Q&A: Burkholder On Syngenta-Costa Partnership
Syngenta Horticultural Services (SHS) partnered on young plants earlier this year with Costa Farms, which launched a new division in Total Growth Solutions (TGS) to market and distribute Syngenta material. More recently, Greenhouse Grower caught up with Jeff Burkholder, senior business manager at SHS, to learn more about the partnership and find out what’s in store for grower customers.
GG: Logistically, how is TGS positioned to better serve other growers?
JB: We see TGS well positioned to enter the highly competitive young plant market. They bring significant young plant production experience with skilled growers, solid facilities and a uniquely advantageous high-light location in South Florida.
They also bring production potential at their North Carolina site. The TGS team has extensive experience with electronic systems and an impressive, innovative IT staff supporting both production and order-management requirements. An industry leader in transportation, their organization manages thousands of loads a year out of Florida and North Carolina, which presents our customers with an array of delivery options.
Combine these fundamentals with a helpful and informative, well-trained Syngenta Horticultural Services (SHS) local rep, and we think growers will recognize the value SHS and TGS bring.
GG: What type of logistical and technical support is Syngenta offering?
JB: Syngenta Horticultural Services connects our grower customers to the products, services and resources that empower them to be more successful. In our relationship with TGS, we connect our customers to reliable genetics, quality young plants, world-class production support and innovation. We’ll be electronically integrated with TGS for order management, product availability information and order placement.
We’re a clear connection to Syngenta’s extended network of expertise in genetics, chemical controls and media, and we will utilize those resources to support both TGS and our grower customers.
GG: Do you anticipate other large growers forming subsidiary companies in coming years, like Costa Farms has with Syngenta?
JB: I don’t know that I can say. Every situation is different. Costa hasn’t formed TGS with Syngenta, but for us and our customers. Total Growth Solutions was created to operationally separate Costa’s young plant business from their other businesses. SHS encouraged them to do that because we believe our suppliers need to have clear operational and management focus on their young plant production for the grower customer. We firmly believe this structure serves the entirety of the supply chain best.
GG: Is the future of young plants in grower-brokers like a Costa?
JB: The SHS relationship with Costa and the formation of TGS come from an identified opportunity to improve and expand the supply of young plants into the market from two highly capable organizations. Both SHS and TGS bring some unique qualities to our customers that many of our competitors cannot. These things make our two organizations a good match that can benefit growers. Certainly, if other organizations can find similar situations for them, I assume they would pursue them.