Work Together To Sell More Plants

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Zlatin Etimov

My name is Zlatin Etimov. I am 26 years old and from Bulgaria. I have had the chance to travel a lot and visit different countries. Now I am interning for a year through the Ohio program in the U.S. My internship takes place in a nursery in Ohio. The company has a retail business that sells plant products. Even though I am not directly involved in the greenhouse side of the industry, I will do my best to share my personal thoughts about the horticulture industry in the U.S.

The Most Interesting Thing About The Green Industry

Life on Earth as we know it can`t survive without plants. I believe that each and every one of us should be aware of the current situation on the planet — scarce resources, pollution etc. People should be concerned about protecting the environment and not destroying what we have. The green industry is vast and consists of so many areas, such as producing everything from fertilizers, sprinkler systems and water-harvesting machines to gardening tools and growing plants.

It doesn’t matter where you live; it is beneficial to protect the Earth. It is important to me personally in building a career, but it is also important in global terms to create a greener planet. The horticulture industry is filled with great people, amazing products and innovative ideas. It is an industry that employs millions of people while making the world a more beautiful place.

Improving The Industry

When talking about industry, I refer to breeders, growers and retailers on the one hand and consumers on the other. In my opinion, the responsibility to improve the green industry lies with everyone involved. We all have to put in an effort in order to achieve real improvement. Here are my suggestions for the leaders of the industry based on my experiences with each of the four groups.

For starters we have the breeders, and obviously, the process starts with them. Fewer and fewer breeders are concerned about the big picture. Is it a good idea to brag about the new color you bred when the plant doesn’t perform well in the garden afterwards? It doesn’t. I think many will support me when I say that breeders should focus on the plants that actually grow and not die, despite any new colors or attributes that may make it appealing to the consumer.

Growers are focused on quickly getting crops consumer-ready. From supplying the nutrients to watering and pruning, growers are less concerned over how well their plants will survive once they leave the nursery. Plant quality must improve, not decline.

Here’s where the retailers come in. Caring more about the customer, establishing a good relationship and getting feedback are crucial to the success of both sides. Customers should be in awe of their gardens, not just in the store. Consumers are happier when they can recognize quality and value in the same package. This also ensures more repeat customers, which consequently secures the sustainability of the industry.

Last but not least, dear customer, please be more knowledgeable. Educate yourself. Know what you want and have an idea, plan or design scheme in the first place. It will help you save time and money.

Overall I`d say everyone is responsible for the end result.

Getting People More Involved In Green Jobs

Getting more people interested in green jobs would require a massive advertising campaign. I think people in the industry should take action because we are the ones who are able to change the world for the better.

Get involved. Volunteer. Plants and gardening will always be an important and relevant part of life on planet Earth, so try to make your life a little greener.

Zlatin Etimov interned at a retail garden center through The Ohio State University's Ohio Program.
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