For climate protection:

AT: Regional flowers from Styria

Whether for a birthday, Mother's Day, or as a small gift in between, cut flowers are and remain a popular gift. However, very few buyers know about the origin of the plant decoration. "A large proportion of supermarket flowers no longer come from Europe. The main competition now comes from Africa," explains flower grower Stefan Wallner to the "Steirerkrone".

Our flowers travel halfway around the world by plane
In the south of Graz, he grows mainly roses and gerberas on 32,000 m² in his glass houses. And from there, he has to keep up with the international competition. Behind the global flower hub of the Netherlands (the largest exporter and third-largest importer of cut flowers), the biggest export countries are Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya, and Ethiopia - four developing countries where neither social nor conservation standards are nearly as high as in European operations.

Business with a lot of headwinds
"It's important to create awareness among people," Wallner says. After all, the few remaining domestic farms had recently faced additional headwinds due to massive energy price increases.

A year ago, we already reported on Wallner's cry for help: "I can't survive for long with these enormous energy prices," he said at the time. But Wallner has taken the reins into his own hands, invested a lot of money, and switched to LED lamps for lighting, for example.

Saving energy is also the order of the day for flowers
"I worked hard to reduce kilowatt consumption. Most recently, I was able to save 20 to 30 percent of the energy as a result," he says happily. The fact that electricity and gas are currently becoming somewhat cheaper again provides an additional boost. "Now it's possible to produce again."

And to stand up to international competition. Their flowers are cooled and flown to the world hub in the Netherlands. Austria also obtains around 90 percent of its imported flowers via this detour. This is also a debacle for the climate balance.

Source: Kronen Zeitung

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