In a letter received from Fischer USA, Co-Presidents Gary Falkenstein and Karl Trellinger state the company is involved in a business dispute with an unnamed individual regarding a recent Xanthomonas find at Fischer’s Kenyan facility.
According to the letter sent by Fischer, following this recent find, an unnamed individual sent faxes to international and U.S. brokers alleging Xanthomonas occurred at the China facility as well.
According to Falkenstein, there was an occurrence of Xanthomonas in Fischer’s Kenyan facility recently. Falkenstein said 95 plants tested positive for the disease, and the company quarantined the area, destroyed approximately 31,000 plants and disinfected the facility. Fischer’s letter also said a small portion of cuttings shipped to its Ethiopia facility were also destroyed. Falkenstein told GPN, this is the first time Xanthomonas has ever been found in Fischer’s Kenyan facility. Currently, according to Falkenstein, “we feel that we have no Xanthomonas problem there [Kenya], and for our consumers here, we do not ship from Kenya to the United States and never have.”
The letter from Fischer states, “No problems have been identified in the stock areas of the Mexican or Chinese farms. These two farms are the primary sources of supply of geranium cuttings for North America. We continue to maintain rigorous sanitation and monitoring protocols in these two farms to ensure clean healthy cuttings.” Falkenstein added, “In fact, we just got certified by the USDA APHIS a couple of days ago [in China]; they made their full inspection.”
He told GPN “There also were Elite cuttings of the Fischer varieties sent to China, but they never even got out of propagation because we decided to go almost exclusively with Goldsmith varieties [and] that Elite stock was already there.”
Because of the extensive dumping process Fischer enacted, Falkenstein said there will be a shortage of Caliente geraniums for spring 2006. He explained that the Calientes in Kenya were destined for Europe. The cuttings from China and Mexico, formerly all tagged for the United States, will have to be shared between the two markets.
Fischer is in the process of addressing the anonymous allegations above and will keep you informed. If anyone has any questions or concerns about this information, contact your broker or Fischer directly at (800) 344-7862.