Torben Fisker Olsen (43) is managing director of FloriPartner in Odense, Denmark. Floribusiness editor Peter van Leth spoke to him at the Florensis trip in Ethiopia and Kenya.
What do you do for a living?
„I’m managing director for FloriPartner. We create growing solutions for professional growers in Scandinavia with our main focus on Denmark and secondly Norway. We also manage private stock projects for Danish growers and have our own productions licenses in some crops to serve our market needs. All in all this makes a good basket of products so we can have a yearly cycles by most of our customers.”
Do you have a horticultural background?
„As an eleven year schoolboy I already started working at local nurseries. I enjoyed the work so I chose for a horticultural education and work in the business eversince.”
How would you describe the Danish growers?
„In Denmark we have very huge growers specialized in a few crops and smaller nurseries with a wider assortment or niche products due to the construction of the greenhouses. That’s why many crops are made in smaller pot sizes. We have growers strongly dedicated to these product forms. They serve the European market with high quality products. Production in bigger pots (17-21cm) are mainly for the local market in Scandinavia.”
Why are Danish growers mainly growers of potplants and not cutflowers?
„Cutflower production has disappeared completely in Denmark due to the development in the cut flower industry. Compared to other countries we cannot compete on labor costs. The season of harvest is also too short if you don’t want to heat to much and invest in artificial light.”
What do they grow?
„Bedding plants in general, but most of all argyranthemum, aster, campanula, cyclamen, dianthus, hydrangea, kalanchoe, osteospermum, pelargonium zonale, perennials, poinsettia, rosa and various green plants.’
That is not a wide diversity. Why not?
„The diversity of crops reflects the possibilities of supplying the European market with competitive prices.”
Do you think growers also have a responsibility when it comes down to sustainable material of breeders?
„Yes, I do think they have. Together with us as the supplier we have to find the best solutions. And I see in our daily work that they do have focus on this issue. Also our suppliers put a great effort in making sustainable products in every way. Taking care of employees, environment etc.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
„Spending time with my wife and kids. Relax with a good bottle of red wine together with the meal and good friends. When holiday is possible we do priority to go skiing outside Denmark.”