Horticultural suppliers at Cultivate have certainly noticed a temporary setback in the industry, but they remain optimistic about a market recovery in the fourth quarter of this year and anticipate continued growth in 2024. The trade show, which began this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, features over 650 exhibitors, including numerous flower growers and suppliers showcasing their products and services.
Following nearly a decade of robust expansion, the North American horticultural industry experienced a slowdown in 2022. Investors' once fervent enthusiasm waned as interest rates increased and higher energy costs burdened the sector. Additionally, challenges in the vertical farming and cannabis markets further contributed to their lack of trust.
This trend persisted into 2023, with fewer new projects initiated. The reluctance to expand was also driven by the bankruptcy of Lakeside Produce, the insecurity surrounding AppHarvest, and the imminent sale of a large player in the industry - which didn't commence after it was pulled from the market.
However, suppliers remain hopeful for a market rebound by year-end and are eagerly anticipating a more positive outlook in 2024. One supplier remarked, "Although the quotes we've provided have yet to be confirmed, which takes much longer than before, even if only a few of them materialize, 2024 will be significantly better than 2023." The supplier also highlighted the growth in Mexico, where advancements in techniques have spurred expansion among growers from Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
Within the United States, lettuce projects are currently at the forefront, driven by their high level of autonomy and reduced reliance on labor—an ongoing challenge for growers.
So - back to the tradeshow, where suppliers are present to help growers deal with these challenges.
Global Horticultural: Lindsay Voogt, Sales, plant care tags, Helena Dyck, IPM consulting and sales, Andrew Boudry, representing Roam technology with Global Horticulture, and Filippos Potsios from Roam Technology, Huwa-San.
Tobias Fluhr and Thomas Hildebrand with Lock, showcasing their new Power drive and the LSC 40 control unit, which is a switch system that came out last year for Europe. They're also showing the SBE Farm Management System, this is their new App.
Damatex Greenhouse Control begun to integrate wireless sensors in their systems.
The team with Harnois expects the market to grow again, says Corenthin (Félix) Chassouant.
Also, the FloralDaily and HortiDaily teams are attending the show this year to make our photo report. Anything special you want to share? Send us an e-mail!