Ornamental plants are an integral part of people’s life and consumption. Three out of four households buy a decorative plant at least once in the year. The project will take use of the big sustainability potential of the ornamental plant industry by developing new business models. Currently, the environmental conditions in the production sites are aligned to growth performance and sales quality, but not to later everyday – and environmental conditions at the consumers’ households. As a result, ornamental plants show there stress symptoms. In addition, many consumers lack the necessary competence in plant care. Product failures are the result.
The project has an interdisciplinary structure. One sub-project compiles valuation models for the sustainability in the ornamental plants value chain on the basis of the carbon footprint. Another sub-project will conduct ethnographic studies and explore for the first time in detail later contexts of use and environmental conditions for consumers. Based on this, new production methods for stress-adapted ornamentals will be tested in cultivation experiments. In cooperation with partners from industry and retail sustainable product concepts will be formulated and their acceptance examined in a consumer study.
Prof. Dr. Kai Sparke, Hochschule Geisenheim University, Fachgebiet Gartenbauökonomie