Green Fuse Botanicals, Inc. recently hired Jim Devereux as its new Vice President. Working from Ft. Collins, CO, Devereux will oversee production, sales, and marketing for Green Fuse.
Devereux’s experience with the grower community creates a pivot for strong growth with Green Fuse’s expanding line of annuals and perennials, according to the company.
“We are excited to have Jim join our team in a leadership role,” says Green Fuse President Steve Jones. “Our industry faces the ever-changing challenge of producing a living product. Jim is highly respected in the industry for his sophisticated approach to growers’ increasingly technical needs. His familiarity with our products means Jim will hit the ground running and be an immediate asset for our customers around the world.”
Green Fuse Botanicals is a leader in developing new genetics for ornamental horticulture. Based in California, Green Fuse products are available through its distributors in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific Rim.
Greenhouse Grower® recently caught up with Devereux and asked him about the industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities, and how he plans to help growers better manage plant production.
Greenhouse Grower (GG): How did your previous experience prepare you for this new role?
Jim Devereux: I have been fortunate to work in nearly every facet of the horticultural industry. I have grown, killed, purchased, sold, and brought plants to market. Because of this, I am able to understand not only the frustrations, but also the ample opportunities. At Green Fuse Botanicals, we look to bring products that will offer solutions to the grower for both the struggles and wins.
GG: What are the some of the biggest issues or concerns you’ve heard from the growers you work with, and how do you plan to help them deal with these issues?
Devereux: While consistency of clean supply is imperative, it is my opinion that growers want someone to stand with them. We deal with live goods, which will always have its challenges. Making sure the genetics are ready for the market and have been thoroughly tested is key to grower success. The people I speak with want to be successful in every crop and want the tools to do this. I believe the largest portion of my job begins when the plants are received by the grower.
GG: What are the biggest challenges this industry is currently facing? Conversely, what are some of the biggest opportunities on the horizon?
Devereux: Labor is increasingly difficult, both from regulation as well as competition. Our ability to work with automation in cutting production will be imperative. Genetics that require less “touches” through the crop have the decisive advantage.
We have a generational shift of consumers, and while this can be difficult, it also presents a fantastic opportunity. Keeping an emphasis on breeding that works in production, but also holds in retail and performs at the consumer’s home, is a must. Our ability to facilitate genetics that require little to no growth regulators, like our Calibrachoa ‘Cruze Control’ and Petunia QT series, ensure the consumer will be successful.
GG: Looking ahead, what role can you play in moving this industry forward?
Devereux: In conjunction with Steve Jones, we look to bring genetics to the market that break from traditional production methods for finished growers. Our new Lupine Staircase series, within the First Light perennial program, is a great example of this. Lupine traditionally need a crop time of half a year due to cold requirements. The Staircase series is the only Lupine to not require this vernalization. Growers can now meet a year-round bloom schedule in as little as 8 to 10 weeks. We have a multitude of grower solution genetics yet to come to the market.
GG: If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
Devereux: I’m lucky enough to love what I do, but I originally started college with the mindset to work for the National Park System. I did a few summers at Curt Gowdy National Park in Wyoming as a ranger. We have some absolutely stunning landscapes in America, and it would be a pretty good gig to have that be your office.