Featured Past Articles

UK ornamentals market up 4.7%

UK ornamentals were worth £1.2 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.7% compared to 2015, according to the latest horticulture statistics from the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs


The value of ornamental imports was just below £1.2 billion an 11% rise on 2015. The Netherlands accounted for 74% of imports, mainly indoor plants, chrysanthemums and roses. Kenya accounted for 5.8% of imports, mainly cut roses and carnations. Imports of cut flowers showed a 13% increase and bulbs a 6.4% increase

Selecta One, Wagagai Flower Farm

Initiate New Role Model of Trading Fair Poinsettias

Since 2016, Selecta one supplies Fairtrade certified young plants to their poinsettia growers besides conventional ones. All poinsettias are sourced from Wagagai Ltd. in Uganda. Besides improving health and safety measures, enabling freedom of association and collective bargaining the employees benefit from a Fairtrade Premium, which can be used for social projects. Already in 2016, Selecta generated through their poinsettia sourcing at Wagagai a return of 8,000 Euro to local workers as a premium. Independently from this Selecta and Wagagai are fulfilling all environmental and social standards set by Fairtrade to meet the certification requirements.

In Uganda as well as in other developing countries, basic wages in agriculture are well below what would be considered a living wage. Pay is insufficient to allow workers and their families meet their essential needs and afford them a decent standard of living. The absence of a minimum wage in Uganda compounds the problem. Besides that, wages cannot keep up with the rate of price increase. As a consequence people loose purchasing power. In addition many public services like schools are charged in developing countries. Often people do not have enough cash to send their children to secondary school.

Union Fleurs 2017 General Assembly in Poland:

Blooming opportunities & a stimulating outlook for the future

The General Assemblyof Union Fleurs, the International Flower Trade Association, was organised this year in partnership with Flower Expo Poland in Warsaw, Poland.

Member stravelled from 11 countries as far as Turkey and Kenya to share perspectives and insights on the current developments in the floriculture value-chain. Overall, participants were impressed with the blooming business opportunities offered by the Polish market and the positive energy displayed at every corner of the joint fairgrounds of Flower Expo Poland and Green is Life.

During the Union Fleurs General Assembly meeting on 2nd September, members were joined by three knowledgeablestakeholders active in the Polish flower& plant sector: Mr Martijn Homan, Agricultural Counsellor at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Poland, Mr. Kees van Rijn, CEO of Polish-based Dutch wholesale company Bart Kwiaty and Ms. Anna Małcużyńska, director of PR agency Sigma International Poland, presented a very positive outlook on the future of the Polish marketwith solid growth perspectives in the coming years.They exchanged views with the participants onthe Polish market’s specificities, focusing on consumption & distribution patterns.

The meeting also offered stimulating views and perspectiveson the global challenges and market changes currently faced by the flowers& plants value-chain, particularly traders and wholesalers. The membership agreed that those pre-competitive challenges, including the Brexit process, market access issues and phytosanitary risks, require strategic and coordinated efforts through reinforced lobbying activities by Union Fleurs in Brussels and at international level, for the ultimate benefit of the global flower industry. Additionally, members supported ongoing initiatives to strengthen Union Fleurs activities in the pot plant segment and took on board the need to cooperate more actively among member countries to sustain and encourage global consumption of flowers & plants via generic promotion campaigns, in particular towards the younger generations.

In line with the Union Fleurs strategic review, devised in the last 3 years and formally approved in 2016, members widely supported there newed objective of further engaging directly with key private players of the floriculture value-chain, in addition to the traditional core membership of national wholesale & import/export trade associations. By directly connecting with Union Fleurs’ international network and supporting the Association’s missions and activities, those players will contribute to optimising the global enabling & policyenvironment of common relevance to all operators across the floriculture supplychain. This is more than ever one of the core missions and strategic objectives of Union Fleurs in order to deliver maximum value to its members as the international association of the flower trade.

A busy and stimulating agenda therefore lies ahead of Union Fleurs and its members in the coming months.

Union Fleurs would express its warmest thanks to the organisers of Flower Expo Poland & Green is Life and to the Embassy of the Netherlands in Poland, who had been of invaluable support to organise the General Assembly this year.

For further information, please contact: Sylvie Mamias Union Fleurs Secretary General Tel.: +32 2 736 79 97 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Agrichem Africa Ltd

Unique Style Connects with Growers

Product branding and Consistency:
“Agrichem Africa stand is designed well and everything is labelled and placed appropriately, visualized for audience and generation of credible messages about the products .This creates a unique sequence in its construction. All the banners, artworks, product labelling and the display racks are affixed on the more viewable places. What potential and existing customers see is arguably appropriate level of professionalism, said James Gacheru, Technical Manager Flower City Thika. when interviewed by The Floriculture Magazine Team.

Bigger exhibition Booth: “There’s a reason everyone wants to see the Grand Canyon: it’s really big! Similarly, one of the key factors in which exhibition attendees remember most is booth size” said James Gacheru, Technical Manager Flower City Thika. Agrichem Africa Ltd had bigger booth space; attractively designed, calling for attention and action from customers.

Technology Trends - Where are we headed?

By John W. Bartok Jr.

The trend toward natural ventilation can eliminate the need for fans. If you have attended any of the industry product shows recently, you have seen new technology that will be part of your operation soon. There are many exciting developments that will make your job easier, reduce labor input and produce better plants.

Here are a few trends that I think will have an impact on your operations:
Internet information – The use of the internet is increasing rapidly. Information on what products are available, how to select the right one and how to install and maintain them is becoming readily available on the web. Purchasing through the internet will continue to increase. Monitoring and controlling the greenhouse environment with internetcontrolled electronic devices is becoming standard practice.

Greenhouse design – To reduce electricity costs, more greenhouses are being built or retrofitted with natural ventilation. To increase the effectiveness of natural ventilation, greenhouses are getting taller. This also allows room for multiple energy/shade screens and more space for hanging basket production.

Natural gas and high-efficiency heaters reduce heating cost. With improvements and lower prices for photovoltaic systems, growers are installing systems to offset the increasing cost of electricity. Several research projects are currently investigating the incorporation of solar collectors into the glazing on the greenhouse.

Supplemental lighting – There is a strong trend to install more efficient LED and HID lighting. Several research projects are looking at the benefits and economics of better plant growth control and greater utilization of greenhouses during the winter.

Irrigation – Water is become a regulated resource in many areas. There have been many innovations and improvements in the way water is applied to grow plants. Recycling, improved application methods, new sensors and controllers are available. These need to be put into use by growers, both large and small.

Environment controls – Great strides have been made over the past few years in integrating the equipment that controls the greenhouse environment. Both controllers and computers are readily available today. A trend toward using electronic controls by the smaller grower is developing. Besides saving energy, better plant quality and a shorter growing season can result.

Mechanization – Labor input for many crops is being reduced with new equipment. A trend toward once-through production is starting to develop. Equipment for spacing plants and plug sticking are the latest equipment developments. With labor being the greatest cost in the production of most plants and availability limited in many sections of the country, greenhouse operations will be designed to be more labor-efficient, utilizing mechanization.

Management – With the increase in mechanization and controls, there will be a greater need for people trained to select and maintain this technology. Engineers and technical service personnel will become part of many larger operations. Consultants are now available from suppliers to help growers.

There are still many challenges and opportunities in the greenhouse industry. Based on technology changes that have taken place in the last 50 years, it may be difficult to recognize the way greenhouse operations will look in the next 50 years. If a business is to succeed, it will have to select and install the technology that best fits these trends.

John is an agricultural engineer, an emeritus extension professor at the University of Connecticut and a regular contributor to Greenhouse Management. He is an author, consultant and certified technical service provider doing greenhouse energy audits for USDA grant programs in New England. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Downy Mildew Management in Roses

Downy mildew is a fungal disease that causes destruction of leaves, stems, and flowers of the infected plant. Downy mildew causal organism is called Peronosporasparsa and as the scientific name indicates, the production of spores is sparse and therefore this disease is difficult to diagnose and control.

  • Downy mildew (Oomycete fungi) are referred to as a high risk pathogens because of the following factors;
  • Oomycetes fungi are able to spread in an explosive manner under favorable conditions.
  • Short development cycle (8-10 days under optimum conditions)
  • High potential for reproduction (high quantities of spores)
  • Wide propagation by water and wind
  • Damage is not reversible: The damaged tissues die in general leading quickly to substantial losses at harvest
  • High genetic variability: Rapid appearance of strains less sensitive to specifically acting fungicides possible.


IBMA Kenya Receives Innovation Award

In the last 10 years biocontrol in Kenya has grown from a concept and wish, to a major crop protection strategy in reality. This transition has occurred as a result of various driving forces including consumer demand, overcoming pesticide resistance and environmental concern. However, the wide spread adoption by Kenyan growers has only been achieved through locally available biological control agents and service providers that provide affordable biological solutions. The biological industry has recognised that for the technology to be effectively adopted it has to be affordable and effective which often means local in-country production.

As local companies have become established that both produce and service customers’ needs through technical advice, training and products, there has been a need to have an organisation that represents the biocontrol industry in Kenya. The objectives of this body are to promote the technology, raise stakeholder awareness and lobby regulators and government to appreciate the merits of this technology.

The four founding members, Dudutech, Kenya Biologics, Koppert Kenya and Real IPM established IBMA Kenya (International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association of Kenya) in 2017. IBMA is a global organisation, and IBMA Kenya represents the ideals at the local level. The association was launched at the Naivasha Horticulture Fair and was awarded the show’s best innovation.

Dr Wainwright, General Manager of Real IPM said “In expanding global production areas like Kenya we have to work together as a biocontrol industry and promote our exciting technologies. We all have to make our technologies available and understood by all the agricultural stakeholders. This can be only achieved by working together and maximise the impact for both small and large scale growers.” The association welcomes new members and should contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . IBMA Kenya gratefully acknowledges the support the SNV through the HortiImpact programme.

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