Live plants and products of floriculture
Live plants and floriculture products include live trees, shrubs and bushes and other goods commonly supplied by nursery gardeners or florists for planting or ornamental use. The sector is integrated in the single Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets.
Increasing levels of flower production and cultivation of ornamental plants give the EU one of the world's highest densities of flower production per hectare (10% of total world area and 44% of world flower and pot-plant production).
- is a net exporter of pot plants, conifers and hardy perennial plants and bulbs and corms
- is a net importer of cut flowers and cut foliage
- has a net trade surplus for live plants and floriculture products.
The regime for live plants and floriculture products covers all products falling under Chapter 6 of the Combined Nomenclature, and the sector itself is covered by the single CMO regulation (No 1234/2007). The Commission monitors production, market and trade flows in the sector.
EU regime for live plants and floriculture products
In the framework of the single CMO regulation, the Commission is authorised to:
- help adjust supply to reflect market requirements by taking measures to:
- improve quality
- better organise production, processing and marketing
- make it easier to track market price trends
- help establish short and long-term forecasts based on means of production
- require import licences for certain products, as a tool for managing their markets.
- fix annually (before the marketing season) one or more minimum prices for exports to non‑EU countries of products falling under CN code 0601 10 (bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, corms, crowns and rhizomes, dormant). In this case, such products can only be exported at a price equal to or above the minimum fixed price.
The EU has eliminated the marketing standard for live plants in order to boost trade, reduce red tape for farmers and administrators and make the rules more transparent, easier to understand and less burdensome.
To this end, the single CMO regulation repealed regulations:
- No 315/68 – quality standards for flowering bulbs, corms and tubers
- No 316/68 – quality standards for fresh cut flowers and fresh ornamental foliage
- No 234/68 – common organisation of market in live trees and other plants, bulbs, roots, cut flowers and ornamental foliage.
2011 statistics – EU production, market and trade flows
Total production area for flowers and ornamental plants: estimated at 200 thousand hectares (in 2010).
Production as proportion of world production: approximately 44%.
Production value: estimated € 19.8 billion, concentrated in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and France.
Value of total imports of live plants and products of floriculture : € 1.55 billion. Imports came mainly from Kenya, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Israel, Colombia, Costa Rica and USA.
Value of total exports of live plants and products of floriculture to non EU countries: € 1.75 billion. Primary destinations were Russia, Switzerland, USA, Norway and Japan.
Trade surplus in live plants and products of floriculture trade with non EU countries: € 194 million.