Poinsettia campaign to focus on garden centres

Marketing initiative Stars for Europe is to concentrate on promoting poinsettia sales in garden centres rather than PR involving poinsettia dresses made by celebrity florists.

Woodlark Nurseries managing director Colin Edwards and the British Protected Ornamentals Association chairman have met with campaign co-ordinator Purple Spotted Media and said that they want the products they grow and where you can buy them to be promoted.

"Potentially the money could be used more effectively promoting pot plant sales," said Edwards. Almost all poinsettia sales are pot plants through garden centres and supermarkets rather than to florists to make designs, he added. There might now be in-store promotions done at garden centres using Stars for Europe money to help push sales of the plant this season.

Edwards said he has pre-sold all 35,000 poinsettias he will grow this year. Imports of cuttings will go up because of Brexit but imports of finished plants will be more expensive as sterling falls, he explained. Sales have been poor after a six-week busy spell in May and halfway through June, as they were earlier in the year, he added.

Stars for Europe was founded by European poinsettia breeders Dummen, Syngenta Seeds and Selecta Klemm. The initiative began in 2000 with the aim to promote and ensure long-term European poinsettia sales. Activities take place in 16 European countries.

In 2011 Stars for Europe won EU funding for a three-year EUR2.1m programme in Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Poland. The UK was identified as one of the most promising markets because its per capita poinsettia sales are much lower than many other countries.

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