Working for a greenhouse plastic supplier, Roland Pereira is very familiar with the changing trends in horticulture. His company, Deltalene, provides plastic products for greenhouses, but it's through his work on turnkey greenhouse projects that he's learned the most about where the future of the industry lies. His travels and his experience have convinced him that there is more and more potential for turnkey greenhouse projects in Central and South America.

“Our core business is providing all kinds of equipment for plastic greenhouses,” explained Pereira. That includes everything from plastic films to trellising material. But in addition to serving as a manager for Deltalene, Pereira is also in charge of sales for a consortium of companies that specialize in providing turnkey greenhouse solutions. That aspect of his work has taken him to several countries in South and Central America, and it's there that he sees the biggest potential for growth in the realm of turnkey greenhouse projects.

The group of Pereira includes four Italian companies; plastics supplier Agriplast, trellising, tros supporting systems, and substrate specialist Simonetti, greenhouse constructor EuroProgress that also is a dealer of Spagnol irrigation systems and shading agent producer Criado y Lopez.

“In Spain we're not doing much,” said Pereira. “Even though we are based in Malaga, close to the concentrated greenhouse area of Almeria, we're only managing the customers we currently have there, but we're not looking for new ones.” The reason for that is because Spanish greenhouse growers, are not consistently looking for the higher quality products he offers. Instead, Pereira is looking to emerging markets in the Americas where there's a burgeoning demand for ready-to-go, middle to high-tech greenhouses.

“Brazil still has a lot wooden greenhouses, and it's difficult for Europeans to sell there because of the tax situation,” said Pereira. “But everyone thinks Brazil will be a better destination because they're going for more high-tech greenhouses, although I still think it will take a few more years before there's a large project there.” Mexico is more advanced in terms of what growers there want, though Pereira noted that the market has cooled a bit in recent years.

“Mexico was growing very quickly, but that growth has slowed as there isn't as much financing from the Mexican government,” said Pereira. “15% percent of the sales for one of the groups in our consortium used to come from Mexico, but that's no longer the case; the market is still growing, but it's getting a bit more difficult there.” Neighboring countries in Central America, on the other hand, have huge potential for growth. It's just a matter of being there when the markets turn for the better.

“Central America will be great, and I think it's a very interesting area,” said Pereira. “We just have to be there when the big projects come up.”

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Roland Pereira