The Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture LTO Nederland (Land- en Tuinbouw Organisatie) awarded the Poinsettia variety SK 136 by Selecta one with the highly appreciated LTO Novelty Award 2017.
The red Poinsettia SK 136 is a perfect fusion of tradition and modernity. It develops light red bracts on top of the dark greenish leaves with many yellow cyathias in the centre of each bract, thus looking like a traditional Poinsettia. In contrary to the varieties of the past, these cyathias last very long, which ensures a long shelf life for every single plant. This is very important for today’s often very long distance selling between the grower and the actual place of sales. Characteristic for the SK 136 is a reaction time of seven weeks, its cleanliness and its good root system. Furthermore, it is easy to grow. It has got an uniform and upright growth and strong stems which are of very good quality. That’s why breakage of branches during packing and transport will be little. SK 136 is very durable and is very well suited for sale in 6 cm pots.
The LTO Novelty Award 2017 reflects the appreciation of a great variety which will support growers worldwide marketizing poinsettia to consumers. Especially concerning the packing capacity and the durability SK 136 got a good evaluation by LTO Nederland. Also this year the popular variety Christmas Feelings® has proved itself as most durable variety in all evaluated pot sizes.
Each year LTO Nederland presents an award for Poinsettias. Therefore, the organisation compares Poinsettia novelties of selected producers for evaluation and as durability test with the aim of improving quality and getting information of the new varieties for the next year from the producers.
LTO Nederland (Land- en Tuinbouw Organisatie) is an entrepreneurial and employers’ organisation. It represents almost 50,000 agricultural entrepreneurs. The cooperative arrangement works in support of their economic and social position.
To coincide with the start of the 2018 bedding & balcony plant season, Selecta is instigating the second stage of its consumer campaign to sell its Pink Kisses® mini carnations on the German market. Following its successful launch in 2017, the carnation expert from Stuttgart is expanding its communication activities to include an online shop aimed specifically at its target audience of young women, along with extensive sales support for retailers in presenting the flowers attractively.
Under the slogan, "Pink Kisses® as beautiful as our friendship", Selecta one is using a consumer campaign to position its popular variety of pot carnation as a symbol of friendship among young women and as the ideal small gift for best friends. The flower marketer is therefore directly addressing a younger target audience, in order to establish the use of its mini carnations beyond that of traditional perennial bedding plants.
Following its successful launch in 2017, with over 30 million contacts via target audience-relevant media and events, Selecta one is maintaining its current communication strategy and will also be adding an online shop and ready-made POS solutions as part of a redesigned retail campaign in 2018. From spring 2018, a number of exclusive Pink Kisses® gift arrangements will be sold online, thereby ensuring that the mini carnations are more widely available for the young, Internet-savvy target audience. At the same time, sales and counter displays are intended to make it easy to position Pink Kisses® outside perennial and tree departments, thereby helping brick-and-mortar retailers to attractively present these products to a young target audience. Retailers can rent a mobile promotional stand directly from the Stuttgart plant grower to assist with their own campaigns. The customisable "friend stick" can also be requested directly from Selecta one or Floramedia.
Selecta one will present its 2018 campaign at IPM 2018 in Essen (Hall 2, Stand 21), where the team will be happy to provide further information.
In 2017, Selecta one took a new approach with its sales strategy. Instead of focussing purely on B2B marketing aimed at gardeners and resellers, the ornamental plant expert directly targeted end consumers for the first time, with its nationwide "Pink Kisses® as beautiful as our friendship" campaign. By specifically appealing to young women aged between 18 and 35 via social media, prominent influencers, publications in target audience-specific online and printed media and events, it was able to successfully position its mini carnations within the target group as the ideal small gift for best friends.
Going in line with the strategic extension of its product portfolio pot plants Selecta one has acquired the assortment and breeding program of Topcolor Breeding vof, Holland.
Since 2004 Topcolor Breeding has specialized in breeding and sales of single flowering Kalanchoe varieties. All varieties have been selected in close cooperation with growers and produced in Holland, but also in Denmark, Germany, North America and Brazil. The total sales volume reaches 7 Mio units per year. All existing customer and supplier relations will remain untouched from the transaction.
With the acquisition of this genepool Selecta one expands for the first time its product portfolio into the market of flowering pot plants. Dr. Ulrich Sander, CMO/CTO Selecta one: „The genetic diversity of Topcolor´s breeding is highly interesting. The large gene pool will help us to develop the assortment program further to launch new attractive products into our worldwide markets.“
Since 2016, Selecta one supplies Fairtrade certified young plants to their poinsettia growers besides conventional ones. All poinsettias are sourced from Wagagai Ltd. in Uganda. Besides improving health and safety measures, enabling freedom of association and collective bargaining the employees benefit from a Fairtrade Premium, which can be used for social projects. Already in 2016, Selecta generated through their poinsettia sourcing at Wagagai a return of 8,000 Euro to local workers as a premium. Independently from this Selecta and Wagagai are fulfilling all environmental and social standards set by Fairtrade to meet the certification requirements.
In Uganda as well as in other developing countries, basic wages in agriculture are well below what would be considered a living wage. Pay is insufficient to allow workers and their families meet their essential needs and afford them a decent standard of living. The absence of a minimum wage in Uganda compounds the problem. Besides that, wages cannot keep up with the rate of price increase. As a consequence people loose purchasing power. In addition many public services like schools are charged in developing countries. Often people do not have enough cash to send their children to secondary school.
So called „Living Wages“ are therefore extremely important to sustain the livelihoods of the lowest income earners in labour organizations, mainly workers.
On the occasion of the „Fairtrade Fortnight“, September 15 – 29, Selecta one and its cutting farm Wagagai Ltd. launched a project with Fairtrade to improve the wages of the employees: both partners will in the future refrain from placing certification costs and marketing costs of the poinsettias on the selling price. By adding just a few cents to the price of the fairly traded cuttings a significant bonus can be generated on the back of the volume of Fairtrade sales. The bonus flows directly into Fairtrade bonus fund for the workers. This is true not only for 2017, but for every poinsettia season. Quite aptly, this collaboration between Fairtrade, Wagagai and Selecta One is called the Wagagai Cents project.
Per Klemm, CEO, co-shareholder of Selecta one: „With this decision we are able to transfer already in 2017 about 45,000 Euro in addition to the Fairtrade premium to our cutting farm in Uganda. This sum will be solely used for the benefit of Wagagais staff. We are happy to have taken that decision within the context of the Fairtrade Fortnight in order to further contribute to alleviate poverty in this part of our world.“
And Olav Boenders, Director, shareholder of Wagagai Farm adds: „Following the standards of Fairtrade the agreed premium will be submitted to the Fairtrade committee fund, who will decide democratically for which social project it will be used for. With almost additional 45.000 Euro we are happy to pay out a full monthly salary extra to each worker as an extra Fairtrade bonus. From this about 1000 workers and their families will benefit“.
“The Fairtrade premium is an important tool for implementing projects that benefit the community. Low wages remain a challenge to the individual development of workers and their families. That is why we applaud this innovative project of Selecta one and Wagagai to take a further step toward a living wage for these workers and inspire others in the industry to join in“ completes Darío Soto Abril, CEO of Fairtrade International.
Fairtrade International is committed to assist implementing „Living Wages“ also on other farms in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The essential driver to succeed remains the demand though. As more consumers buy Fairtrade plants in our part of the world, people in Africa and elsewhere are able to decide on the own future.
This short film shows you in 6 minutes what this project is all about.
Selecta one took advantage of the summer 2017 to conduct a study on insect-friendly plants in cooperation with the public Teaching and Research Institute for Horticulture in Heidelberg, the nursery Staudenrausch and the Bee Research Institute of Hohenheim (Stuttgart). The aim of the project for the development and implementation of a biodiversity breeding program to increase the urban green for insects, was to get information about which varieties mostly attract insects and contribute to their nutrition by determining the preference of flower-visiting insects. Background of the project is to strengthen the assortment of Selecta even more with insect-friendly plants.
When in autumn the leaves are turning into bright orange and yellow and are falling off, bedding and balcony plants are replaced by perennials and Callunas. In this time of the year not only birds go to warmer climates, but also butterfly species such as red admiral and painted lady move to the South. The natural food sources for insects are ebbing in late summer. From that moment on “bedding and balcony plants (B&B) such as Bracteantha and Heliotrop are seen as time extension for natural food sources. They support the existing pollinators or insects in times when flowers lack outside.”, states Ute Ruttensperger from the faculity Horticultural Research Insitute of the LVG Heidelberg.
There is only few solid data and scientific evidence about which B&B varieties are really insect-friendly. “Bee friendliness is currently an important topic everywhere. Everyone has a bee friendly concept. But often this is not filled with content because it is not much known about what insect-friendly in relation to ornamental plants means.”, announces Lea Kretschmer, postgraduate at the Bee Research Institute of the university of Hohenheim. “What we are sure about is that in the last years the number of insects declined by 80 percent in some places. This show studies which were conducted by the NABU since 1989. That’s where we want to take action to contribute to the receipt of the biodiversity”, says Sebastian Mainz, Senior Trade Marketing Manager at Selecta one.
For this reason, the cooperation project investigated the behaviour of insects at three locations during the months from June to August: at the university of Hohenheim, on the testing area of Selecta one in Stuttgart and at the LVG Heidelberg. 30 observations of two minutes were made at each location to identify which variety is most attractive for insects. All insects which contribute to the polli-nation were included in the project. These include besides honeybees also hoverflies, wild bees, butterflies and other pollinator insects. 36 bumblebee species, around 440 hoverflies species, over 500 wild bee species and about 3700 butterfly species of butterflies and moths are native in Germany. At the beginning, these subsist more and more on pollen and flower nectar of woody and non-woody flowering plants in the nature. During the summer, these sources dry up more and more and the insects fall back on bedding and balcony plants.
To ensure enough activity of the bees sunny, dry and warm days in the summer months were chosen for the studies. Different varieties of different species were included in the trials. The evaluation of the trials showed that there was no variety which was not approached. However, it became obvious that the number of insects which were apparent on a variety during the two minutes of observation, depended heavily on the number of open flowers.
Following results could be made among others:
Compared to others, the variety Mohave® Yellow is the most insect-friendly variety among Selecta’s Bracteantha assortment. This variety is interesting especially for big and small wild bees (for example furrow bees - Halictus spec.). This assumption is confirmed by the fact that simple and semi-double Dahlia varieties are insect-friendly in contrast to double varieties and that they are a very good additional food source. Especially the varietes Dalaya Krishna, Dalaya Shari, Dalaya Shiva and Dalaya Yogi have many open flowers. This means the anthers are visible and the therefore the flowers are interesting for pollinator insects.
The top 10 of insect friendly B&B-varieties of the Selecta assortment can be found here .
At the IPM 2018 in Essen (GER) Selecta one presents again current highlights and developments of its assortment in hall 2 stand D21. With 180 m² the exhibition space remains the same as in the previous year and presents both new as well as approved varieties and introduces new and evolved projects. For the second time now, cut flowers of the subsidiary Selecta Cut Flowers will be exhibited.
The Poinsettia assortment is still an important element of the IPM booth of Selecta. Three novelties have been introduced. A great addition to the existing Christmas Beauty family concerning the colour is the variety Christmas Beauty Princess. It has a considerable two-coloured coloration and the modern bract shape of the Christmas Beauty varieties. The existing Princettia series is being expanded by the new Princettia® Midi Hot Pink – a good growing Princettia in powerful pink which can be grown well together with standard Poinsettia. A new red Poinsettia in the assortment is the new Christmas Sensation. The early colouring of the bracts makes early packing possible. Its late ripeness of the cyathias has a positive effect on the shelf life at the end consumer.
Considering the marketing strategy Selecta went one decisive step further in 2017 with the campaign „Pink Kisses® – as beautiful as our friendship“. At the IPM 2017 the carnation breeding specialist presented the new communication concept directly aimed at the end-consumer. With its interesting, conspicuous flower shape and its excellent shelf life the pot carnation Pink Kisses® is communicated as an emotional gift which was addressed to young women. After a successful conclusion of the campaign for 2017, Selecta one is ready to take off and start with Pink Kisses® also in 2018! The new concept will be presented to the public for the first time on the IPM 2018.
ReCarnation® stands for the revival of the dianthus and the continually growing popularity of the traditional product. Selecta offers a complete Dianthus program for the whole year by using this title. New additions are the Autmn Friends which make lots of autumn combinations possible with planted bowls consisting of grasses, dianthus and perennials.
New varieties in the market leading Selecta assortment are Capitán® Cook in nice pink and with a dark centre of the flower as an addition to the existing Capitán® series concerning the colour, and Peach Party – a compact growing pot carnation variety. It has a lot of apricot coloured flowers blooming above the leaves.
Advanced marketing concept: Nature Garden
Another highlight at the IPM 2018 is the advanced marketing concept Nature Garden. The concept was developed by results of the Selecta experiment about insect friendly plants. The project for the development and introduction of a biodiversity breeding programme to increase the attractivity of urban green was implemented in summer 2017. The aim was to get information about which varieties attract insects most and contribute to their nutrition. Background of this project is to strengthen the Selecta assortment with more insect friendly varieties.
Further variety innovations and highlights on the Selecta one booth 2D21:
The beginning of a new dark leaf series in the dahlia assortment is the new dahlia Dalaya Amba. The red dark flower in combination with the dark leaves form an impressive contrast with wonderful and strong long-distance effect.
In addition to the successful NightSky® there is another spectacular novelty now: LightningSky is the name of the new combination of yellow star and dot pattern on dark red ground. Looking at the growth habit, earliness and growth potential, the variety LightningSky is comparable to the petnuia series Famous. It has an early developing simple flower and a semi-trailing growth.
The XXL geranium is the new successful Pelargonium variety. It is extra vigorous and the large, fiery flow-ers in dark red on very dark leaves demonstrate a special colour spectacle which reminds of the Cuban rhythm tumbao and involves this positive and impulsive life attitude. Tumbao convinces with continuous flowering and a great performance in summer.
PinkTastic – winner of the Fleurostar Award
One of the shooting stars of the last year is the Calibrachoa PinkTastic. It could convince during the FlowerTrials® and has been awarded with the FleuroStar 2017/2018. Its two-bicoloured pink-white circles of inner petals in each flower truly catches the eye and add to an in-depth colour perception. Furthermore, PinkTastic convinces with an excellent summer performance and enjoys all the benefits of the Mini-Famous® series, such as easy growth, improved root system, the very early flowering and mildew tolerance.
The family company Selecta one is a world-leader in breeding, producing and marketing vegetatively propagated ornamental plants. The breeding activities include bedding and balcony plants, poinsettias, perennials and cut flowers. With eleven production sites and distribution companies in Europe, Africa, Asia and America, the corporate group serves all relevant markets worldwide. Quality and sustainability are our key concepts for innovations in the product and marketing sector, whilst responsibility and reliability are the basic principles for our dealings with customers, members of staff and the environment. Our commercial objective is to create a green product world, to win over and inspire gardeners, the trade and the end consumer.