Art Van Wingerden, president of greenhouse operations at Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, N.C., shares his take on the state of the industry this week.
How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today?
We think the state of the industry is good right now. Not good for everyone, but the overall state is, we think, good.
Has our industry entered a new era or paradigm shift? Please explain why or why not.
We have hit a shift. If you told growers a few years back they would be contract growing, they would have told you no way. The number of people who contract grow for others is increasing every year. We are currently at 25 percent of our sales is grown by others.
Has there been a changing of the guard in industry leadership? Please explain your answer.
Not sure about this one. Who says who is in charge? There is no competition to be the No. 1 grower like in sports but every company does the best they can to be the best they can be every year.
In the next 10 years, many of the greenhouse (operations) that have their original owners will be approaching retirement. Do they have the next owner ready to go? Are they selling? Are they transferring ownership to children? Are they closing down?