Jan-Dieter Bruns, chief executive officer of Brunswick Plant Export and member of the expert panel Wholesale & Export Association of German Nurseries (BdB), said exports to Russia have declined by about 30-40 per cent because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, subsequent fines and sanctions imposed by Western states and low oil prices, which have led to a sharp rouble decline.
Bruns called for politicians to talk again, for Russian president Vladimir Putin to be invited back to the economic summits and the sanctions to be relaxed. He added that the German tree nursery economy "is in a very strong restructuring phase, which will lead to many changes. There is a very big production, coupled with a sluggish demand, which leads to many problems in the factories. In particular, the garden centre market is subject to major changes." He said these include changes of ranges and ordering just in time depending on the weather, leading to problems in delivery by nurseries.
But he said: "BKN Strobel (which continues to trade) is, however, well placed and I hope they will manage to continue to be active on the market."
Bruns said the younger generation is to consider whether they want to take over the family businesses. He added that lucrative businesses will be in special crops and niches in the future.