Page 1

Getting together

It’s not easy being green Case

Financing horticulture Country

Italy: Italian horticulture shaping the future

March-April 2018 Theme


Super Nursery New state-of-the-art Greenhouse in London Greg McErlean, The Royal Parks Director of Programmes and Projects

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Production, that’s what it’s all about

Contents Minds



f you are in a philosophical mood you might wonder what in horticulture is really unmissable. Is it the trade? Is it marketing? Is it the auction? Or floristry? Or supermarkets? We think the one really unmissable thing in horticulture is production. That’s why we made it the central theme of this issue of FloraCulture International. Production is unmissable because without producers and products there wouldn’t be exporters or supermarkets selling flowers and plants or florists or marketeers or a new development which adds value to products. Producers and consumers. That’s what it’s all about. Therefore in this issue you will find various aspects of production. From the pots you grow your plants in to the bank that finances your nursery and everything in-between. But of course next to production there’s more. We focus on Europe, the old continent, analyzing mature markets like Germany and emerging markets like Poland. We have our eye on Italy, Europe’s sophisticated lady who seems a bit in trouble. And naturally there are interesting columns and lots of other things to read about. Again we tried to make your reading FloraCulture International worthwhile. Let us know what you think at: FCI Team

Cover story

The story of Pöppelmann Combining the right plants with the right pots. Being in constant contact with the market and understanding customer needs is a key factor for product innovation.


Cover story

BIOAGRUMES The French-based flowering pot plant company switched to organic citrus production. Now they are working hard to fulfill the next three goals of their development plan.


Cover story

The Royal Parks With the state-of-the-art greenhouse in the middle of London due to open in April 2018, FCI talked to Greg McErlean and Mark Wasilewski about the ‘super nursery’ project.



Creating a world of pleasure

Predictions and consequences

Fred van Tol International Development Manager Royal FloraHolland Representing international flower growers

John Ingwerson CEO Jungle Jack’s Plumerias

FloraCulture International March-April 2018

Buon Giorno Arturo Croci Journalist and writer and a walking encyclopedia of Italian ornamental horticulture





Analysing Europe Connecting Italian horticulturalists

Germany and Poland, two countries that share a border, but are miles apart when it comes to horticulture.


Different markets Germany, is a mature market for flowers and plants, while Poland is a developing maket, we take a look at the differences between these neighbours.

ANVE, The National Association of Nursery Stock Exporters is a vital link between growers and national and international institutions. Customs


just some of the topics they assist growers with. 14

Vitroflora’s CEO Tomasz Michalik tells us why the focus is on quality not quantity.


From Liguria to Sicily, Arturo Croci takes us on a tour of Italy, giving us the ins and outs of the Italian horticulture industry along the way.


Polish pride


City: Pistoia

A transformed industry European capital of the Nursery Stock industry and 2017 Italian Capital of Culture, Pistoia has undergone changes in the past few years which have had a big influence on the landscape of the industry.

Sharing events

We share highlights of upcoming events that could be of interest to you

Country: Italy

A country of changes and challenges

aspects, public funding, environmental issues are

Continent: Europe


Up close

Pazzaglia, Getting things done

This issue looks at Dutch Lily Days, Flower Trials and Salon du Vegetal

From small beginnings to a modern factory selling agricultural machinery worldwide, Pazzaglia is one of the leading root balling machine producers.



Finance Dutch-based Rabobank is the world’s largest financier for the horticulture industry. How did they accomplish this? And on what values does it base its financing policies?

FloraCulture International March-April 2018


Introducers of

brilliant plants


e search the world looking for brilliant and colourful environmentally friendly plants. We then work with our Licensed Growers to make them readily available into the global markets.

Once we have selected a plant, they are then extensively tested to prove their performance. We have trials sites located in all our key markets around the world and it is only after a potential Tesselaar plant has been through these trials, that it is considered for commercial introduction. A network of growers – people who share our values of professionalism and quality – then grow-on the plant ready to be delivered to their local markets. Innovative promotion and marketing support plays a fundamental role in bringing these new and distinctively different plants onto the market place.

Underpinning all this is a personal philosophy, based on strong ethical practices and professionalism. It’s a straightforward approach driven by a simple aim - finding exceptional plants that are colourful, best in class and so easy to grow, and then bringing them to market.

Want to know more, check out our website or email us at:

See us at:

Cultivate - Ohio, USA Plantarium - Holland Plantarium - Holland Essen - Germany

Column Flowering the world

Creating a world of pleasure


ver the years I have visited nurseries all over the world. I have seen a major step in automating the entire production process of all kinds of products, due not only to increase of scale but also the introduction of new technologies.

I feel great pride that many of these new technologies have been set up in the Netherlands. Wageningen University, for example, has made great contributions with their research in the agriculture industry. In lighting, High Tech Campus Eindhoven made it possible to grow products at locations where no artificial light is available. This technology has been implemented worldwide. Other universities are increasingly more involved in discovering new technologies, for example via exchange programs. It is now possible to see growers use this new knowledge to increase their local output in quantity as well as quality. More and more this makes it possible to produce locally for local consumption at reasonable prices. With the increase in quality, consumers have reason to be happier when purchasing beautiful flowers and plants. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in overall spending. Because the push for new technology is happening all over the world, I see common themes for workers at nurseries. It is amazing to see the gratification of people involved in

the production of flowers and plants. They are always enthusiastic when explaining how they are doing their best to make a product as good as possible. Looking after young plants every day to make sure they are getting the best treatment is something that is always a part of my conversation in the field. On each visit, growers show me the improvements they have recently made using the latest technologies in their production process. It always ends with a visit to the post-harvest section showing me the final products, waiting with anticipation for my opinion. It is so nice to be part of an industry where the final product not only gives pleasure all over the world, but where people are enjoying the same pleasure while being part of the production process.

Fred van Tol International Development Manager Royal FloraHolland Representing international flower growers

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 



Getting Together

It’s not easy being green 8


FloraCulture International March-April 2018

It is absolutely necessary to demonstrate to Italian politicians the benefits of green spaces in terms of health and environmental advantages.

ANVE - Associazione Nazionale Vivaisti Esportatori (National Association of Nursery Stock Exporters) is an association that protects the interests of all Italian nurserymen. It was established several years ago to help industry entrepreneurs access targeted information and create advantageous conditions for services and supplies. ANVE includes Full members, Supporting members and Partners in order to guarantee maximum national representation through direct contact with local entities. It is especially active in creating dialogues with institutions, both on the national and European level. Through ANVE, growers have their needs and those of the nursery and gardening industry represented before trade unions and political, administrative and social institutions. Important topics include environmental and safety issues, expanding the market to include other countries, creating a network amongst entrepreneurs who favor aggregation of common projects and the exchange of ideas, information and experiences. Associates are regularly updated when useful sector documents or information are found.

SERVICES The services offered by ANVE include assistance regarding phytosanitary and customs aspects, promotional activity in European and ExtraEuropean markets and monitoring and assistance in public funding for companies. Within ENA (European Nursery stock Association) and AIPH (International Association of Horticultural Producers) ANVE participates in the Legislation, Promotion, Royalty and Quality Working Groups.

LOBBYING According to Marco Cappellini, President of ANVE, one of the most significant achievements has been the important lobbying role of the Association in new European legislation about Xylella: “The IMPLEMENTING DECISION (EU) 2017/2352 by the COMMISSION dated 14 December, 2017 will guarantee the buyers healthy plants through modern diagnosis methods, but at reduced costs and without too much bureaucracy.” ENA has stated that “Current scientific evidence

and legislation does not justify a movement ban of plants from an entire country or from some regions of a country, just because the country contains some demarcated zones or areas infected by Xylella.” This bacterial disease has caused severe damage to olive trees in a restricted area (Salento) in the Apulia region. On the other hand, the outbreak of further strains of the pathogen in other European countries is potentially more dangerous to additional ornamental plants. In Italy, ANVE was one of the associations that gave approval of the so-called ‘Bonus Verde’ (Green Bonus) that allows tax refunds for people who build new green areas or will incur substantial maintenance fees in 2018, up to 5,000 euros. “The discussion with authorities about the allowable cap to the expenses was very difficult and this amount is, in effect, quite low,” continues Marco Cappellini. “However this can be viewed as an initial acknowledgement of our industry. If the results of this trial year are positive, the amount could be higher in the future.” It is absolutely necessary to demonstrate to Italian politicians the benefits of green spaces in terms of health and environmental advantages.

NEW CHALLENGES “For 2018,” says Edoardo Sciutti, Executive Secretary of ANVE, “we are ready for new challenges: the definition of the new phytosanitary rules, going deeper in the CITES requirements for endangered species and together with the Italian Ministry of Environment, the project of standards for sustainable cities, directly connected to the acreage and quality of green areas. Our last project, with an insurance company, concerns coverage for disease and pest damage.” Author: Aldo Colombo

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 




Well supplied. Whether round pots and containers, square pots, plant supports, hanging baskets and bowls, decorative planters, transport and cultivation trays, young plant and germination trays, self-marketing, printing and labelling or marketing concepts: when it comes to plants, PĂśppelmann TEKUÂŽ is your strong partner. Everything at a glance:

We are doing it. Complete.

Column Sharing opinions

Predictions and consequences


ne of the problems with making stupid predictions is that they occasionally come true. Yours truly made one such prediction this past December, in the midst of yet another two week stretch of 85 degree weather in southern California. My bold, entirely nonfact based prediction was that as soon as my plumeria cutting crop arrived in the US from Thailand, we would begin to have a winter, if for no other reason than it would further enrich my propane company and annoy me to no end… And sure enough…it’s happened. Just when I need and want the warm weather, it turns nasty. Then again, I ought to know better. I’m a nurseryman, and if I didn’t know by now that nature can be your best friend and your worst enemy, often at the same time, I’d be more of a complete idiot than the partial one many already think me to be…(only kidding on that last part…) At its heart, all marketing and industry hyperbole aside, our business is all about production. We grow plants to sell, or raise flowers to cut, or bulbs to harvest. If we produce efficiently, and are fortunate enough to produce something people want, we can occasionally make good money. Well, ok, ‘some’ money anyway. (Not too many of us need to worry about breaking into the ranks of the 1%.) In that sense, we’re not much different than say, an automobile manufacturer. But whereas Ford or BMW, for instance, have a great deal of control over their production environment (they can set the factory thermostat to 68, precisely, if they want to), and run equal length shifts regardless of the season, your average grower has to consider numerous other inputs. First and foremost among these is the weather (and in a broader sense, climate). This makes what we do infinitely more complex than making a car. I think we’d all agree that making a car is a pretty similar process whether you’re doing it in Stuttgart, Detroit, or Nagoya. On the other

hand, growing a Dypsis lutescens (successfully) in Homestead, or San Diego, or Costa Rica, or Holland, requires discrete processes and techniques specific to each climate. And that doesn’t even factor in the weather variable. I’d give the Hawaiian growers a pass on this, because even my pet rock could grow something ok in Hawaii ;-), but in reality even they have their challenges. In my ever so humble opinion, the Dutch (and other northern European growers, to be fair), have succeeded the most in being able to control and manage their production environment, a truly amazing accomplishment. And even then it’s not easy. We have to be soil engineers, amateur chemists, rudimentary plant pathologists, and even climatologists to do what we do. Not to mention the fortune telling aspect… All of this should earn us a hearty pat on the back, and a one way ticket to the nearest asylum. No sane person puts up with the uncertainty a grower has to face down on a routine basis. If that sounds like a lot, it is, but that’s just the tip of the production iceberg. After that we have to worry about production cycles, and product planning, and emerging trends. Needless to say, I could go on at some length on all those topics, but I only get one page (sniff, sniff….) Back to stupid predictions….these (like elections) do have their consequences. In the case of my plumerias, if the weather stays warm and we get an early spring, I have product in time to make Mothers Day with blooming or budded plants. That’s a 5% boost in sales right there…Cold/late spring ? Cash flow takes a flyer into June. Just because I’m joking about it doesn’t mean it’s funny. It just beats crying. About the writer… John Ingwersen graduated with a degree in marketing from Georgetown University in 1990, and founded Jungle Jack’s, Inc. in 1995.

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 





Dutch Lily Days 2018 Around 1.5 billion lily bulbs are sold every year. Something approaching three quarters of them are grown in the Netherlands, with the rest in France, Chile and New Zealand. This is the backdrop to the Dutch Lily Days, when flower trade professionals from round the world enjoy a four-day opportunity to visit export-import companies and specialist breeders. Many of the visitors expected will be travelling far from home - the event brochure contains text in Spanish and Chinese as well as English and Dutch! Fourteen companies are taking part in the Dutch Lily Days’ seventh year, from the 5th to the 8th June. They are all located in the provinces of North Holland and South Holland. The furthest distance separating the participating companies is only just over 100km. The sandy soil close to the North Sea coast is ideal for flower bulb production, and partly accounts for this historic concentration of the lily bulb trade.

COMBINING DATES In the week following the Dutch Lily Days event the Flower Trials will take place, attracting thousands each year. There will also be the GreenTech trade show in Amsterdam, which has up to the present time been held every other year.



The dates of the Dutch Lily Days have been chosen so that visitors can take in all three events within as short a time as six or seven days. Wijnand van der Kooij, technical director of De Jong Lelies Holland B.V. and chairman of the Dutch Lily Days, nevertheless stresses that it remains important for their success to be in a week separate from the Flower Trials. The Dutch Lily Days present an opportunity for customers and other professionals to visit the working premises of the companies that participate and especially to see breeding work and trials of commercial varieties in their glasshouses. All the companies are Dutch. Their activity in bringing hundreds of millions of bulbs to the international market place in many cases extends to other countries, too. Notably in New FloraCulture International March-April 2018

Zealand and Chile several participants in the Dutch Lily Days have a considerable production area. Bulbs from southern hemisphere countries are needed to help maintain a year-round supply of quality planting material. At least 80 per cent of all lily bulbs are sold to cut flower producers. The remainder go to commercial pot lily growers, especially in the USA, and to meet the worldwide demand for lilies for garden planting.

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS Wijnand van der Kooij says that year on year the number of Dutch Lily Days visitors has been well maintained. Some of the bigger companies may see well over five hundred. As in previous years, they will be travelling from many countries, in every continent. In 2017 some came from India, Vietnam, Colombia and Russia, as well as from the world’s top three countries for lily sales – China, now the leader, the USA and Japan. There were a number of very important cut flower buyers among the many European visitors, including for example some from major British supermarket chains. The opening ceremony of the event will be on the morning of Tuesday 5th June at Zabo Plant.


FlowerTrials showcases 60 breeders Grab your calendar and block off June 12-15, 2018. No less than 60 breeding companies in the Westland (NL), Aalsmeer (NL) and Rheinland Westfalen (DE) areas will open their doors to reveal their latest assortment of pot and bedding plants to growers, exporters and buyers from around the world. NEW DANISH AND ITALIAN MEMBERS Three new participants will join the FlowerTrials Organisation in 2018. Their varieties and locations will be included in the FlowerTrials promotional activities. The Italian plant grower Gruppo Padana produces seedlings and cuttings of ornamental and vegetable pot and bedding plants. With Primabella, the company breeds its own primula and viola lines. In addition to the exclusive distribution of Lavandula Lavinia (Plantinova) and Argyranthemum Grandaisy (MNP Flowers) in Italy, Gruppo Padana offers a wide range of young pot and bedding plants to Italian growers.

Founded by the Eskelund family, Danish Roses Forever breeds hybrid pot roses. The focus of their breeding program, besides production suitability, is on novelty value, colour, scent, flower size, appearance and usability for different series and pot sizes. Gruppo Padana and Roses Forever will show their assortment at MNP Flowers in Aalsmeer. Westland will also welcome a new exhibitor. Queen from Denmark is internationally known for its Kalanchoe breeding. In addition to its latest innovations with this crop, Queen will also display new pot roses, pot chrysanthemum, Euphorbia milii, pot asters and Echeveria at the new World Horti Center.

Due to the company’s divestment, Danish breeder Dalina Genetics will cease participation. Furthermore, Cultivaris from Germany has decided to not exhibit this year, but will return in 2019.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS Following recent changes within the industry, a number of breeders will exhibit at new venues. In Westland, the brand new World Horti Center in Naaldwijk will host Schoneveld, Queen and Van den Bos Flowerbulbs. Selecta one and VWS will show their assortments at P. Van Geest nursery in Maasland. Prudac and Butterfly Garden will move their displays to Green 05, turning the location into a larger display area. In the Aalsmeer region, the Breeders Avenue group consisting of Takii, Floranova, ABZ Seed, Evanthia, Hem Genetics/Zaden, Thompson & Morgan and Fleuroselect will move to Takii’s new facilities directly across the street from the old location (Mijnsherenweg 23, Kudelstaart). As for the German region, Geranien Endisch will no longer exhibit in Rheinland Westfalen but will show its assortment at Florensis in Hendrik-­ Ido-Ambacht (NL).

Where plants meet people FloraCulture International March-April 2018 




Vitroflora, a European company You wouldn’t expect a leading European producer of perennials, grasses, annuals and young plants to be located in Poland. Yet Vitroflora ‘grew up’ in Poland, although CEO Tomasz Michalik considers his company to be European. “Poland is a good market for our products, but only a third of our perennial turnover is Polish, another third is German and the rest is elsewhere in Europe.”

Michalik tells the story of growing over the past forty years by focusing on quality. “Under communist rule, the main difference between Poland and other communist countries was that agricultural companies could be privately owned. So the Pawlak family founded Vitroflora as a private business. By the early eighties we had started in vitro production of young plants in the lab. Nowadays, 60 to 70% of our perennial production comes from the lab, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Still, we distinguish ourselves from competitors by producing young material ourselves for both domestic and export markets. Next to Poland, the Baltic states and other parts of Eastern Europe are important markets.”


“Sometimes it’s difficult to be far from the center of the horticulture trade. In the past Dutch colleagues would benefit from their location with their innovations. But since Vitroflora has had solid growth, other companies are more willing to work with us.”


“It took Vitroflora time and energy to reach its current position. We were new on the European market and Poland isn’t exactly known as a horticultural


country. But we always focused on preserving fixed standards, on good, reliable quality and on excellent service for our clients. We never competed over price. We deliver a good, solid product, we innovate but our transport costs are relatively high. So we charge fair prices for our products. Perhaps in some parts of the country Polish wages are lower than Western European wages, but we need skilled people who deserve a fair salary. So in that perspective there is no local advantage.”


“Our goal is to be the European leader in each of our product categories, especially perennials and annuals for local and East European clients. Our FloraCulture International March-April 2018

Under communist rule, the main difference between Poland and other communist countries was that agricultural companies could be privately owned.” Tomasz Michalik CEO Vitroflora

focus will be on innovations with midsize plants. It is not our aim to become a mass producer. We will focus on the high-end market by expanding our in vitro production.” Author: Piet Kralt

Chaconne Lisianthus

Continent Country City

Neighbouring countries, different markets 16


FloraCulture International March-April 2018

There must be opportunities to educate consumers that the selection is much wider.

Germany and Poland are neighbouring countries. But from a horticultural point of view they differ enormously. Germany is one of the world’s most mature markets of flowers and plants; Poland is a developing market. And where the Germans import the vast majority of their flowers and plants, the Poles produce most of what they consume. How to trigger the German market? Both in consumption and in market development, the German market is extremely mature. All market channels are strongly developed. Market development keeps up with economic developments, but not more than that. Although there is widespread penetration of flowers and plants, some sectors of the population are wont to purchase as they are deemed an unnecessary expenditure for a variety of reasons (economic, cultural, etc.). Supermarket chains have carved out their own place in the market. People don’t buy their weekly bunch of roses from a florist, but rather at their local Aldi or Lidl. Florists who do not find their niche have little hope of surviving as they won’t be able to

compete with discount supermarkets. Sometimes it seems that the German market shows signs of saturation but then you see growth where you least expect it. Some consumer groups are hard to reach; on the other hand, sales to younger consumer groups are relatively stable. One thing stands out when analyzing the German market: its strong focus on roses. These are not long stem highend roses, but the rather the low-priced ones, mainly of African origin. In a market with such a strong focus on one product (and more specifically the cheaper version of it), there must be opportunities to educate consumers that the selection is much wider. This could be done by florists, garden centers and supermarkets, but they would likely need assistance from

Comparison of Germany and Poland in cut flower sales Consumer sales (2017) Population Market share flower shops Market share supermarkets % imported Most popular flowers

Germany € 5.7 billion 81 million 68% 12% 75% Rose

Poland € 0.9 billion 39 million 75% 9% 25% Rose

their suppliers (and perhaps Royal FloraHolland, as well). Of course this is a major challenge. But then again, Germany is an enormous market. How to develop the Polish market? Poles love flowers and plants and because of their growing prosperity, they increasingly have the means to buy them. Most of the products they purchase are grown locally. In Germany, Dutch exporters found a culture and a language which were like their own. Poland has a different kind of language and in its culture Catholicism carries a lot of weight as evidenced by how Poles decorate grave sites with flowers. People bring flowers to the deceased on a weekly basis. Funerals without flowers are unthinkable. Cemeteries and cemetery nurseries go hand in hand. Through expansion, discount super­ markets have strengthened their market share, but florists persist. In every residential area you find supermarkets, but you also find flower shops and kiosks. Supermarkets are seeing increased revenue as purchases for personal use continue to rise. Still, florists are finding ways to stay relevant to consumers by offering what they cannot find in supermarkets. Because of its (communist) history and because Polish prosperity hasn’t reached the level of Western Europe yet, price is still an issue in Poland. But there are opportunities in offering a wider, more high-quality assortment to more prosperous consumer groups. This of course requires cooperation between Polish trade channels and its domestic and foreign suppliers. Author: Piet Kralt

Source: Royal FloraHolland

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 



Continent Country City

Italian horticulture shaping the future Italy is a country with a great ornamental horticulture tradition. Few today remember that the grafting of roses was invented by the Romans while there was large-scale cultivation of roses at the time in Pompeii. In fact, importing cut roses, especially from Egypt in the winter, was too expensive for the Romans. Roman ships did not sail in the winter; there was only one ship from Egypt that reached Rome in December: “the ship of flowers”. These days roses are imported to Italy mainly from Kenya, Colombia, Ecuador and India, very often through Holland, which is the most advanced country in terms of marketing and logistics in floriculture. In recent years, the Italian ornamental sector has seen enormous changes. Due to the economic crisis and the occasional lack of technical and managerial preparation, many companies have folded. The cut flower sector suffered the most. The reduction of available land for cultivation and the number of companies was heavily impacted. Due to poor profits, many small companies



have returned to producing vegetables. However, several companies have specialized further, especially in the cultivation of Ranunculus, Papaver, Chrysanthemums and even specialty rose production (Smeralda, in Sardinia, roses with berries, scented roses, etc.).

REGIONS The leading regions for cut flowers are Liguria, Tuscany, Campania, Puglia and Sicily. Production of ornamental potted plants has remained stable as have prices, whereas available quantities have increased slightly. The most important regions for

FloraCulture International March-April 2018

the production of pot plants and bedding plants continue to be Liguria (with the plains of Albenga), Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Puglia. The province that has grown production the most in recent years is Latina (Lazio). The production of pot plants that the Italians call “Mediterranean plants” is increasing. In this category there are potted citrus, with Sicily being the number one region in Europe for its production. Sicily is still the leader in the production of palms (Kentia, Chamaedorea, Phoenix, Cycas, etc.). Another important region is Puglia with its high-quality Mediterranean plants which are mainly exported.

ECONOMIC CRISIS Even the garden plant sector has suffered from the economic crisis with failing large companies. However, the situation has been improving since the autumn of 2017. The most important region for garden plants continues to be Tuscany, with the city of Pistoia at

In recent years, the Italian ornamental sector has seen enormous changes.

the forefront of production, followed by Lombardy, Veneto, Puglia and Sicily. As for fruit nurseries, the most important region is Emilia Romagna, while for vegetables it is Campania. Floriculture in Italy is worth more than 2.5 billion euros; of which 1.15 billion euros come from the production of flowers and pot plants. There are 27,000 companies involved in the sector, with a total 100,000 workers and almost 29,000 hectares of agricultural land overall. As for young ornamental plants, roughly 2,000 companies are involved utilizing over 1,500 hectares. Author: Arturo Croci

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 




Italy, producer of distinctive products Italians are known for their design and their good taste. Although Italian floriculture is going through difficult times, Italy remains an important producer of a distinctive assortment,

Exports from Italy

popular in various European markets (especially florists and garden centres). These infographics

in 2016 by value in 1 000 EUR

show you the main Italian production areas and

 Live plants (with roots) and cuttings (without roots) 459,858

the products grown in each region.

Cutflowers 84,322

 Cut foliage, branches, mosses and lichens etc., fresh or treated 81,041

Production value at producer price

Bulbs, tubers, etc. 7,297

Total 632,518

Value in current prices, in million EUR. 2016 provisional. 3,500



2,000 2008









Imports to Italy in 2016 by value in 1 000 EUR

Area and production

 Live plants (with roots) and cuttings (without roots) 224,055

Area in hectares Flowers and ornamental plants total 12,724 Outdoor 7,282 Under protection 5,442

Floricultural and ornamental seedlings total 1,597


Cutflowers 164,442

 Cut foliage, branches, mosses and lichens etc., fresh or treated 22,469 Plants in nurseries total 27,577 Fruit trees 3,596 Ornamental plants 15,890 Other 8,092

Source: AIPH Int. Statistics Flowers & Plants Yearbook 2017


FloraCulture International March-April 2018

Bulbs, tubers, etc. 45,885

Total 456,850

Top ten countries importing from Italy

Top ten countries exporting to Italy

in 2016 by value in 1 000 EUR

in 2016 by value in 1 000 EUR

1 France 122,333 2 Germany 117,185 3 Netherlands 101,333 4 Switzerland 41,869 5 United Kingdom 35,684 6 Austria 21,844 7 Turkey 19,133 8 Belgium 18,712 9 Spain 17,978 10 Russian Federation 15,820 Others 120,626 Total 632,518

1 Netherlands 344,456 2 Germany 23,780 3 Spain 17,414 4 Belgium 11,765 5 France 9,814 6 Thailand 8,691 7 Poland 5,684 8 Denmark 5,115 9 Ecuador 4,388 10 Japan 2,733 Others 23,010 Total 456,850

Economic indicators Italy 2016 Population: 60.6 millions

Surface area

Italy 30,130,000 hectares Flowers, ornamental plants, nursery stock and ornamental crops 77,876 hectares

Trentino - Alto Adige

Distribution of production area


in hectares, in procent Flowers and ornamental plants Fruit trees Ornamental nursery plants Other regions

Veneto Piemonte Emilia-Romagna Liguria


12 5

Total 12,724 ha

9 10



Flowers and ornamental plants in procent areas



12 Total 15,890 ha

9 2 4

7 Total 3,596 ha


Fruit trees in procent areas


12 9 6


Toscana Areas 1 Piemonte 2 Lombardia 3 Liguria 4 Trentino - Alto Adige 5 Veneto 6 Emilia-Romagna 7 Toscana 8 Lazio 9 Apulia 10 Campania 11 Sicily 12 Other regions

Lazio Apulia Campania

Ornamental nursery plants in procent areas



Cut flowers, foliage and branches total 5,834 Cut flowers 2,752 Cut foliage and branches 3,082 Pot plants total 5,031

Nursery stock total 19,573 Perennials 380 Ground covering plants 201 Shrubs and trees 12,970 Container grown 3,308 Fruit trees 1,654 Olive trees 383 Forest trees 676

Young plants, cuttings and seedlings total 5,540 Ornamental flowers and plants 105 Ornamental trees 390 Fruit trees 116 Olive trees 34 Forest trees 334 Vine 4,166 Vegetables 375 Others 21

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 



Continent Country City

Pistoia, the Italian Capital of Culture 2017 was an important year for Pistoia. The European Capital of the Nursery Stock industry also became the Italian Capital of Culture. The town’s tourist season flourished and was alive with art, music, theater, seminars, etc. It was the perfect occasion for a special edition of the ‘Styling the Landscape’ event.



FloraCulture International March-April 2018

Pistoia, in the heart of Tuscany and due west of Florence, has 90,000 inhabitants and the nursery stock industry is one of its most important economic assets. It is the foremost producer in Europe, with some gigantic enterprises producing and trading the widest possible assortment, from subshrubs to big trees. However, the economic crisis has also had a major impact on the Pistoia nurseries: the ‘big’ and the ‘huge’ ones survived quite well, exporting their products all over Europe and to emerging Middle East countries, Turkey, and former Soviet Union republics. The small ones have had to reduce their workforce, often only relying on family members, selling their products to the biggest producers resulting in much thinner margins. Those more affected were the medium-big enterprises, for which the Italian market was still important and those that made huge investments at the wrong moment. Therefore, in the last three years there have been huge takeovers that have deeply changed the ‘landscape’ of the industry.

NURSERIES Tree and shrub production in the area encompasses more than 5,000 ha with 1,200 enterprises and approximately 5,500 working units. The first nurseries were founded in the 19th century in an ideal location in terms of climatic conditions that enable growing both hardy and Mediterranean plants, protection from the strongest winds,

fertile soil and abundant availability of water. The major transformation at the end of the 20th century was the increased use of container cultivation which enables the sale of plants all year-long.

“The event was really successful, we were able to introduce an international audience to the beauties of Pistoia.”

QUALITY The quality standards in Pistoia are very high and clients are happy to find excellent products in quantities they need, including large landscaping projects. Another feature is the ample availability of topiary plants, not only in traditional shapes (balls, trees, espaliers, etc.) but also the most unusual: all kind of animals, from elephants to dinosaurs, dolphins to horses, cars to bicycles to motorcycles, with endless possibilities.

Renato Ferretti Organiser ‘Vestire il Paesaggio’

‘VESTIRE IL PAESAGGIO’ ‘Vestire il Paesaggio’ (‘Styling the Landscape’) was held for the first time in 2007, organized by Renato Ferretti and the Pistoia Province staff, followed by two other incarnations in 2010 and 2013. The next event was planned for 2016, however it was decided to postpone it until 2017 to coincide with the events of Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture, with a smaller version that took place at the end of 2015. “The event was really successful,” says Mr. Ferretti. “We were able to introduce an international audience to the beauties of Pistoia and how strong our town is within the industry. The

program was very diverse including an international workshop, visits to the leading nurseries and to other attractions of the town, for instance the ‘1000 flower tapestry’ and the embroidery museum and cultural events like concerts and performances.” Author: Aldo Colombo

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 



Cover story

Smart solutions Pots made out of plastic are not just an important part of modern plant production but can also be a useful marketing tool to showcase the latest developments in this field. Pöppelmann, based in Northern Germany in Lohne (Lower-Saxony), is well known for its TEKU®-products. 24


FloraCulture International March-April 2018

A technology partnership between Pöppelmann TEKU® and potting machine producer Mayer is a further step towards innovations that offer solutions for growers.

The company produces cultivation systems and a huge variety of plant pots for the horticulture industry. It was founded in 1949 as a cork factory by brothers Joseph and Hubert Pöppelmann and is still a family-owned business. In the spring of 1955, the brothers bought their first injection moulding machine which was their start into the plastics processing industry. Since then, the company, consisting of five production sites with 550 injection moulding machines, extruders and thermoforming lines, has expanded wildly. It is one of the leading manufacturers in the plastic processing industry employing more than 1,900 highlyqualified employees worldwide and exporting to more than 90 countries.

FOUR AREAS OF OPERATION TEKU® is one of Pöppelmann’s four areas of operation. By continually keeping an eye on the market, the TEKU® division has an in-depth understanding of the industry and customers’ needs, a key factor for their product innovations and sustainable solutions. One of the newest products is the MDF Coverpot series which offers added value and is a marketing tool, as well. The attractive Coverpots fit perfectly around their other plastic pots and make it a very smart pot-in-pot system. The Coverpot has space for storing water at the bottom to reduce watering frequency when used in connection with the Waterwick™ Stick. The water level can be checked easily without removing the inner pot from the MDF Coverpot. The planting pot series MDF Coverpot offers gardeners attractive visual decoration thanks to the IML-process (In-Mould-Labelling). The pots come in many different designs, some inspired by annual holidays or gift days like Easter or Mother’s Day, others refer to special events e.g. this year’s FIFA World Cup. It is also possible

to order pots with a custom design, depending on the quantity required. In addition, there is a special presentation tray available with lower rims which makes it easier to see the eyecatching designs of the pots at the POS. Another recent introduction is PÖPPELMANN blue®, inspired by the increasing need for sustainable solutions in the industry. The blue resource-saving plant pots are made out of 100 percent recycled material. These plant pots close the raw material loop and the special blue colour makes it easy to identify the pots when they are at the recycling plant. The RFID (radio-frequency-identification) technology is an invention that facilitates stocktaking by means of a radio frequency label that is attached to the product. Every label can then be scanned as a basis for further quick and easy use of the product data.

PARTNERSHIP A technology partnership between Pöppelmann TEKU® and potting machine producer Mayer is a further step towards innovations that offer solutions for growers. This close collaboration could help increase the level of automation needed to compensate for the lack of labour in the horticulture industry today. To check the impact of innovations and the improvements of products, Pöppelmann TEKU® works with a market research company. The results of a recent test of different trays and plant pots, for instance, are not only used within the company but are also made available online, together with extra tips and ideas to the trade. These results show interesting ways to add value to a basic necessity such as a plant pot and even show how to turn it into a useful marketing tool. Author: Anke Bührmann

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 



Cover story

Our brand promise is to offer high-quality, healthy and tasty products, perfectly suited to both ornamental and culinary usage.” Christophe Reineri



FloraCulture International March-April 2018

From ornamental to organic citrus production What on earth made BIOAGRUMES switch from flowering pot plants to citrus forcing, while also introducing organic plants with ready-to-eat fruit and leaves?

While working as a production manager in Provence, Frédéric Sérusier realized the potential of citrus and the lack of French production. Thus, he created his company near Angers in 1997 and began to acclimatize citrus imported from Sicily. In 2010, he made the first strategic shift to become the citrus production specialist in France and switched a portion of the production to organic in 2014. To this end, the company started to work with the San Giuliano French Agronomy research institute INRA in Corsica, known for its expansive citrus collection. Today, BIOAGRUMES grows more than 100,000 plants, with 56 varieties of the citrus genus: orange, grapefruit, limes, clementines, tangerines, kumquats, combava, cedrate, et al. Both production and complementary imports from Sicily are marketed by Agrumes de Méditerranée, their sister company.

COMPANY STRATEGY The arrival of new majority shareholder Christophe Reineri in 2017 gave impetus to a new company strategy. “Our aim is to become the first European supplier of organic ready-toeat citrus, in addition to Mediterranean plants for the highend urban market: plants with fruit, but also leaves and flowers,” says Christophe. To achieve this goal, the company is working towards three goals: • Fulfill European food safety requirements to sell readyto-eat products. Growing organically is not enough to claim that fruit, leaves or flowers are ready-to-eat. We have started implementing food safety measures with the objective of obtaining the MPS-fruit and Vegetable certification. We are also developing partnerships with Southern European growers equally committed to sustainability and food safety, either through GlobalGap or MPS-Fruit & Vegetables, to complement our product range. • Diversification is the second goal: BIOAGRUMES will continue diversifying its citrus collection but also develop a comprehensive range of edible organic Mediterranean fruit and/or leaves, like figs or laurel. • Innovation and securing our parental material: The company’s development plan includes the creation of a

propagation unit and expansion into a new greenhouse. The propagation unit will allow BIOAGRUMES to come to market earlier, but also to implement new propagation techniques and grow species and varieties that are more cold-resistant, adaptable to northern markets.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES Although not located in Southern Europe, the company benefits from several competitive advantages such as unique niche market positioning, a wide range of product, excellent customer’ service thanks to its proximity to the market and, perhaps most important, the absence of the bacterial disease Xylella fastidiosa, which facilitates BIOAGRUMES to grow organically.

DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS Christophe is very enthusiastic about the company’s development prospects. “Our first contact at IPM confirmed the relevance of our strategy and leads us to be optimistic. I feel confident that our present choices will create value for BIOAGRUMES, our partners and the end consumer. Our brand promise is to offer high-quality, healthy and tasty products, perfectly suited to both ornamental and culinary usage”. Author: Marie-Françoise Petitjean

Ornamental production in France (2016) • 3,611 growers • 1 5,471 ha of which 1,613 ha covered and 13,858 ha uncovered • Production value at farm gate: € 1.2 billion Source : Observatoire des données structurelles des entreprises de production de l’horticulture et de la pépinière ornementales France – AND pour FranceAgrimer 2016

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 



Up close

Can you dig it? The company Pazzaglia was founded in 1983 by Fabio Pazzaglia. It evolved from a small shop selling agricultural machines into a modern factory producing and selling its own branded products worldwide. Pazzaglia’s headquarters are in Casalguidi, near Pistoia. “Being here means we have direct contact with many of our customers,” says owner Fabio Pazzaglia “and this is advantageous for us. We are able to understand in real time what the nurseries need, get their suggestions and develop our products with them. Our engineers know the industry and our highly-skilled workforce well. Aided by state-of-theart equipment, Pazzaglia produces machines that are now sold all over the world.” Pazzaglia is one of the leading manufacturers of root balling machines, but the company has now expanded its offerings with a full line including pruning platforms, container movers, loaders, planters, pruners and a small tractor, highly suitable for small spaces between rows of high density nurseries. The assortment of root balling machines ranges from the smallest in the world, (model FZ50 which root balls from 18 cm to 50 cm, and is suitable for shrubs and small trees, up to model FZ200AV, the flagship of the company, which root balls from 60 cm to 200 cm, that can dig huge specimens and lift plants weighing up to almost five tons.

BEST SELLER “Our best seller is the FZ110 which suits most nurseries growing shrubs and trees,” continues Pazzaglia. “All of our digging machines make perfect root

balls allowing for easier operation whether they have to transplant or put plants in pots or containers. They can be easily customized with a long list of accessories and options, from different size blades to cranes, excavators, movers and everything needed to make the job more comfortable for operators.” The company’s market share has grown steadily over the years thanks in part to a very efficient and wellestablished sales network. “In many countries, we operate directly from Pistoia while in others we have local dealers,” says Pazzaglia. “Many have been working with us for a number of years, others more recently, especially in countries where the nursery stock industry has only recently started up and is still under development”. We export our products throughout Europe, Russia, Turkey and the U.S.A.

and other countries worldwide. “Our main export markets now are Holland, Germany and Russia. We believe Asia, North Africa and South America will be very important markets for us in the near future.” We also participate in various exhibitions such as IPM Essen, Flormart in Padova and Eima in Bologna and through dealers at other shows, like Istanbul.

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS Pazzaglia has many innovative solutions and exclusive patents that are helping growers with their everyday tasks. “In the future we want to continuously improve our products and introduce new machines. For example, our latest improvement is our new container mover PZL900T which boasts an innovative telescopic arm. Author: Aldo Colombo

Aided by state-of-the-art equipment, Pazzaglia produces machines that are now sold all over the world.” Fabio Pazzaglia Founder and Owner Pazzaglia

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 



Cover Story

Royal Parks’ Super Nursery 30


FloraCulture International March-April 2018

Work is afoot to save and maintain some of the heritage plants that have traditionally been grown in the parks over the decades.” Greg McErlean Director of Programmes and Projects

The Royal Parks project in London, to build one of the UK’s most innovative greenhouses, nears completion. The £5 million ‘super nursery’ project will replace the old dilapidated nursery in London’s Hyde Park to create a new, state-of-the-art nursery to grow almost all the flowers and shrubs needed for the eight London Royal parks within the 5000 acre Royal Parks Estate. The ‘super nursery’ is scheduled to open this

Photo Credits: The Royal Parks

month (April 2018) when it will start saving The Royal Parks over £70,000 per year. “The state-of-the art building is the first major UK glasshouse to incorporate technology that allows the roof to open and close dependent on the weather to help acclimatise young plants, so they do not have to be moved outside for hardening,” explains Greg McErlean, The Royal Parks Director of Programmes and Projects. The huge 7,180m2 glasshouse, built by Deforche Construct NV and incorporating technology from Climate Controls Ltd has been divided into 13 controlled zones, each operated by Climate Controls’ latest technology, which adapts the climate according to the needs of the plants. “The facility will allow more flexibility for our parks' teams to be able to grow different plant varieties needed for the displays - around 450,000 plants in total.” Mark Wasilewski, Park Manager, St James’s and The Green Park says: “Having our own nursery on site where we can grow our plants to order, rather than relying on a commercial nursery, gives us flexibility to make changes as we go along, for example there are times when one variety may not grow as expected – so we can go back to the nursery and ask for a different delivery. With the nursery on our doorstep we can also shape the size of the plants throughout the season, for example to 'pinch out' a particular plant to make it bushier. We can also plan for the unexpected -

London’s Royal Parks For more information on London’s Royal Parks visit

so we can replace plants, or if we have a chance to plant an additional bed we can call the nursery to pick and mix from what’s available.”

GREEN CREDENTIALS With sustainability at the forefront of the project, the design meets the highest environmental standards. Additionally, the majority of the materials from the demolished nursery were recycled. Greg adds: “The nursery will include a rainwater recovery system and energy-efficient LED lighting throughout. We will be saving on heating costs with a more efficient system and we are also saving on transport miles.” The nursery is already growing plants for this year’s bedding displays in The Royal Parks and work is afoot to save and maintain some of the heritage plants that have traditionally been grown in the parks over the decades. Mark explains: “We can work directly with our growers to cultivate rare or old varieties of plants from cuttings of particular strains to keep these varieties in the parks. For example it will help us reintroduce old cutting varieties of geranium, like ‘Lady Derby’, ‘Caroline Schmidt’ or ‘Golden Harry Hieover’ - the old varieties we just don't want to lose. Other examples of plants we can cultivate could include varieties of fuchsias, Calceolaria ‘Gains Yellow’ and different abutilons such as ‘Canary Bird’. We can also experiment with new varieties the new nursery will give us this flexibility.” Author: Jean Vernon

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 




It’s all about the money, or is it? Unless you were born rich, your company (whether you grow flowers, plants or bulbs) needs financing. Banks are the major financiers of companies and in the horticultural sector Dutch-based Rabobank is the world’s largest financier. How does Rabobank accomplish this? Rabobanks’ International Business Manager of Food and Agriculture Jakob Brand and Sector Specialist Dave Marcus tell us.



FloraCulture International March-April 2018

As a bank we have a vision of Growing a Better World Together.” Jakob Brand International Business Manager of Food and Agriculture & Dave Marcus Sector Specialist

We try to distinguish ourselves with sector knowledge which is gathered from a worldwide network. Giving our customers access to this knowledge and network is certainly a unique selling proposition (usp). Because of our cooperative structure, we cannot always offer the lowest interest rates. But we can be a partner helping entrepreneurs to do their business the best way possible and enable their future: for instance, by advising them on topics like world trade, currencies, global sector flows and trends but also on currencies and international payment services.

SECURITIES “Finance companies are all about securities. You need to pay back what you borrow. But Rabobank is increasingly looking at the entrepreneur himself, his character and his business model. We know the horticultural business so we have opinions about one’s business plans, financial reserves or sustainability policy. When financing companies, Rabobank gives high priority to sustainable businesses which is hard to quantify. But a company should at least meet local laws on this issue. And it helps if they participate in a sustainability standards and certification program such as Fair Trade. As a bank we have a vision of Growing a Better World Together. This challenges us and our customers to deal with Mother Earth in a more careful and sustainable way. “Suppose a Colombian grower wishes to refinance his nursery and comes to us. The first thing we do is find out if there is a match: talk to each other; visit the farm. Talk about the business, the entrepreneur’s plans and his views on the future, his products and his views on sustainability.

Financing is not just handing over a bag of money. It is about a long-term relationship between customer and bank. Therefore, we need shared viewpoints on the grower’s product plans, sustainability and social issues. Later we look at the figures concerning assets and debts. You need to know the customer’s needs and his securities in order to offer him optimum financing. Customer one may need a mortgage, whilst customer two is in need of a lease construction. Our aim is to always facilitate clients and help them do business to the best of their ability, even if this means not financing a company.”

THREE QUESTIONS AND THREE PRINCIPLES ABOUT BANKING “Basically,” says Rabobanks’ Jakob Brand, “banking is about three simple questions and three simple principles.” Question 1: Who are you? Who are you as an entrepreneur? What are your dreams? What keeps you awake at night? Question 2: What do you need the money for? Question 3: Next to diligence and good behaviour, what can you offer me if you cannot pay me back? Principle 1: Cash is king. In business it’s all about the money. Principle 2: Use common sense. Avoid making mistakes because you think doing business is easy in your part of the world or in your line of business. Principle 3: Read between the lines. Between the lines of business plans and policy papers there is more to be read than you might think. Every businessman needs solid visions and plans, a policy to stick to.” Author: Piet Kralt

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 




Innovation is more than developing new product lines FitzGerald Nurseries in Ireland have received awards and accolades for innovation, and their growth and success is evidence that this recognition is well placed. But what is it about the business that is innovative? Pat FitzGerald, founder and managing director, confesses that he gets personal enjoyment from involvement in plant breeding, particularly the EverColor® range, but that it takes more than new products to be innovative. “Winning the All-Ireland Business Innovation Award in 2011”, says Pat, “made us think, well, yes, we do do things differently.” Significant changes to production systems run as parallel innovations to new product development.



MICRO-PROPAGATION Expanding their production systems into micro-propagation in 2005 enabled FitzGerald Nurseries to rapidly build up new lines. Although there does need to be a variety-by-variety approach to setting up systems, micro-propagation certainly contributed to expansion of international sales. FitzGerald Nurseries now supplies more than 26 countries. Another significant change to their production systems was made in 2017, FloraCulture International March-April 2018

just over a decade later. FitzGerald Nurseries implemented a strategy of strict quarantine measures. No plants except mother plants for new varieties are now brought into the nursery. This strategy takes advantage of their isolation from main production regions to enable confident supply of plants to countries with stringent controls, particularly USA and Japan, expanding their customer base even further.

RISK MANAGEMENT Innovation in business practice is not without risk. Fitzgerald Nurseries manages this risk through patience and attention to detail. Cordyline ‘Charlie Boy’ is a good example

Many of the new products from FitzGerald Nurseries are suitable for living walls and green roofs, as well as for indoor container design. “The reality is that cities are expanding, living spaces are becoming more compact, and the growing realisation of the contribution that plants make to people’s health and well being must mean that demand for plants will increase”, explains Pat.

Good business practice is a combination of common sense, scientific endeavour, logic and caution.” Pat FitzGerald Founder & Managing Drector

of this. From as early as 2006 there was no doubt in Pat’s mind that Charlie Boy was a superior cultivar. It was only in 2017, though, that the nursery managed to have success with production volume. The real challenge with this dedication to innovation is in finding ways to recoup the investment of time and resources. Plant Breeders Rights are an essential part of this, but so is careful pitching of price and volumes to markets hungry for new lines.

CHALLENGES AND DEMANDS How do FitzGerald Nurseries determine what the market wants as new products? Although trade fairs, consumer shows and design trends showcased in popular and trade magazines are good ways to find out other people’s ideas, it is not the way to be original. “Too much attention is given to copying what others do”, says Pat. He believes that general knowledge of societal challenges and demands is the most important consideration.

And responding to the growing interest in urban farming, FitzGerald Nurseries are expanding into food crops with the company Beotanics. “Beo in Gaelic means life or live”, explains Pat. “Our work focus through this initiative is to respond to trends in consumer needs, not trends in fashion. As an industry we have become a bit lazy in delivering truly valuable plants to the consumer”. Early indications are that these innovative food crops are of value to society. How will society respond? “Call back in 2019”, Pat smiles! Author: Dr. Audrey Gerber

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 




19-21 SEPT QUITO 2018

Column Sharing opinions

Buon Giorno


he consumption of flowers and plants in Italy fell from 70 euros per capita at the end of the 1990s to 42 euros in 2017. Garden plants are not included in these figures but have also suffered a decrease in consumption. This reduction is due, in part, to the general economic crisis, but also to a change in the buying habits of an estimated 22 million families of a total 63 million inhabitants of Italy. The main consumer areas for flowers and plants are Northwest, Northeast and Central Italy. In the southern regions, private consumption is on the rise but at the moment is still lower compared to spending in the north. The consumption of flowers in Italy has grown exponentially and almost organically from the sixties through the nineties. The largest promotion of flowers and plants has occurred every five years beginning in 1966 with “Euroflora” in Genoa. Then there were initiatives such as “Orticola” in Milan, “Orticolario” in Como, “Three Days for the Garden” (in Masino, Turin) and many other local public exhibitions. The only major promotional campaign in schools was carried out over several years beginning in 1998 by U.N.A.FLOR together with the Flower Council of Holland as part of “Grandparents Day”. The Italian government, under pressure from professional organizations and operators

in the ornamental sector in regards to the Budget Law 2018, has introduced the “Green Bonus” which started January 1, 2018 and consists of a tax deduction of 36% up to a maximum of 5,000 euros for those who incur expenses for the greening of uncovered areas pertaining to private real estate units of any kind, from terraces, gardens, balconies, even condominiums to irrigation systems and work to restore gardens of historical interest. The “bonus” applies to the house itself and not the individual . This year “Euroflora” will again return, taking place in the Parks of Nervi from April 21st to May 6th. With an advertising budget of 1 million euros, the event projects that 250,000 flower lovers will be in attendance. These efforts, along with the improved economic situation and events such as “Orticolario”, should further stimulate consumption. Promotion is essential, above all, to stimulate consumption for personal use in Italy which at the moment is mainly concentrated in large urban areas.

About the writer… Arturo Croci is a journalist and writer and a walking encyclopedia of Italian ornamental horticulture.

FloraCulture International March-April 2018 




What’s hot? We would like to share some highlights of upcoming events that we think may be of interest to you.

JUNE 12-15 2018

FlowerTrials® The Netherlands & Germany During FlowerTrials® 2018 no fewer than 60 Pot and Bedding Plant breeders will proudly present their new innovations, creative concepts and an incredibly wide range of crop assortments. From technical information to retail

JUNE 5-8 2018

inspiration, from breeding breakthroughs to the latest trends, everyone who works with and loves plants and flowers has a reason to visit the FlowerTrials®. For more information go to:

Dutch Lily Days The Netherlands For the 7th year running, the international horticultural sector is welcome to visit Dutch nurseries, breeders and exporters of lilies. The event has acquired a permanent place on the horticultural

calendar. This year 14 companies will be opening their doors. The official opening is being held at Zabo Plant. For more information go to:


JUNE 19-21 2018

Salon du Végétal, France The Salon du Végétal will take place in Nantes where nearly 600 national and international exhibitors and brands and more than 10,000 professional visitors will be brought together. It will put the spotlight on the flower and plant production, garden retail and landscaping under the slogan ‘Naturally friendly!’, which is to be the common layout theme on stands. For more information go to:



FloraCulture International is an independent international trade magazine gifted to the floral industry by Royal FloraHolland. FCI shares knowledge within the industry by bringing together markets, people and cultures because we believe this will make us all bloom. FCI team Martijn van Triest (Editor in Chief), Angie Duffree (Managing Editor, Traffic & Sales), Piet Kralt (Editor), Rianne Nieuwenhuize (Editor) and a number of highly talented journalists and photographers. Contact For more information or to reproduce any content from this magazine, please contact us at: FloraCulture International, P.O. Box 1000, 1430 BA Aalsmeer, The Netherlands.

FloraCulture International March-April 2018

Design /Print Finnmedia bv, Alkmaar Aryen Boumeester Total Identity, Amsterdam Marcel Bosma MBGO, Utrecht Drukkerij van Deventer, ‘s-Gravenzande Advertising Contact Angie Duffree, tel. 00 31 (0) 6 533 466 05. Publisher FloraCulture International is published six times per year worldwide. Publisher is not liable for the content of the advertisements. Photography by permission of copyright owners. Published by Royal FloraHolland ©2018 FloraCulture International magazine. All rights reserved.

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Flora March April 2018  

"Super Nursery"

Flora March April 2018  

"Super Nursery"