FLOWERS FROM ISRAEL ON THE GERMAN MARKET AS A SUPPLEMENT TO THE SUPPLY FROM THE EXPANDED COMMON MARKET.

U. Bilstein, .
Flower production holds considerable importance for the Israeli national economy, and its importance has been steadily increasing in recent years. The way in which the growers, the packing houses, and the Flower Board have achieved this on-going development over such a long period of time is admirable. The image of Israeli flowers has improved steadily, in comparison to almost all other competitors. This statement applied without qualification up until the 1986–87 season. In that season however, a new competitor appeared on the market who quickly became the cause of great agitation, not only in Israel itself, but also among the buyers of Central Europe. The name of this competitor was Spain. Within a very short time, Spanish quality moved into first place. The trade world, and above all many of the big customers of Israeli production at that time, were quite disconcerted, and a large number of them ordered Spanish production. The experience of the 1986–87 season raised questions about the future of Israeli production, as well as about the opportunities for Spanish production in the coming years.

When I speak here of Spanish production, I am speaking in particular of production from the areas of Almeria, Cadiz, and the Canary Islands.

The Canary Islands have long been recognized as a significant producer, especially of roses and chrysanthemums. The region of Almeria has undergone explosive development in recent years. More than 12,000 hectares are said to have been put under plastic covering, most of which are still being used for growing vegetables. Nevertheless, the changeover to flowers and ornamental plants has progressed rapidly in recent years. The variety has been concentrated in carnations and a few other flowers.

The region of Cadiz has only recently become significant. Farming under plastic has developed considerably over the last two years and, in contrast to Almeria, types of plastic sheets have been chosen which are more weather-resistant.

From the point of view of weather, the Cadiz region and parts of the Canary Islands are comparable. The climate is very well-balanced and suffers from very few extremes. This is in sharp contrast to Almeria, where summers are much hotter, and where in winter the temperature sometimes falls well below the point of problem-free production. Add to these difficulties the unpredictability of the water supply. It is not known whether, over an extended period of time, the Sierra Nevadas can continually provide enough water. Should the water table sink too far, salt water from the Mediterranean could seep in.

Flowers from the Canary Islands can reach Central Europe only by airplane. By contrast, transport form the areas of Almeria and Cadiz can be done by truck. At the present time, however, this transportation is hindered by the fact that the area is not yet accessed by superhighways. The suppliers know that a truck-ride of 24 to 36 hours requires certain conditions to allow the flowers to reach their customers in top condition. Consequently, the flowers are transported

Bilstein, U. and , . (1989). FLOWERS FROM ISRAEL ON THE GERMAN MARKET AS A SUPPLEMENT TO THE SUPPLY FROM THE EXPANDED COMMON MARKET.. Acta Hortic. 261, 327-332
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.261.43
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.261.43

Acta Horticulturae