Italian nurseries use show as gateway to northern Europe

Northern Europe markets were the target of an Italian show recently.

Growers from north-west Italy used the Euroflora 2006 show in Genoa to promote plants to northern European markets, including the UK. Savona Chamber of Commerce head of agriculture Ennio Fazio said: “Two-thirds of sales from the Albenga area go to the German market and we want to develop other markets, such as Great Britain and Poland.” The plant industry in the area consists of around 1,500 family-run nurseries, mostly 0.5ha or less, which supply central distributors, such as Della Valle and Terra Alta. Part of the marketing push has bee n the introduction of common branding on plant labels. Customers sending back the labels have a chance to win one of 100 holidays in the region. UK general manager Mark Powell of plant importer Florimex visited the region. He said: “I was impressed with the willingness to share packing and development via group depots, but I wonder if the large players will swallow up the smaller operations.” Albenga is Italy’s foremost potted plant-growing region, producing 120 million specimens a year, of which 70 million are aromatic plants, such as Lavandula. Nearly all are grown in open ground.

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