WARSAW, Poland: The predominance of family-owned and run businesses in Poland’s nursery stock industry brings strength to this industry through continuity of business relationships and commitment to quality, all supported by the natural friendliness of the Polish people.
This year saw the 26th edition of the Green is Life trade show in Warsaw, organised by the Polish Nurserymen Association. Many exhibitors have had trade stands since the start of Green is Life. The show provides nurseries old and new with the opportunity to establish their brand, and continuity maintains contact with customers, and connects with new ones. Exhibitors benefit from exchanging ideas with other nurseries, and seeing new products and trends. Some Polish nurseries, however, believe that exhibiting at other trade shows in alternate years gives their brand better exposure, and enables them to find out about a wider range of technologies and opportunities
Although Green is Life is essentially a trade show, and the first day of opening is reserved for trade to facilitate B2B opportunities, the public is invited to attend later in the week. This brings awareness to the end consumer of what is available, and who are the leaders in the nursery industry. Media coverage of Green is Life extends nationally and internationally, and many exhibitors say that the face-to-face contact at the expo helps to develop and expand brand recognition amongst Polish markets.
Flexibility is a key to continuing success in changing markets. For almost 30 years Clematis Źródlło Dobrych Pnaczy specialised in producing and breeding outstanding Clematis varieties, and many of its exclusive varieties can be seen around the world. A few years ago Clematis product range naturally progressed to include other climbers, recognising that climbers take up little space and are highly suitable for small gardens. And from this range of ornamental climbers the nursery further extended to fruit varieties, as home-grown fruit production increases in urban gardens.
As businesses expand in size, mechanisation is commonly considered to save on labour costs and improve efficiency. The Javo Buffer Belt is an automated process to move pots around nursery floors, and control spacing. With 70% of nursery labour costs committed to internal transport, Javo agent in Poland, Royal Brinkman, considers that 60-70% of Polish nurseries would be large enough to benefit from automation.
Mechanisation that offers not just labour saving, but also an impressive way to reduce possible disease and weed spread, is the Steenks brush and vacuum equipment. The machine lifts dirt and debris from fabric or concrete, filtering out weed seeds and dust. Current methods of hand sweeping or blowers might make the floor seem clean, but do not effectively remove fine particles. A new exhibitor at the show this year, Steenks is ambitious to contribute to the continued growth of the Polish nursery industry.
A highlight of Green is Life each year is the Plant Novelties competition. Awards recognise plants that are superior novel introductions to the Polish ornamentals market. To get the most balanced opinion a jury of 9 people are asked to select the awards. Head of the jury panel, Wiesław Szydło, explained that the jury consisted of experts across a wide spectrum of the ornamentals sector.