Rosa Eskelund, Roses Forever: ‘Time to explore new directions’

Roses Forever is one of the three new participants in this year’s FlowerTrials. The Danish breeding company of pot, cut and garden roses was founded by the Eskelund family. “We’ve always been interested in the event. But we never had the time. Now that our son Anders has returned home, we’ve got more time to explore new things. Such as participation in FlowerTrials”, says Rosa Eskelund. The Danish company will attract most attention with their Gourmet Roses.

By Peter van Leth

The breeding company has had a few busy years of obtaining licences and advising and supporting a few large growers in China. “Finally, we’ll be able to show all our series and novelties. This international stage provides us with plenty of room for that. In that regard, FlowerTrials is unique, compared with other fairs”, feels Rosa Eskelund.

Eskelund has been growing pot roses for more than 35 years. Twenty years ago, she made the transition to rose breeding. With great success. Roses Forever managed to develop several series of pot, garden and cut roses. With their wide range, Roses Forever has something for everyone, both for indoor and outdoor cultivation.

The company is certainly bringing some novelties to the Netherlands. Such as the new pot rose series ‘I am Different’, which was developed for customers looking for something special and completely different.

Or the ‘Plant’n’cut’ concept, which was developed for hobbyists who would like to grow their own bouquets. It provides them with a cut-rose bush or pot plant, which they can grow in the garden or in a small greenhouse for many years.

Gourmet Roses

The biggest eye-catcher of this new, Danish participant are their Gourmet Roses. This is a series of tiny roses that can be used in cooking. These roses are perfect as edible decorations or as an ingredient in exclusive drinks and dishes.

Roses Forever has been trying to introduce edible roses to the market since 2012. After five years of developing and testing, the time has come to launch the product. One Danish and one Dutch grower have already included some varieties in their production.

The rose buds are easy to transport in small boxes. Flower petals and buds stay fresh for up to four weeks. “Gourmet Roses can be used to decorate a wedding cake, but they’re also delicious in a crisp salad. They add colour to the salad, and thanks to the slightly bitter taste, they add flavour too”, explains Eskelund.

Finding the right grower

The objective of their participation in FlowerTrials is mainly to meet growers and discover new markets for their rose assortment. “We provide starters with more than just propagation materials; we also share our knowhow about setting up and maintaining a pot-rose production. We’ve gained a foothold in China, but with the right growers, any country could work for us. We’re looking at Russia for example. We’re always keen to highlight new opportunities, both to new and existing relations. Our presence at the FlowerTrials saves many of them a trip to Denmark”, says Eskelund.

Asked about any specific trends, she indicates that more and more growers are looking for high-quality varieties, which will provide them with a fast and easy production with larger flowers and in as many different colours as possible.

A conscious choice

With regards to the location, Roses Forever consciously chose MNP Flowers in Leimuiderbrug, because they wanted to be close to GreenTech. GreenTech is the technical trade show, which takes place in Amsterdam in the same week. “Many of our growers from abroad also visit that event, to discover the latest greenhouse technologies”, points Eskelund out.

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