Horticulturalists and gardens: appeal to the minister against closure

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An appeal to the minister for agricultural policies Teresa Bellanova, to prevent the closure of horticulturalists and garden centers, in the face of a situation of great difficulty. About twenty trade associations, consortia and horticultural districts signed the letter.
Here is the text of the letter:
"Dear in address,
this to address you an appeal in these complex hours.
Following some recent regional ordinances, in which we have not yet found
problems related to the closure of our sector, we wish to renew our attention in view of
possible other more restrictive ordinances or National Decrees.
Reiterating that garden centers are the preferred end of the Italian horticultural supply chain, in a very critical situation for months (they produce and retail plants and flowers, products for their care and management; items for seasonal decoration, for gardening, life in the garden and on the terrace), we would like to emphasize that our companies are places with large airy spaces, structures consisting mainly of greenhouses and open air nurseries, organized in spacious obligatory paths such as to allow an orderly flow of customers and avoid gatherings.
We therefore ask you to avoid the aforementioned hypotheses of more restrictive ordinances that could
involve horticultural activities which also include, in some cases, medium-sized structures
sales, and to take into due consideration our sector, which normally values a
total annual turnover of Euro 3,300,000,000 and a number of permanent employees equal to 17,500 units
(in addition to seasonal employees): an industry that has already suffered severe damage during the lockdown of the
last spring and that from the latest updated data estimates an average loss of 25% of turnover
annual.
Our sector could not afford further closures in an equally fundamental period
for the turnover (All Saints' Day and to follow the preparation for the Holy Christmas from the month of
November through December).
As you know, our products are mostly seasonal, perishable, with a non-deferrable sale, which cannot be easily managed through deliveries. It should also be considered that plants and their care represent a fundamental activity for the psycho-physical well-being of people. This was also evident in the period of the spring pandemic, in which especially the most fragile categories of society, such as the elderly and children, expressed a strong need to be in contact with the plant world in its various forms.
"Plants are Life, they give oxygen and hope for the future."
We trust in your attention and look forward to it.
Sincerely.

The signatories of the appeal
Stefano Donetti, president of Aicg - Italian Association of Gardening Centers
Leonardo Capitanio, president of Anve - National Association of Nursery Exporters
Sergio Ferraro, president of Asproflor
Aldo Alberto, president of the Italian Flower Nursery Association
Ugo Toppi, president of Promogiardino
Marco Cappellini, president of the National Association for the Protection of the Vivaifiori brand
Francesco Mati, president of the Pistoia-Confagricoltura ornamental nursery district
Luca De Michelis, president of the horticultural district of Ponente Ligure
Gianpaolo Girelli, president of the Venetian Flower Nursery Association
Paolo Vettoretto, president of Florveneto
Roberto Magni, president of the Upper Lombardy horticultural district
Remo Di Meo, president of the Lazio horticultural industry association
Mario Calliari, president of A.FLO.VI.T. Flower of Trentino
Renato Furno, president of the Biellese association of flower growers and nurserymen
Piero Tunno, president of the horticultural and food district of Puglia
Giampiero D’Adda, president of the Myplant & Garden Consortium
Paolo di Massa, president of the national association of flower merchants and exporters
Luca Veronesi, director of the Padua Fair
Andrea Tami, president of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Flower Growers Association

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