Learning about the INV Process

Some of you may know what INV means but don’t not know everything that goes into the process. Others might not even know what these three letters stand for.

We’re here to answer any and all of the questions you didn’t even know you had about this topic!

INV stands for Introduction of New Varieties. Many farms do this and if you’ve been in the industry for many years, you know this is no novel concept.

However, the farms we work with take this process extremely seriously. The details, effort and hard work that goes into making sure at least ONE new variety is successful is truly admirable. As part of our Grown to Last promise, not only do we want to deliver high-quality and consistent varieties, but we also want to give you information that can be valuable. This will give your customers and you the necessary tools and knowledge to make important floral decisions!

For the farms, the idea of INV began at the end of 1997 when the system began to regulate the production process between all of the farms. Back then, all breeders would say that their varieties were the best of the best. The farms needed to test this and create standards that not only tested how varieties performed in general but also how they performed in the specific climate conditions of the region, how different sources of water affected each variety and how our distribution channel could potential impact these new varieties. Because of this, the INV process was born at farm-level.

 Now that you have some history about the topic, let’s dive into some of the basics of INV. Varieties that will be tested are chosen based on the five following characteristics:

  • Production levels
  • Length
  • Head size
  • Vase-life
  • Color (based on the portfolio the farms manage)

If the varieties being tested do not come from the Icon breeder (if you want to know more about Icon, check out our Rionegro post here), farms work with 15 breeders around the world but they are predominantly from Holland.

In order to organize and streamline the monitoring process, farms that deal with INV greenhouses do the following:

  • Monitor the production process during weeks 15, 30 and 52
  • Look and determine grading classification
  • Research how susceptible these particular varieties are to diseases or harmful bacteria
  • Vase-life (very important!)
  • Variety cycles (how fast and how much does each variety produce)

There are certain important criteria that the varieties need to meet to continue with the process. For example, in terms of production levels, when being evaluated during week 15, there should be around 20 flowers per square meter. At 30 weeks, there should be 50-52 flowers and during week 52, they should be seeing 100-110 flowers.

Another important test these varieties need to pass is having a vase-life of at least 8 days after going through a travel simulation. Head size is also important, in this case, they must be between 5.5 and 5.8 cm.

INV accounts for around 600 new codes (varieties) cultivated a year, which means if you have ever visited the farms and you have seen all of the INV greenhouses, there will be around 50 new varieties being tested.

While visiting a rose INV, we asked them how many of these varieties actually make it past the first stage and we were shocked to hear the answer: only 1%!

After so much effort and testing, it’s a success when one variety seems promising and an even bigger success if the sales teams and the customers like the product.

What some of you might not know is this: around 3-4 times a year, they’ll bring these new varieties to Miami and invite us to take a look, to compare with existing varieties and take surveys about what we like and don’t like. So, if you’re interested in a particular color, product or variety, let us know! This information is valuable to us and to the people at the farms that are working in the INV department. 

As always, if you have any insights about this particular topic, or any other topic we cover, you can always email or call us. We’d be happy to hear from you.

*special thanks to Luisa Peña and Ana Maria Ucros for their help in writing this post!