the UN sustainable development goals (SDG).
Besides making their own production and businesses greener, increasingly more growers are involved in different collaborations to make the environment greener and restore natural areas. "Some, for example, collaborate with agencies and municipalities in order to limit the discharge of pesticides and fertilizers that potentially can pollute the environment," Line says. "This shows that growers are committed to contributing to a better environment in all kinds of ways."
Handelspladsen – the ornamental trade fairs in Odense
Eager to meet the growers? Four times a year, in spring, summer, autumn, and winter, Floradania organizes 'Handelspladsen,' a trade fair for pot plants. The first one will take place on March 8 and 9. Click here to see all other dates. In March, around 60 growers will showcase their products.
For more information:
Tel.: +45 6592 6266