We sat down with our Designer Consultant, Pieter Landman to understand more about diversification, an amazing strategy for farms that are looking to have more, and better participation in today's market.
PL - It can be a lot of things, if you concentrate on one and only one breed, if it collapses…all your business collapses. Now, more than ever our market depends on trends, fashion, and also consumer behavior. We are facing an audience constantly changing. So if your farm depends on only one variety the risk is too high.
PL - Your competitor's price could go low, or people could suddenly stop wanting your product. Right there is where variety becomes important: to spread your risk and diversify your business.
Nowadays people want different types of flowers in their home and their offices, so the market is asking for diversification.
The consumer is looking for summer flowers, seasonal flowers, and new ways to combine and play with them! It's all about new colors, textures, and much more, so when you can come up with new combinations you are not only more productive, but this also works as a push product for your main crops.
We are all afraid of the unknown, it's a human factor. But the best advice I could give you is: try. You don't have to purchase 10 acres, you just have to try, even with a small portion on your farm.
BALL SB - Since when, in your opinion, has diversification gained relevance and why?
PL - Since the economic crisis of 2008 - 2010, A lot of things changed in the industry.
Wholesalers and retailers started contacting the farms in Colombia, Costa Rica, and other countries directly and skipped the middlemen.
Going to the farm directly you needed to have 50 suppliers so wholesalers and retailers started to look for one farm that could offer them more.
Now, the farms are diversifying and having all the flowers - main crops and sub crops under one roof.
In Africa, the United States, and South America, farms are joining together to grow even bigger.
Is a one-stop call and you can have all the products you need! That’s the future of our industry.
Diversification is in many ways very important and it can be easy when you go with, for example, summer flowers. A lot of the varieties have shorter cycles and become very profitable, even the seasonal ones work great both financially and commercially to interact with your main crop.
Ball SB TIP: If you combine your crops by mixing annual and perennial varieties you have main cuts that can be constantly combined with new options. You’re not only depending on one crop, but you also have others that can push your main one, complement it, and plant new varieties every two years. Your business immediately becomes more productive, and efficient and consumer behavior-oriented is easier for you to respond and adapt to the market.
When you diversify you break the usual, you could look for example, what is the most common variety in your area and explore new ones.
By experimenting with different breeds you have more options to offer to your audience, an audience eager to find different options, to come out of the common place with the same flowers and discover nature at their homes: they want to replicate all the beautiful natural sceneries without having to go out there. “It is like bringing your garden to your home.” You can have your main cuts without depending on others, and create more complex combinations with a higher average ticket.