Two major announcements during Cultivate14

July 14, 2014
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July 14, 2014, Columbus, OH – A pair of major announcements feature prominently in our concluding coverage of Cultivate14, formerly the Ohio Short Course.

MPS, the international environmental program for floriculture, announced that the Las Mercedes production facility of Dummen Group in El Salvador has earned both the MPS-ABC (environmental) and MPS-GAP (good agricultural practices) designations.

The presentation was made at the Dummen Group booth on the trade show floor.

The MPS audit, completed in June, also included an assessment for MPS-Socially Qualified (social aspects) certification, and this will be added once its finalized.

MPS was launched in 1993 in the Netherlands. The focus was on reducing the environmental impact of growing. Since then, it has widened its certification program to include rigorous safety and social standards.
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Jody Brown Spivey of Expressions FLoral Design Studio in Gahanna, OH, first in the Bridal Shower floral design competition.

CYCLAMEN NEWS

Sakata Seed America announced it has an agreement with Schoneveld Breeding for the sales and distribution in the United States and Canada of select Schoneveld cyclamen genetics.

“This partnership enhances our ability to offer even greater value to our U.S. and Canadian customers and the entire value chain,” said Dave Armstrong, president and CEO of Sakata Seed America.

“In addition to the clear benefits of expanding our product offering, we look forward to working together with a well-respected company to introduce high quality flower products that stand out for their beauty and performance.”

“We share the same commitment to delivering quality products that provide added value for our customers,” said says Peter van de Pol, owner and president of Schoneveld Breeding.

“Our shared values around innovation, collaboration and business integrity will enable Schoneveld to meet its goal of greater penetration into the U.S. and Canadian cyclamen markets and support our mutual growth in this high potential market.

“A good partnership is like a hybrid – joining the forces of two strong companies and using the strengths of each adds up to three.”
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The green roof at Ohio State University attracted considerable attention during the annual plant trials tour.

SEMINAR HIGHLIGHTS: FOOD FOR THOUGHT

If you want to add vegetables to your greenhouse production cycle, do your homework.

That was the message Dr. Bridget Behe of Michigan State University delivered in her presentation, “Veggies: Counting the Cost, Identifying a Market, And Should I Do It?”

“Consider stretching your production expertise, but not too far,” said Behe.
 
“What vegetables are a challenge to grow, transport and/or store that are still in high demand? What could you grow for that profitable early market window?”

The big three crops growers often consider are tomatoes, peppers and greens.

Growers must be confident they’ll have good markets. Options include farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores and school programs.

Firms that focus on the end user and their wants and preferences, combined with solid costing information, “will be in the best position to take the risk of adding this potentially profitable centre of production.”

LAWN AND GARDEN SECTOR RISING

With the recession on the wane, retailers should be solidly on the rebound.
Garden centre guru Ian Baldwin led a an especially well-attended session entitled, “Shake Off the Recession and Grow.”

The 2014 National Gardening Survey showed “a big uptick” in the market. Lawn and garden spending in 2013 rose by 18 per cent. Spending is now close to 2006 levels.

Spending per household was up 21 per cent to $420 per year, about where it was in 2007.

The survey showed that the Baby Boomers (over age 55) clearly dominate the do-it-yourself lawn and garden category. Their share grew from 31 per cent in 2001 to an impressive 46 per cent in 2013.

The 35-54 age category was another story, however, as their share dropped considerably.

A major growth opportunity is in edibles. The survey showed that one in three U.S. households grow some type of food crop. “They need easy solutions to align with their busy lives, project know-how, kits, fun and first time success,” said Baldwin.

He urged retailers to hire “people people,” those with the correct attitude for customer service who can be trained. “Think engagement, rather than sales.”

The number of homeowners who want experts to handle their lawn and garden projects is rising. “As soon as people think they can afford it, they are hiring others.”

Baldwin also suggested non-gardening revenue streams are increasingly important. Included would be anything to do with birds, pet accessories, affordable luxury items such as earrings, purses and gourmet foods, and skin care products, among others.
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Jerry Gorchels of PanAmerican Seed with new seed calibrachoa varieties.

6444_marigold_durango_tangerine_one_of_top_50_consumer_picks_in_osu_trials
Marigold Durango Tangerine of PanAmerican Seed was one of the "Top 50" consumer picks in OSU trials in 2014.
6444_supertunia_mini_rose_veined_from_proven_winners_one_of_top_50_consumer_picks_at_osu_trials
Supertunia Mini Rose Veined from Proven Winners, was another of the "Top 50" consumer picks.

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