Russia has been a big market for many carnation growers, until the country was hit by the financial crisis. Growers were forced to change direction, and along with changing direction the demand changed too; away from the traditional colours, according to Gianfranco Fenoglio of La Villetta.
“For many years, there was a large demand for the traditional colours of red, pink, orange and yellow,” explains Fenoglio. “Russia was a major carnation buyer and therefore an important market for many South American growers. The demand for these traditional colours, and red in particular, was high. However, when the Russian crisis kicked in, the demand for carnations dropped and growers had to find other export markets. And other markets often mean other demands too. ”
Before the crisis, according to Fenoglio, around 70 percent of the carnations produced were the traditional coloured ones and about 30 percent other colours. Since the crisis hit these numbers changed and the demand for non-traditional colours, more of the softer pastel colours, started to increase.
It influenced breeders too. “Breeding and selecting a new variety takes about 3 to 4 years, so adapting to this change instantly is not possible. However, as a breeder you are always looking for new varieties, so we had some new colours in stock and we saw the demand for the pastel coloured ones increasing, particularly in 2017. So, for many years, we focused on enhancing the quality and cultivation habits of the traditional colours and now we are very busy with enhancing those of the non-traditional colours too. And not to forget, expanding the assortment with new colours, because the consumer is now asking for new colours.”
Currently, the assortment of La Villetta consists of 140 carnation varieties with different colours and tones.
Article source – Floral Daily