US growing outlined at European Nurserystock Association meeting

US nursery Monrovia Growers chief executive officer Miles Rosedale says the US growing industry is returning to health.

Rosedale told a recent ENA meeting in Germany that the American nursery industry, including the landscape, is about 15 billion euros and out of that, 40% are plants.

Five years ago, there were too many growers and too many plants when the housing collapsed and nurseries couldn’t sell plants, particularly big plants in containers which had a 40-50% drop in sales. Now they are recovering from the recession and big plants are back in demand for landscaping, but 25-30% of the growers in the US closed.

Five years ago, the prices were also the weakest of the last 40 years, but from that time prices have been increasing 5% every year.

While they had lots of labour and were not too expensive before the recession, now there is a lack of labour and the costs are going up.

In the future, the industry will face new channels of distribution, independent garden centres will diminish their share of the market and digital customers will become important.

Meanwhile, ENA "Green Cities for Europe" promotion campaign. ENA agreed on applying for a EU promotion grant for the "Green Cities for Europe" campaign, aimed at "increasing awareness of the benefits of a green urban environment for health, biodiversity, wellbeing, social coherence and climate change.

Leon Smet, chairman of the ENA Promotion Working Group, said:

"Urban green spaces such as domestic gardens, parks and woodlands provide a multitude of benefits to human urban populations and contribute to climate change mitigation. By improving physical fitness and reducing depression, the presence of green spaces can enhance the health and well-being of people living and working in cities. Green spaces also indirectly impact our health by improving air quality and limiting the impact of heatwaves by reducing urban temperatures.

"In addition, urban vegetation helps to mitigate climate change by storing carbon and reduces the likelihood of flooding by storing excess rain. Besides that, an urban area with lots of green areas will make building structures -houses, offices and public buildings- more valuable compared to urban areas with no or little green areas."

The campaign will be developed in B2B congresses, seminars and business meetings, supported by an EU website and printed information aimed at city planners, decision makers, politicians, landscape and urban architects, landscape contractors, housing authorities and public influencers. The programme has a
strong focus on exchanging knowledge about the values of green in urban areas. ENA says the nursery industry can play a "vital role" in the future of European cities.

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