The last time I was in Pistoia was about 16 years ago, after been arm twisted by some of the largest growers out there to visit, how Pistoia has changed…
Tusany wine and Florentine steak made it a very productive visit!
However the purpose of the managing director visiting Italy at this time in the season was for two reasons:
In case you haven’t heard the pound is under pressure and it effectively means plants are costing us 17% more than they were 12 months ago and it was our intention to enter into some serious negotiation to mitigate the effect of the currency.
I was also selecting and reserving batches of plants for spring, there are certain lines this year that are going to be in very short supply and these are varieties such as Viburnum tins Eves Price, Eleagnus Limelight, and Nandina domestica.
After two days and visiting over 20 nurseries concluded it had been worthwhile, my key learnings where how the industry had changed , some nurseries were no longer trading.
Others were ‘blossoming’ and was a testimony to how quality and being flexible to market demands and forces and economic pressures are key for industry survival.
I was thankful our supplier over there who we have used consistently for 20 years is expanding quickly, huge new plantations of pleached plant panels In a range of species such as Photinia, Eleagnus ebbingei, Carpinus betulus, Quercus Ilex and Liquidambar in panels from 2m x 1.3m wide for eye level screening to panels on 2m clear stems in a similar range.
It was a relief to realise that our trusted suppliers over there were poised and ready to meet our demands for what expects to be a very brisk season for the year ahead.