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Seminar: Debasish Paul: Sustainably Strengthening the US Supply Chain for Annual Bedding Plants

December 4, 2023 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Date: Monday, December 4, 2023
Time: 3:00 pm
Speaker: Debasish Paul, PhD Introduction Seminar
Title: Sustainably Strengthening the US Supply Chain for Annual Bedding Plants
Host: Dr. Melinda Knuth

Location: 121 Kilgore / Hybrid
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 915 4065 7407
Passcode: 144306

The floriculture industry has a $6.5 billion total value of sale according to USDA (2021). Specifically, the major total value sale comes from annual bedding plant growers, which have a wholesale value of $1584 million. In a survey conducted by Greenhouse Growers (2022), 38% of growers stated that they would increase their annual bedding plant production, and 42% of growers would maintain their current production. However, no research has been conducted on the entire supply chain of this sector. The factors affecting the sustainability of this chain are unknown to the stakeholders. Therefore, the future of this industry is at stake. With this Ph.D. project, research will be conducted  to outline the annual bedding plant supply chain in the USA and to conduct a discrete choice experiment to find out consumer preference for certification in labels for annual bedding plants in the market. For the first objective, an online survey questionnaire, and a mailed questionnaire were developed to outline the supply chain for input suppliers, growers, wholesalers, and retailers. A directory of floriculture businesses registered at the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) was created for sending out the survey. IRB reviewed the questionnaire and the research methodology and approved the research (eIRB: 25951). The survey was sent to the respondents and follow-up emails were sent to them up to 10 weeks. After that, the data was cleaned and analyzed. A total number of 65 respondents responded to the survey and among them, 2 of them are input suppliers, 24 of them are growers, 4 of them are wholesalers, 23 of them are retailers, and 12 of them are others. Respondents stated that in their operations 54.56% are female, 42.98% are male and 2.50% are others. There are 69.46% white and 22.05% Hispanic and Latino ethnicity. Respondents use worker’s compensation (30 respondents) and commercial property insurance (27 respondents). Universities and banks are supporting them. Respondents stated that the majority of them share information with wholesalers. Majority of the respondents are not using any certification, however, USDA -NOP Organic and NON-GMO certification is mentioned by them. E-commerce platforms are used as a part of 0-10% of business by 22 respondents. E-commerce platform is used 2-3 or 4-6 times weekly by them. The major platforms for e-commerce were website shop, Facebook, and Instagram. On the other hand, among 24 growers 17 of them stated that they get their materials from other parts of the USA and 8 of them said that they get it from other countries of North America. Sixteen of the growers mentioned that they own transportation and 5 of them own temperature-humidity-controlled containers. Growers use written paper instructions to track their transportation and use previous records and preorders to track demand and supply. Among 23 retailers 21 stated that they sell their products to local consumers and 16 of them get their plants from growers. All the respondents rated governmental regulation (-0.37) and international trade regulation (-0.24) negatively on a scale of -5 to 5. Transportation cost is negatively impacting their businesses (-1.38). Weather condition (-0.77) and climate change (-0.46) is negatively affecting their businesses. However, all the e-commerce factors like software availability (0.42), e-commerce knowledge (0.27), website management (0.77), and demand for online presence (0.77) are positively affecting their businesses. On the other hand, labor availability is negatively affecting their businesses (-0.46). Additionally, in economic factors, the cost of production/ supply (-1.21), inflation (-1.31), and labor costs (-0.92) are negatively rated. For the second objective, different available labels with certification will be tested to see the consumer preferences for certified products in a discrete choice experiment. The methodology development is in progress for the second experiment.


December 4, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Rachel McLaughlin
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121 Kilgore Hall
2721 Founders Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606 United States
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