The fair Aroused Enthusiasm with Internationality and a High Visitor Quality
The 32nd International Plant Fair in Essen in 2014 was characterised by another rise in the internationality, more decision takers as well as a greater interest in the Technology section. The world's premier horticultural fair which was this year opened by Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Food, not only showed an undiminished high level of ordering activities but, to an increasing extent, was also a platform for maintaining contacts and for networking. 1,554 exhibitors from 45 countries presented to around 57,000 trade visitors from over 100 nations products and services from the entire value added chain: from plants via technology, floristry and equipment right up to the point of sale.
"IPM ESSEN has once again proven that it is the most important fair in the green sector. It reflects the worldwide market and lets market partners come together. This year, it was able to extend its internationality even further as an exclusivity characteristic," was the summary of Oliver P. Kuhrt, Chairman and CEO of Messe Essen, and Egon Galinnis, Managing Director of Messe Essen.
Around one third of the visitors placed orders directly at the fair and almost half of them stated that contracts would be concluded after the fair. This highlights that the sector is looking into the future positively, as was confirmed by Jürgen Mertz, President of Zentralverband Gartenbau ("Central Horticultural Association"): "We gardeners are looking ahead with optimism. In this respect, IPM ESSEN at the start of the year is regarded as a source of impetus for a good economic year. Because the slump in the market in 2013 will not have any negative influences on the course of 2014 if the weather plays along. On the contrary, I am absolutely convinced that there will be a need for catching up, also with substitute and new planting operations."
IPM ESSEN 2014 More International Than Ever
The exhibitors praised the internationality and quality of the visitors in particular. At around 40 percent (in 2013: around 30 percent), the proportion of foreign trade visitors has risen substantially. Countries from the Middle East and Asia as well as Australia registered higher numbers of visitors. And it was also possible to raise the quality of the visitors. 75 percent (in 2013: 72 percent) of the visitors are involved in purchasing and procurement in their companies. There was great interest in the enlarged Technology section. Behind the Plant section (76 percent), around 41 percent (in 2013: 36 percent) of the people surveyed specified it as the exhibition section in which they were especially interested.
Important Subjects: Networks and Establishing Contacts
As far as the visitors' objectives were concerned, maintaining and consolidating business contacts as well as networking were right at the top of the ranking. International associations used the fair for their meetings. The European Tree Nursery Reception which was jointly organised by Bund deutscher Baumschulen (BdB - "Federation of German Tree Nurseries"), the European Nursery-Stock Association (ENA) and Messe Essen gave its premiere. "For the first time, our tree nursery associations are using the outstanding platform of IPM ESSEN in order not only to show our colours as companies but also to demonstrate the closeness of the sector throughout Europe," Helmut Selders, BdB President, emphasised the increasing significance of IPM ESSEN for exchanging ideas on the level of the international associations.
Showcase for New Products and Innovations
As is tradition, innovative new plant breeds were honoured at IPM ESSEN. In total, 56 plants had taken part in the Innovation Showcase. Seven of them are allowed to bear the title of an "IPM Innovation 2014". The Pelargonium grandiflorum "pac Bermuda Pink, Regbepi" from Elsner pac from Dresden was distinguished in the "Bedding and Balcony Plants" category and the Erysimum Hybride "Winter Party" from Kientzler from Gensingen in the "Spring-Flowering Plants" category. Moerheim New Plant from the Netherlands won in the "Flowering House Plants" category with the poinsettia called Euphorbia pulcherrima willd. Ex Klotzsch Princettia ® Pearl and Plantipp also from the Netherlands in the "Tub Plants" category with the Dianella revoluta Coolvista ® (Allyn-Citation). The Kalanchoe Interspecific Hybride Queen® from Knud Jepsen from Denmark was chosen in the "Cut Flowers" category and the Betula pendula "Magical Globe" from Kolster from the Netherlands in the "Woody Plants" category. The expert jury honoured the Basil Tree from Global Plant from Israel with a special prize.
The story behind the plant was the focus of attention of the "Colour Your life Award" which was organised by Messe Essen and Blumenbüro Holland ("Holland Flower Office"). Amongst the twelve nominations, the Helleborus from the "King" collection of Special Plant from Zundert in the Netherlands secured the trophy. The second prize went to the Hydrangea macrophylla Black Diamonds of De Jong Plants b.v. from Boskoop in the Netherlands. The bay tree of Gova BV from Nispen also in the Netherlands took third place.
The ornamental plant cultivation company Zierpflanzenbaubetrieb Engels from Pulheim received the "North Rhine-Westphalia Horticultural Prize 2014" for its successful concept with regard to practical climate and environmental protection in horticulture. The "INDEGA IPM Innovation Award 2014" presented by the "Association Representing the Interests of the German Horticultural Industry" went to the "FlowerPack" machine of Leidolt Maschinenbau from Singen. The device takes pots off the conveyor belt with a fork and puts them into transport or cultivation trays.