Peters is an insurance for your plants

Ornamental horticulture in China works a little different in comparison to the European markets.

3 mins

Chinese growers grow where the demand is, meaning that they could be growing Scindapsus in the 1st three years, and Spathiphyllumin in the next. Without the decades of expertise in growing the same plant varieties – like growers in Europe usually do – it also means that Chinese growers in general rely more on the advice of ICL’s Area Sales Managers when using ICL’s products. Mr Fei Gao is ICL’s country manager for ICL’s Chinese markets and knows exactly what makes the heart of his end-users tick.


“I talk to many dealers, distributors, and end-users. And so does my team, so we know what is happening in the ornamental market in the different regions in China,” Fei says. “My role as a country manager is to enable Chinese growers to grow optimally with ICL’s products. And one of the first brands we introduced here was Peters. Growing successes are guaranteed with Peters products. You can say that Peters is an insurance for the growers’ plants.”


Fei, who joined ICL 5 years ago, has 17 years of experience in the agricultural and horticultural markets.


Fei, who joined ICL 5 years ago, has 17 years of experience in the agricultural and ornamental horticultural market. He recognizes that a lot has changed since he started his career. “The rising costs of raw materials are a challenge for Chinese growers. Fertilizer prices increased with at least 30%. And not only of fertilizers, but also the costs of growing materials such as pots and growing media increased. That is why growers rely more and more on the professional recommendations of suppliers, such as ICL. Getting the best out of their plants, also means the best price when selling the plants.”


During his time at ICL, Fei has never come across a product that showed a similar performance as the water-soluble fertilizers of Peters. “I don’t think there is any alternative to Peters. Repeatedly, it proves to create the best possible plant quality in every cultivation situation. I always say to customers that if they want to drink tea, instead of monitoring their plants, they should choose Peters”, laughs Fei. “Peters does the work for grower.”


Advising the best fertilizer plans

The combination of using a controlled release fertilizers (CRF) and water-soluble fertilizers (WSF) has proven to be very successful for many growers worldwide. Also in China. Fei: “When I first started at ICL, the market share was 60% WSF and 40% CRF. Now it’s almost the other way around. We sell 40% WSF and 60% CRF. The combination of using both fertilizer technologies is reliable, very consistent, and it saves costs. It also helps to decrease water-use and leaching of nutrients to water and/or soil. It’s logical that more and more growers see the advantages of this combi-approach.


The orchid story

Orchids are BIG in China. Getting the cultivation of these beautiful flowers right is essential and can provide a very good return on investment. For the cultivation of orchids many Chinese growers have turned to Peters water-soluble fertilizers. Fei: “Over 50% of orchid growers in China use Peters water-soluble fertilizers; a percentage that is even higher in southern China, where it reaches 60-70%. The success of Peters is simple. Orchids are a high demanding crop when it comes to the quality of the fertilizers, and orchids that are grown with Peters are sold for 10-15% higher prices than other orchids. Overall, the profits are really good.”


Generational heritage

When Fei joined ICL in the first year, he met with many customers. He still remembers one of his encounters with a Peters-customer. “He was a very young grower, no older than 30. And when I met him, he proudly introduced himself as being the second generation of managing the nursery and using Peters products! His father urged him to continue using Peters in the nursery, or there will be growing difficulties, he predicted. Peters builds confidence and trust among generations!”