11/21/2019

Heat, Water Shortage and Rising Ecological Awareness: IPM ESSEN 2020 Shows Trends and New Products

Climate and Sustainability as a New Chance for Horticulture

What's trendy? What's new? The green sector will introduce itself - local and global, from the start-up to the leader in the sector. That happens just once a year: From January 28 to 31, 2020, IPM ESSEN will take place at Messe Essen for the 38th time. The world's leading fair will be regarded as a signpost for the coming horticultural season. Over 1,500 exhibitors from around 50 nations will present their innovative products and services along the entire value added chain in plant production to trade visitors from all over the world: from plants via technology and floristry right up to equipment for the point of sale.

In this respect, the conditions for the successful selling of flowers and plants have rarely been as good. On the international level, Royal FloraHolland - as one of the most significant trading places worldwide - already reported good business in the first half of 2019. With a turnover of approx. Euro 8.7 billion in 2018, Germany offers a stable market which still has room for improvement according to the zeitgeist. For example, green plants have already been making a veritable comeback since 2017: Quantities are rising, as are average prices.

Call for More Green Areas

Social media are characterizing the new image of the chic house plant which stands for many things at the same time: responsibility, environmental awareness or lifestyle product. Some influencers have already announced that they will visit IPM ESSEN. Their accounts supply inspiration for plant lovers. In this respect, it is no coincidence that, parallel to the living room, there is a call to create more green areas also in public spaces, to reclaim urban gardens from derelict industrial monuments, to put plants on balconies and roofs and to renaturize gravel gardens, e.g. using a wild flower meadow for endangered bees.

Above all, one thing is important: more sustainability. For this purpose, whole cities are being reforested. Within the framework of the cross-border project entitled "Green Cities for a Sustainable Europe", the Federation of German Nurseries will offer a seminar on the subject of "Organizing Sustainability in the Municipality - Reports from Free Space Planning" at IPM ESSEN. The European Nurserystock Association (ENA) which traditionally meets up at the fair will speak about where the path is heading for the community of states.

Nurseries recently recorded good figures with regard to the marketing of woody plants: German wholesale markets alone registered turnover pluses of up to 40 percent. No wonder when campaigns like #einheitsbuddeln ("#unitydigging"), the big tree-planting event which was instigated by the federal state government in Kiel on the occasion of the German Unity Day, induced people throughout the federal state to grab spades and plant 110,000 trees in total.

Fair Program Takes up Climate Problems

The initiators gave the tip to choose, above all, native species. In cities and gardens, these were field maple and plane trees (for example). In the open landscape, the experts' advice indicated chestnut trees (for example). Silver linden trees handle the effects of the climate change particularly well and, for this reason, were recommended, too. The foundation called "The Green City" knows what other trees also withstand the altered climatic conditions and, on this subject, is planning special info tours for the coming IPM ESSEN.

The drought of the century in 2018 was followed by another year with long-lasting high temperatures in 2019. At the end of July, the new heat record for Germany (i.e. 42.6 degrees) was measured in the city of Lingen, approx. 150 kilometers away from the fair center in Essen. Not only trees but also most native plants find it difficult to cope with these extremes. The sector must react to this, e.g. by cultivating plants with their own water reservoirs, such as Sedum and Saxifraga.

Heroes of the Sector

Accordingly, there is a demand for fresh ideas for successful marketing. The IPM Discovery Center in Hall 7 under the management of the Creative Director Romeo Sommer will stand for this. Here, complete shop situations will be reconstructed and practical recommendations for sales-increasing action will be discussed - a mixture of a showroom, a communication area, a think tank and, corresponding to the current guiding principle of the special show, a Hall of Fame. For IPM ESSEN 2020, the platform will follow the approach of presenting exhibitors and products as "heroes". Because: Superheroes can be used in order to tell exciting stories not only in comic books and Hollywood productions but also at the point of sale.

In this connection, products which are convincing due to environmentally friendly packaging materials might be awarded the "Recycling Hero" title (for example). A seal of quality which probably also describes the range offered by the Gladbeck-based company Junger Spross: The firm offers cultivation sets in paper bags. At IPM ESSEN, the start-up from the Ruhr region will present itself on a joint booth which is being promoted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and will allow young innovative companies to meet up. Also involved: WeGrow from Tönisvorst. The company is currently becoming established as a specialist in the field of the sustainable cultivation of quick-growing kiri trees. The start-ups will show what has been emerging at IPM ESSEN, too, for years already: The trend is heading towards products which are sustainable, resource-saving and suitable for the climate change. These include heat- or cold-tolerant plant and woody plant varieties as well as air-cleaning and low-maintenance house plants.

Every year, breeders develop new variants worldwide. Most innovations can actually be seen first at IPM ESSEN. Last year, that applied to more than 2,500 products - mainly plant breeds. Every year, the best innovations are introduced within the framework of the Innovation Showcase. The meeting place will be the Green City in Hall 1A. It will be particularly colorful here. Above all, because top florists will present their ability in various shows. The new halls at Messe Essen will have been completely modernized by the start of IPM ESSEN and will offer the perfect backdrop for this.

Further information at: www.ipm-essen.de