Classy, ​​so classy! Flower online DIY platform, non-selling flowers also have spring

Every day, millions of people buy fresh fruits and flowers to decorate their lives. According to statistics, the total global trade of fresh cut flowers and citrus fruits is as high as 30 billion euros. Although these industries are huge, they have not caught up with the trend of the times in terms of technology applications.

Pest monitoring project CITRUS-PORT

The core members of the pest monitoring team VitiGroup are graphic designer Martina Drobná, entomologist Bruno Gábel and IT entrepreneur Roman Korbačka.

When Dr. Gábel first moved next door to Drobná’s mother, he probably didn’t expect to start a business with his neighbor’s daughter. While chatting with her mother on the phone, Drobná stumbled across her mother’s new neighbors working on research to predict pest and disease risk in fruit growing. Drobná was very interested in Gábel’s research, and after the two met, Gábel told her how to predict the disease risk of local grapes many times through calculations. With his help, local fruit farmers no longer need to continuously apply pesticides, but only need to spray pesticides in a targeted manner to prevent diseases. Next, together with Korbačka, they created a website and companion app called VitiPort .

Drobná says their goal is to create an advisory system that informs growers when and how to manage their crops. The trio named their team VitiGroup, and after launching VitiPort, they also launched a sister platform, Genimen-port, for apples and pears.


Citrus | Pixabay

There are many citrus growers in the Mediterranean countries, producing fruits such as lemons, grapefruits and oranges. However, citrus crops suffer from pests and diseases all year round, including common diseases Botrytis cinerea, brown rot and black spot, as well as common pests such as tangerine stripe moth and orange miner. The VitiGroup team is helping citrus growers predict the occurrence of pests and diseases.

Drobná said they found that many growing areas were sprayed with pesticides on a weekly basis, which could easily lead to overuse of pesticides and a vicious cycle – the more pesticides are used, the stronger the resistance of the pathogens, and the more pesticides are needed to control the pathogens. .

The team hopes that their pest detection project, CitrusPort, will remind users when and how to use pesticides, thereby subverting the traditional concept of regular application. Farmers simply download the software to receive crop pest and disease risk alerts and suggested treatment methods.

Information provided by the platform has helped reduce pesticide use by 58% since VitiPort was launched in the Champagne region of France in 2018. In the follow-up development plan, Drobná hopes that CitrusPort will replicate the achievements made in pest and disease prevention in grapes and apples in other crops. Worldwide, several countries have also shown interest in the CitrusPort platform.

Online DIY platform for flowers

Entrepreneur Eric Egberts loves the flower trade he has been in for 30 years, but in recent years he can’t help but worry about the simplification of the market and consumer choice in the flower trade: Although he is keen to buy and give away a variety of flowers, most flower shops Only popular varieties such as red roses, pink daisies, white and yellow chrysanthemums can be seen.


Most florists can only see the best-selling varieties | Pixabay

Egberts said that if the flower industry was likened to the music industry, it would be like listening to the radio with only the music selected by the DJ, and the more unselected flowers are still unappreciated. Just as the online music platform has a huge library of music, he hopes to show the world the hidden treasures of flowers through the EU-funded FLOURISH project.

His team consists primarily of growers, wholesalers and a team of computer scientists. By building a digital platform, he plans to increase consumer choice and provide flower farmers with new sales outlets. Different from the previous display of ready-made bouquets by florists, the FLOURISH system can help consumers to match their own bouquets, and can also automatically create bouquets according to consumers’ preferences and consumption records, and launch thousands of bouquets.

On the one hand, it caters to consumers’ tastes and personalized bouquets, and on the other hand, it helps merchants understand the whereabouts of flowers and sales hotspots. This platform brings new vitality to the flower industry. Not only that, FLOURISH can also show consumers where flowers are grown, allowing consumers to choose to use only locally grown flowers, which not only saves costs, but also is more low-carbon and environmentally friendly. The traditional flower trade does not provide this information.

Egberts is passionate about his work. He believes that flowers are essential for some occasions in life, and hopes that FLOURISH will bring flowers to more people. At present, Egberts has separated some of the work through the BloomyPro website, and the team is also looking forward to better business development in the future.



Compilation: Cod

Editor: Jin Xiaoming

Typesetting: Yin Ningliu

The source of the title map: “Spy × Playing the House”

research team

First author/corresponding author Andrew Dunne

Journal homepage

Paper information

Published journal Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine

Posted on May 12, 2022

Thesis title Predicting disease and pest risk for fruit crops and diversifying the flower industry through digital innovation


Article Field Agriculture, Biotechnology

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