Five Questions With … Dominik Neisser

Five Questions With … Dominik Neisser

As part of our State Of The Industry report, we asked industry leaders to answer questions about the state of all things greenhouse floriculture. Dominik Neisser, the grower at EuroAmerican Propagators, shares his take on the state of the industry this week.

How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today?

I think we got a good share of the nationwide crisis. Because our product is a luxury product, people remove flowers from their shopping list when money gets low. The result of that will be a market that has more product than demand, which will push down prices.

As a greenhouse operator you need to carefully watch the costs and eliminate any kind of waste of spending so your lower income will still be higher than the overall costs. Good quality and fair prices is not just a good sales argument anymore; it is essential to survive in the industry and clean up.

Even when recession turns into normal business again, the flower industry will have to wait until consumers fulfilled other demands they had to put aside for a while. First, the car will be renewed. Traveling and furniture will be [priorities]. I saw it happen during the crisis in 2002 in Europe, with the greenhouse operation hanging in there hoping the business comes back.

Has our industry entered a new era or paradigm shift? Please explain why or why not.

Yes, we are in a different era right now. The last years have been beneficial for the floriculture industry. People beefed up their front yards to raise the house evaluation. Many apartment renters became homeowners and invested in their property (well sponsored by the bank). Overall, there was more spending than earning, and flowers have been part of that wild party.

The price was a secondary criteria when customers shopped in the garden centers. It’s been more than a year now since we returned to “reality,” and consumers realize their flower budget is lower than the years before. Cheaper varieties will be accepted more often and the price is a more watched criteria. But greenhouse operations invested and build up production space based on the better times before. Investments have been done and credits need to be paid back to the bank. That’s why the overproduction of flowers will not be adjusted in short time. Everybody is trying to keep their share of the market and competition will be much harder and rougher.
 
Has there been a changing of the guard in industry leadership? Please explain your answer.
I do not think yet. When they talked about financial problems of the big home improvement stores, there where signs of a big change. But it looks like they will survive the next months and most nursery products will still produced from their big suppliers.

Breeding and licenses are still ruled by the companies like Syngenta, Ball and others. The few changes that happened last year really do not affect the leadership because the big players bought each other and did not let anybody else join the club.

What are the greatest challenges growers are facing today?

Competition. Desperate sellers will extend their sales territories and try to convince established markets to buy their products. With that, wholesalers will have more offers on their desk and pick the best product and the best price. This can raise of the quality standard and lower sales prices.

Nurseries also have to create very careful business relationships. Missed calls or skipped visits could lead to fewer orders because there are more competitors out there knocking on customer doors. Marketing investments need to be higher to still be visible on the market.

With all the extra effort and higher quality standards, growers need to be very good in math. Besides fulfilling the high demands of the market, they have to still overlook costs and compare them constantly with the income. They have to know their costs and give the best prognoses of the income. To do the math before was important to maximize the profit. Today it is essential to survive the business year. Who did not watch costs before just lost money that year. Nowadays, there will be a call from the bank and trouble is on the way.

Choosing the right plants in the production program is another challenge that is critical these days. Consumers will change their plant choices and growers need to hit this moving target.

What are the greatest opportunities for growers to build their business?

The unsecure market gives small growers and greenhouse operations new chances. Wholesale companies are looking for better, different and cheaper products more than before.

With the right marketing and an aggressive sales strategy, there can be newfound markets. With an innovative product produced in good quality to a fair price, the stores can offer an alternative to the overall mass product.

This year, vegetable plant sales went up in a lot of garden centers. Who would have thought that two years ago? Small businesses that do not have to go over a long chain of command to introduce new products can take advantage of an overfilled market that looks desperate for something different fast.

Consumers have a lower budget for flowers, but they may also have more time to compare products and look for new shopping possibilities: the Internet, farmers markets, the little store on the corner. You have to watch the market and find out where the business is going.

It is also the perfect time for investments. Interests are low, construction companies are not overfilled with orders and give good prices. There are also a lot of used products out there that can give chances for a cheap investment that pay off faster than before.

Leave a Reply

More From State of the Industry...

March 2, 2017

Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry Whitepaper Available for Download

This year’s survey featured a record 975 respondents and tackled topics such as sales trends, technology, major industry challenges and opportunities, and much more.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry Webinar

February 27, 2017

State of the Industry Webinar Available for On-Demand Viewing

The half-hour presentation includes an analysis of Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 State of the Industry survey, along with insights from horticulture industry leaders.

Read More

February 11, 2017

Poinsettia Survey Reveals Growers Increased Poinsettia Sales and Production in 2016

On average, growers responding to Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Poinsettia Survey said the poinsettia season was “good,”Here’s a glance at the outlook for poinsettias in the marketplace.

Read More
Latest Stories

March 2, 2017

Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry Whitepaper Avai…

This year’s survey featured a record 975 respondents and tackled topics such as sales trends, technology, major industry challenges and opportunities, and much more.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry Webinar

February 27, 2017

State of the Industry Webinar Available for On-Demand V…

The half-hour presentation includes an analysis of Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 State of the Industry survey, along with insights from horticulture industry leaders.

Read More

February 11, 2017

Poinsettia Survey Reveals Growers Increased Poinsettia …

On average, growers responding to Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Poinsettia Survey said the poinsettia season was “good,”Here’s a glance at the outlook for poinsettias in the marketplace.

Read More

January 25, 2017

59 New Members of Congress Need to Hear from You, SAF S…

Retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, and growers coming to the Society of American Florists' (SAF) 37th Annual Congressional Action Days, March 13-14 in Washington, DC, have a lot of explaining to do. There are 59 new congressmen and senators on Capitol Hill, and this freshmen class needs a lesson about floriculture.

Read More
bouldin-lawson-pro-sticking-line-at-north-creek-nurseries

January 25, 2017

State of the Industry 2017: Growers are Ready to Invest…

Greenhouse Grower's 2017 State of the Industry Survey revealed that grower investment in technology is imminent due to the cost and availability of labor, to improve efficiency, expand their growing operations, and allow employees to concentrate on higher value jobs that are less labor-intensive.

Read More

January 24, 2017

Growers are an Aging Demographic, 2017 State of the Ind…

Owners and upper management of growing operations in the horticulture industry, not unlike others in agriculture, are aging, according to Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 State of the Industry Survey.

Read More
Biocontrols and beneficials absolutely can be used in outdoor production, with the use of banker plant systems

January 24, 2017

Growers Becoming More Sustainable but Most Think Climat…

Greenhouse Grower's 2017 State of the Industry Survey revealed that growers are adopting biocontrols and organic production, yet 58% of growers said they don't believe humans can control climate change.

Read More

January 24, 2017

State of the Industry Survey Says 2017 Will be a Year o…

Growers, suppliers, and researchers who took Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 State Of The Industry Survey say they are ready to drive change and profitability in horticultural businesses.

Read More
Moana plant yard

January 4, 2017

Green Industry Poised for Continued Economic Growth in …

Positive economic indicators point to 2017 being a year of modest growth for the green industry, according to economist Charlie Hall.

Read More

January 3, 2017

Growing Optimism for the Horticulture Industry in 2017

With a new administration and a new Congress, AmericanHort's Craig Regelbrugge says the horticulture industry has reason to be cautiously optimistic that regulatory relief could be on the horizon.

Read More
Bees on flowers

October 11, 2016

Bees Endangered? Here’s The Rest Of The Story

Recently, mainstream media reported that certain bee species have been placed on the endangered species list, but the situation isn’t as dire as one might think.

Read More
cuttings-facility

September 27, 2016

How Global Suppliers Of Unrooted Cuttings Are Working T…

The world’s top vegetative producers discuss how they continue to evolve to overcome challenges and embrace opportunities to help growers and the varieties supply chain.

Read More
OSU ATI Greenhouse

September 21, 2016

Your Support Is Essential For Current And Future Studen…

September is back to school time, and that means renewed opportunity to support the young people who are electing to pursue careers in horticulture. I continue to hear from growers of all sizes, from all over the country, that there just are not enough qualified graduates of two- or four-year horticulture programs. We also need to be active in promoting careers in horticulture to those who are not aware of the opportunities available. There have been some great success stories in this area recently. At University of Florida (UF) last fall, Anna Ball and Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Co. joined UF’s Dr. David Clark in an introductory environmental horticulture couse that’s open to any major. After the class, the line of students waiting to talk with Ball, Miller, and Clark was out the door. It is so important, Ball says, for each of us, individually and collectively to […]

Read More
young-plants

September 20, 2016

The Top Young Plant Growers, And Four Critical Challeng…

In Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Top Young Plant Growers Survey, growers discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in fulfillment, shipping, labor, and crop protection.

Read More

August 13, 2016

Plants Sales Are Up For Fourth Straight Year, According…

Growers declared spring 2016 to be a success in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry: Spring Crops Recap Survey.

Read More
Joe Bischoff

July 26, 2016

SAF Partners With Cornerstone Government Affairs To Adv…

A new partnership between the Society of American Florists (SAF) and Cornerstone Government Affairs ensures that SAF will continue its highly effective work advocating for issues that affect the floriculture industry. “SAF and Cornerstone together provide experienced voices on Capitol Hill to protect our growers’ interests,” says SAF CEO Peter Moran. “We’ll continue to move major policy priorities forward on behalf of small business and agriculture.” Cornerstone is a public affairs firm specializing in government relations, strategic consulting, and advocacy. Its team of more than 50 senior professionals includes former senior professional staff from both authorization and appropriations committees and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as veterans of the horticulture industry. Agricultural and horticultural issues of primary concern to SAF members include access to labor, immigration, crop protection, international trade and other matters related to the day-to-day operations of growers. Before she retired this year, SAF lobbyist Lin […]

Read More

July 26, 2016

AFE Releases New Videos Highlighting Industry Successes

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently released five new videos, created to highlight floriculture successes through industry collaboration, support, and participation. “Each video shares real stories from industry members on career development through scholarships and internships, and true examples of research solutions that have shaped how the industry operates today,” says Laura Shinall, President of Syndicate Sales, Inc., and AFE Public Relations and Development Chair. “We’re excited to be able to share some great success stories in an effort to increase industry participation.” The introductory video “Heard of the American Floral Endowment?” helps educate those who aren’t currently aware of AFE’s programs, while other segmented videos (retail, wholesale, grower) share how Endowment programs complement each group and why it’s so important that everyone in the industry participates: Retail Florists Share Why They Turn to AFE New Resources for Floral Wholesalers and Suppliers AFE Helping Growers Profit Ready for a Career in Floriculture or Horticulture? […]

Read More

July 19, 2016

Do You Grow Young Plants? Only 4 Days Left To Take Our …

If your operation produces plugs or liners for wholesale growers, please take a few minutes to participate in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Young Plant Grower Survey. We know you are very busy and we value your time and input. This survey should only take a few minutes. Greenhouse Grower’s Young Plant Grower Survey has played a key role in building our Top 20 Young Plant Growers list over the years. The information helps us zero in on trends taking shape and the challenges you’re facing as young plant growers. If you have any questions about this survey or you are not the right contact for this at your operation, please email me at [email protected], or please forward the survey link to the appropriate person. We would like to wrap up this survey by July 25, so please take it soon! Thank you in advance for your participation. We value your opinion! » […]

Read More