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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 85 (4) 267-278 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2020/85.4.8
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2020 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Driving forces and characteristics of the value chain of flowering potted plants for the German market

N. Havardi-Burger1, H. Mempel2 and V. Bitsch1
1 Technical University of Munich, School of Management and School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Chair of Economics of Horticulture and Landscaping, Freising, Germany.
2 University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Department of Horticulture and Food Technology, Freising, Germany

The study investigated the value chain of flowering potted plants supplying the German market and the drivers influencing chain actors. The study builds on strategic and horticultural value chain literature. Data was collected by conducting 20 in-depth interviews with chain actors from different stages in the value chain and analyzed through qualitative content analysis. Results showed that the value chain of flowering potted plants is divided in two pathways due to distinct propagation methods, either generative (seeds) or vegetative (cuttings). Whereas propagation material is generally produced in southern countries, such as Africa and Central America, young plants and potted plants are cultivated within Europe. The paper identified driving forces such as retailer requirements, weather conditions, price pressure and innovations. Furthermore, the study provides an overview of chain activities and processes to help the sector anticipate developments, and support stakeholders in future decisions.

Keywords certification, chain coordination, floriculture, generative propagation, ornamental plants, qualitative study, retail chains, vegetative propagation

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • European studies focused on supply chain management and logistics of floriculture. Value-adding activities and processes of flowering plants supplying the German market have not been investigated.
What are the new findings?
  • The value chain is fragmented, but coordination is crucial because of product perishability, and the requirement for on-time delivery. Retail-chains are powerful chain actors through certification requirements and restrictions on pesticide use. NGOs also drive chain actors to take measures to avoid negative media attention. Furthermore, profitability concerns drive actors to strive for cost reduction and increase the consumer base.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • An overview of the value chain of flowering plants and its drivers provides a foundation for strategy development and decision making across businesses within the sector.

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Received: 27 March 2019 | Accepted: 6 April 2020 | Published: 25 August 2020 | Available online: 25 August 2020

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