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3 questions for: Andreas Löwer (Löwer GmbH)

Andreas Löwer (2nd f.t.l.) at the TASPO Award 2017 – Photo: de Andreas Schwarz / taspoawards.de

The best of the best in the green industry were distinguished with the TASPO Awards in 17 categories in total at a big gala in Berlin at the end of October 2017. TASPO is Germany’s magazine for the green market. The spoga+gafa Award “Entrepreneur-run Garden Centre of the Year” went to the family business Löwer.

The company has been developing beyond its headquarters in Aschaffenburg since 1991. Today, the Löwer Group comprises of five garden centres as well as a company that focuses purely on growing plants. Andreas Löwer runs the business together with his father Gustav and his brother Martin.

 

Mr Löwer, congratulations on winning the TASPO Award 2017. How were the award ceremony and party in Berlin?

Löwer: Super! We have already attended the event in the past. This year we were actually nominated in three categories. Then to actually win an award is a very special experience. The award ceremony really was well-organised. A huge praise goes to the TASPO and the sponsors of the award and many thanks once again!

 

The Löwer Garden Centre at Goldbach near Aschaffenburg – Photo: Löwer

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On building the new garden centre in Goldbach near Aschaffenburg Löwer implemented a paradigm shift: In the direction of “plants first”. Could you briefly describe the concept?

Löwer: With our latest project in Goldbach, there are a few things that we did radically differently. The new building was literally “built around the plants”. The own production still forms the core business of our garden centres. 4.2 million seasonal plants are grown in own cultivation pots every year. It is important to us that the customers know they are getting plants from the Löwer nursery when they buy from us, rather than “off the peg” plants. Hence, primarily we want to be seen as gardeners, not as salespeople. This is why we have a separate seasonal department, where the customers can help themselves to items directly from the cultivating area. So that they can see and experience the size of the range of products and the greenhouses we chose to deliberately not signpost the different sections. Of course in the case of such a building it is decisive that the plants feel at home and develop optimally. This is why we give them more room and provide as much technical support as possible. Cultivation, the rooving over the shrubs and the cold greenhouses are covered with UV-permeable glass for instance. This ensures compact growth and improved leaf and petal colours.

 

The “Green Codes”, which one finds on the plant labels in the shop that were created together with a school, are a lovely project at the Löwer Goldbach Nursery. What was the idea behind this?

Löwer: For several years we have been supporting a bionic course which is offered to especially talented grammar school pupils at the Untermain School in Bavaria. The children and youths are taught here what science and technology can learn from nature and how one can use plants as a source of inspiration for new inventions. For example: “What actually is the Lotus effect?”, “What can a bridge builder learn from a cactus?”, or “Plants as a role model for better hot water absorbers?”… The “Green Codes” are a continuation of the project. In their spare time the pupils made short videos which answered these questions and explained natural phenomena. QR codes that we attached to the corresponding plants, now take our customers directly to these interesting explanatory videos.

 

 

 

Further information: gaertnerei-loewer.de and taspoawards.de/gewinner

 

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