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October 17, 2008
Not long ago, I was in a spirited conversation with my wife about the attributes, qualities and our individual concerns regarding both presidential candidates. While neither of us has made up our mind completely, one thing is for sure: We will both...
October 17, 2008
How are skyrocketing energy costs impacting your overall business? “The most significant impact over the past year has been felt in the cost of transportation. We have yet to realize the full impact of the recent energy cost increases. Over the past...
October 17, 2008
Tesco Plans “Pensioner-Friendly” Stores Tesco, a British retailer and owner of new U.S. Fresh & Easy food markets, is planning to open a new concept store dubbed “pensioner-friendly” that will cater to the over-50 crowd. They plan to accomplish...
October 17, 2008
Businesses making claims about their goods, products or services need to understand what they can and cannot say. The recent surge in “green marketing” has left many firms searching for the right words to demonstrate and sell the environmental...
October 17, 2008
Sorting through the new introductions from Pack Trials and deciding which cultivars to add to next spring’s production schedule is never an easy task. You want to use cultivars that have appeal at retail and provide good garden performance for the...
October 17, 2008
Knowledge is power. And cultural knowledge is especially powerful when it comes to managing your Latino/a workforce. Several greenhouse managers have shared with me their frustration when it comes to communicating with their Latino workers. Although...
October 17, 2008
The parking lot of the Home Depot store in Columbia, Md., looks like just about any other suburban Home Depot. But when you enter this store’s lawn and garden department, it is like you have walked out of a big box retailer and into an impressive,...
August 12, 2008
What a great question: “Remember when?” I like to put that in the same group as the “good old days.” When you have the chance to read this edition of Big Grower, the end of summer 2008 will be fast approaching. As I left the trade show floor at the...
August 12, 2008
During a time of heightened debate over immigration reform and increased accountability on business owners, the immigration issue is hitting everyone close to home. Hear what other big growers had to say about how this critical issue is impacting...
August 12, 2008
Carrefour, the world’s second- largest retailer after Wal-Mart, is cutting prices in an attempt to win back customers. Along with the price reductions, Carrefour is also reducing internal costs to further counter rising gasoline prices and weak...
August 12, 2008
Sales teams at small companies are often outmanned or outspent by larger competitors. Whether it’s expensive seats at sports and entertainment events or just more staff and newer technology, bigger businesses seem to have an advantage when it comes...
August 12, 2008
Rather than cutting spending and reducing budgets, some retailers are expanding their promotional efforts in an attempt to stand out from the crowd, grab market share and emerge from the economy’s slump in better shape than their rivals. Their new...
August 12, 2008
Our objective in using PGRs on poinsettias is to control height with minimum effects on bract size. As a general rule, all PGR applications reduce poinsettia bract size compared to plants grown without PGRs. We rarely want the large bracts of a...
August 12, 2008
In the past few issues, we have reviewed the meaning of sustainability, defined the various certification programs currently available and debated the benefits and liabilities of attaining certification in one of these programs. For many, the issue...
August 12, 2008
The issues of labor and immigration have been on the minds of leading growers for years. Now, the illegal immigration debate is mainstream and red hot. It is difficult to pick up a newspaper or turn on the evening news or talk radio without hearing...
August 12, 2008
Fire and ice. Black and white. Yin and yang. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. History shows a long-running fascination with contrasts, and now the growing community has one of its own. But Riverview Flower Farm’s owners, brothers...
August 12, 2008
I recently read an article in Advertising Age magazine about the changing face of today’s consumer. According to this article, that face currently has a few more wrinkles on it, and smart growers and retailers in our industry had better have a plan...
June 11, 2008
“Survey says…” The famous line from Family Feud has been in our cultural vocabulary since it was first spoken in the mid-1970s. Now let’s bring the phrase back: Survey says…it has been an average spring from a national perspective. Throughout the...
June 11, 2008
Growers across the country are carefully weighing the costs and benefits of becoming certified as sustainable. As the industry charges toward a more sustainable future, big growers are fast approaching a crossroads: Do they ride the wave of...
June 11, 2008
In the past six months, I have had the privilege of working with dozens of farming and handling operations in four countries that are certified under the VeriFlora program, which is fully consistent with the Draft National Sustainable Agriculture...