MyPlant & Garden 2024: an ongoing natural evolution in Italy

Meten is weten” goes the Dutch saying: to measure is to know. But really, what is the measure for beauty? How can the pleasure one derives from it be quantified? And can beauty favour the involvement of the industry, governments and citizens alike towards making the built environment more sustainable? These are the questions that hang in the air coming back from our immersive experience of the 2024 edition of MyPlant & Garden, titled Natural Evolution, where, once again and more than ever, our agricultural team was surrounded by the elegance, grace and power of flowers, plants and innovative ideas alike.

Brenda Horstra of Tuinbranche Nederland at the Garden Center New Trend

Another step forward for the Green Climate Square

Three moments highlighted the presence of the Dutch Embassy in Italy at the trade show this year. We started with the presentation of the Green Climate Square concept at the Garden Center New Trend, where a passionate and enthusiastic Brenda Horstra, co-director of Tuinbranche Nederland (the Dutch Garden Centers Association), shared  a compelling message, urging the sector to involve individuals to take action for the betterment of the climate. Green roofs, water in the garden, de-tiling the garden and selecting plants and proper housing to increase the presence of birds and insects (therefore, biodiversity) are the four pillars which characterise the concept, and which inspired Erica Cherubini - responsible of the area Garden Center New Trend within the trade show- to create her own version of it with the Eco friendly district, where a synergic approach -based on the collaboration of plants, soil, sustainable materials and water- was showcased. And this is exactly what we would like to see: a cross-pollination of best practices!

A Successful Networking Event for the Dutch Companies

The second highlight was the networking event where the Dutch Embassy succeeded to favour connections among the Dutch companies present at the trade show and also with their relevant Italian counterparts: this was the occasion for the official debut of our designated Agricultural Counsellor Hayo Haanstra, who welcomed the guests by underlining the paramount role that the floricultural and gardening sector plays in setting individuals in motion aiming at a more sustainable and biodiverse future. We never grow tired of stressing the great complementarity of the Italian and Dutch markets in the sector: numbers can come to our help, by showing that the trade flows between the two countries remain very healthy, with, on the one hand, the Dutch produce accounting for more than three quarters of the Italian import with a revenue of 520 million euro in 2023 (growing by 20% as compared to 2022); and, on the other hand, the confirmation of the Dutch market as main destination for Italian flowers abroad with an export value of 225 million euro.

Creations at the Sustainable Wedding workshop: Dini Holtrop, Simona Polli and Charles Lansdorp

Italy and the Netherlands: the Ties Grow Stronger

That the relationship between Italy and the Netherlands remains very solid, emerged throughout all the activities and workshops organised in the Decor District: it was a three-day-long bonanza of contests, photo shoots, fashion shows, workshops and presentations with trendsetters and masters of international decoration. And this was particularly evident  during the workshop organized by the Weddingflowers collective, itself a result of the long and strong Italian-Dutch collaboration at MyPlant & Garden, showcasing each year the novelties regarding wedding flowers. Another leitmotif of the activities of the Décor district was sustainability, surfacing again and again as one of the driving factors in the choices of consumers and the industry alike: the momentum it is gaining as one of the paramount forces to mould the floricultural industry, is leading to exemplary changes such as the MPS, Milieu Programma Sierteelt, aimed at certifying the sustainability of cut flowers, simplifying the choices of customers and operators in the sector.

Looking back at MyPlant & Garden 2024 Anticipating the 2025 Edition

For the numbers’ aficionados, here is a brief overview of the trade show and the Dutch presence. MyPlant & Garden is in very good health, showing a remarkable growth as compared to last year: with 762 exhibitors (+15%) spread across 50.000 square meters (+10%), it hosted 204 buyers’delegations (+27%)  and 25.000 visitors (+8%).  And the Dutch presence at this ninth edition did not go unnoticed, placing the Netherlands at the fourth place -after the Italian regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Tuscany- with more than 50 companies (including the two collectives Weddingflowers and Greenn), encompassing all sectors of the trade show: cut flowers, potted plants, technological solutions, Garden Center New Trend and floral schools. The mood amongst our companies was palpably positive throughout the entire length of the event, making MyPlant & Garden once more the place to be in Italy for representatives of the floricultural sector.

The 10th edition of MyPlant & Garden will take place next year from 19 to 21 February: we are already brewing new projects with a view to sustainability and biodiversity, and consolidating the already strong ties with the organisers of the trade show.

Thank you, MyPlant & Garden, looking forward to being there again!

The Agricultural Team of the Dutch Embassy in Italy: Antonella Candido, Marguerite Sipman, Hayo Haanstra