The Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture has confirmed the growth in Italian horticulture production in 2019. Myplant & Garden – the trade fair of reference for horticulture in Italy – shares this knowledge and comments also on the scenario for 2020-21: “In 2019 the value of horticulture production in Italy surpassed 2.7 billion Euro, but the pandemics has put the sector on a significant halt.”
2.7 billion Euro in production translates into a positive balance of 160 million Euro over 2018 and +176 over 2017: the 5.8% increase is largely due to a surge in potted plants (+8.9%) and an increase in nursery products more in general (+3.3%). Wicker products, instead, have kept steady in their decline.

The census made by the Italian institute for statistics has registered 24,000 production companies of ornamental plants in Italy, mainly in 4 regions: Liguria – which holds the record for the cultivation of flowers outdoors, followed by Tuscany and Lombardy – where the main activities concerning ornamental shrubs and forest plants are run – and Campania, which is specialised mainly in the culture of flowers in protected cultivation.

Export reached a record 903 million Euro with a balance of 371 million (306 in 2018). The positive balance is mainly due to outdoor plants (+294.5 million) with an export volume of 41.9% if compared to other products. Second and third place are held by vine and fruit plant cuttings and vegetables, which account altogether for 22.5% of the sales. Cut foliage, instead, was valued in 104 million Euro. Italian import of horticulture products comes mainly from The Netherlands (71%), Germany, Spain, and Poland.

Data from Eurostat over the last decade show a linear trend (between 2010 and 2019 there has been a 7% increase) and register a total value of 22 billion Euro in 2019 for the whole European production, the main players being The Netherlands (30% of the total with cut flowers, potted plants, bulbs, annuals and perennials), Germany (13% with nursery items and garden plants), France (12%) and Spain (10%).

The Ministry of Agriculture makes also some reference to the losses suffered by the European horticulture industry over the six weeks elapsed between March and April 2019, which would amount to circa 4.1 billion Euro: 1.065 billion for cut flowers and foliage, 1.131 billion for outdoor plants, 1.852 billion for potted plants and 72 million for bulbs.
In Italy only, the industry was reportedly damaged for 1.7 billion Euro.

Myplant & Garden, which plays a key role in boosting the Italian horticulture industry on an international level, and could neither take place in 2020 nor in 2021, is now pushing for some action “because the very existence of the trade fair industry in Italy – which involves around 200,000 companies and generates more than half of Italian exports – should become a priority for the Italian government.”