Plantarium sees visitor drop

Some 16,100 visitors came to Dutch grower trade show Plantarium in 2016, 1,000 fewer than in previous years, with 10,600 trade visitors being similar to two years ago when 10,650 attended the fair.

The largest number of professional visitors came from Germany (26 per cent), Belgium came second (14 per cent) and Italy third (10 per cent). France came fourth (nine per cent), the United Kingdom fifth (eight per cent) and Poland sixth (five per cent). They were followed by Denmark (three per cent), Sweden, Ireland, China and USA with 2.5 per cent each, with other at 15 per cent.

Owners were 54 per cent, members of staff (31 per cent) and purchasers (15 per cent). Growers/producers were 31 per cent, garden centres were 29 per cent and traders 19 per cent.

Meanwhile, Power Plant, which was entered by students from Wellantcollege in Delft, and Amazingworld by Van der Velde Waterplanten bv from Bleiswijk won the title of Best Idea at Plantarium 2016.

There were 14 entries for the Best Idea at Plantarium 2016, three in the students category and 11 in the business category.

Power Plant is a plant wall which generates energy for charging a mobile phone. The jury made the following comments: "Power Plant is a great innovation and will certainly be used by companies as an eye-catcher in the hall or reception area. It provides power for charging a smartphone and has a positive effect on the company's desired sustainability and innovation image. It shows in a light-hearted and innovative way that the company is investing in CSR/sustainability."

In the business category, Amazingworld by Van der Velde Waterplanten bv won first prize. Amazingworld introduces children to nature in a playful way. With regard to this entry, the jury commented: "It is an appealing total concept which is well thought out and geared towards a specific target group: children. It fits well into the gift segment and is definitely intended for pleasure shopping. The fact that the plants in Swampworld also catch mosquitoes is a nice bonus."

The Best Idea at Plantarium 2016 was judged by Michiel Gerritsen and Ferry Fase on behalf of Greenport Boskoop, Iwan Kleiweg from the Rabobank and Erik Carree from the business association Vereniging Ondernemers Alphen aan den Rijn. The ideas were judged according to various criteria. The students received a cheque for €1000 and Van der Velde Waterplanten won a PR package of the same value.

The Willemstein Hoveniers team from Waddinxveen was voted the "Best Green Team at Plantarium 2016". Growers, garden centres, trading companies, gardeners/horticultural companies and supply companies could nominate their employees for the prize.

Six teams were nominated for this award by their employers. Alongside the winning team, the other participants were Rabobank Gouwestreek from Gouda, Florizon Plants from Mijdrecht, Hoogeveen Plants from Hazerswoude, Hortipoint from Leiden and Jiffy Products International B.V. from Moerdijk. After completing the application form, the employer had to complete a brief questionnaire. On Friday 26 August, the teams took an aptitude test at Plantarium which involved carrying out several assignments at the fair. A professional jury which consisted of Henk Westerhof, Anthos, tree nursery training advisor Piet Verhoeven, Plantarium board member Monique van Weerdenburg and Wim Konijn from Wellantcollege assessed the implementation of the assignments and the employer's motivation.

Astilbe 'Chocolate Cherry' won best new plant at the show.

Plantarium 2017 runs from 23 to 26 August 2017 in the Plantarium building at the International Trade Centre Boskoop-Hazerswoude.

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