To all Growers adn IGC’s:
We are running low on plants and are out of a lot of items. I know that this affects the IGC’s with the lost potential profits due to consumer demand and a long mild spring. However, for the last 20+ years the spring plant markets have suffered from over production which resulted in a very favorable buyer’ market for IGC’s and a desperate seller’s market for growers.
This year due to bankruptcies, consolidations and closures due to retirements, there were fewer growers growing. Those that were left did not speculate on a lot of extra plantings. The end result is that the growers have finally been able to sell most everything that they grew. Garden centers may complain about lost sales due to a plant shortage and that is understandable. The growers are counting lost sales as well. However, if the grower sold most of what he grew and the garden centers sold most of what they bought in, what’s the problem? As long as both are operating on a sound, profitable business model, then both should turn a profit which is a win-win.
Two decades of uncertainty, losses, over-production, lessened margins and the growers shouldering all the risk needs to end. I hope that growers don’t jump back into the quicksand and increase production exponentially (7 growers increase production because 1 IGC tried to order from them because their main supplier ran out of plants). What we sold this year plus about 5% is most likely the maximum demand for our products for next year.
We don’t need to go back growing as much as we can and hope for the best. We need to grow what we know we can sell. So what if you didn’t use all your greenhouses, if you are operating efficiently as long as you sold what you grew, you made a profit which is better than using all your greenhouses, throwing away 5% of your crop and breaking even.
My advice to IGC’s is to start booking what you need with your grower if you are not already. I think that growers are through taking all the risk and hopefully the days of picking up the phone and finding what you need with 1 call when your main grower runs out are over. You need to start working closer with your grower regarding your spring plant needs.
OK, I am off the soap box. My thanks to all our customers who stuck with us through a hard spring. We really appreciate you. The rant above is not directed at you or any one garden center. It is directed at the industry as a whole that has dug a hole that it may have started crawling out of as long as growers don’t revert to their old ways which can partially be prevented with working closer with their customers (you). I just don’t understand why anyone would go back when we can all be more profitable with less product availability.
Sorry, stepped back up on the soap box. I will shut up now and show you some pictures. We have product. Not a lot of product, but it’s there. Hope we can get some to you next week.