The Poinsettia, symbol of the festivities, will not be missing in Tuscan homes also thanks to the help of the mild climate of recent weeks which has “cooled down” the bills of specialized horticultural companies. The hottest autumn in Tuscany in the last 70 years has made it possible to reduce the hours and temperatures for heating the heaters in the greenhouses where between 15 and 20 degrees are needed to activate the growth and coloring process of the plants. Despite the unexpected help from the weather, the incidence of production costs, from fertilizer to pots to plastic, remains very high. The costs to produce a Christmas stable are more than 50% higher than just a year ago. To say it is Coldiretti Tuscany according to which the floristry businesses have had to bear together with doubled costs, also a consequent drop in production of 10%-15% dictated by the uncertainty of energy cost prices. In Tuscany, with Versilia as the main production pole, about 5 million specimens are grown every year, mainly destined for the domestic market. “Nursery is one of the most energy-intensive sectors of agriculture. The greenhouses are heated mainly with diesel or methane burners whose prices have gone crazy: heat is an indispensable ingredient for some productions such as poinsettias. – explains Fabrizio Filippi, President of Coldiretti Toscana – Some nurseries have been forced to reduce the cultivated specimens due to the great uncertainty linked precisely to the unpredictable energy increases but also in order not to leave the market and lose shares that they had laboriously conquered over the years “.
The flower and nursery companies – highlights Coldiretti Toscana – are facing avalanche cost increases: +250% for fertilizers, +110% for diesel, +15% for plant protection products against parasites, +45% for rental services, according to the latest Crea data. But the increases also affect packaging – continues Coldiretti Toscana – from plastic for flower pots (+72%) to glass (+40%) up to paper (+31%) for which, however, they lengthen even delivery times, in some cases even quintupled. And – underlines Coldiretti Toscana – transport costs have also exploded in a country like Italy where 85% of goods travel by road. The higher production costs will be absorbed, for three quarters, by the horticultural companies. “Profit margins for companies in the sector, at present, are reduced to an all-time low. Companies will be left with only pennies. – explains the President of Coldiretti Toscana, Filippi – All this happens in a context of great difficulty triggered by the conflict in Ukraine with one farm out of ten at risk of closure”.
Despite the price increases, Christmas stars will not be lacking in Tuscan homes. Not only because they are beautiful and bring celebration to homes, also because they are good for the home environment. In fact, together with cyclamen, poinsettia is a formidable natural filter against indoor pollution. This was highlighted by the bioeconomy institute of the Cnr on the basis of a study presented by Coldiretti Toscana, AssoFloro, Anci and Affi. Poinsettia has the ability to absorb formaldehyde present in glues, solvents, floors, coatings as well as in cigarettes, benzene present in paints and cigarette smoke and xylene produced by printers, photocopiers and computers. Even the cyclamen, produced in 4 million specimens in different sizes, absorbs the same pollutants.