Ball Expands Rose Business with Rights to Kordes Varieties

Chris Beytes
Building upon its entry into the rose marketplace with the purchase of Conard Pyle/Star Roses in 2015, Ball Horticultural Company has acquired the U.S. and Canadian master licensing rights for Kordes roses from the current rights-holder, Newflora. Newflora was founded in 2003 by Christine and Gary Pellett (you may recognize the Pellett name from his time with Jackson & Perkins). Kordes Roses, a fifth-generation family-owned business located near Hamburg, Germany, is the largest rose breeder in the world.

Ball’s newest division, Star Roses and Plants, will acquire and manage the exclusive licensing arrangements for Kordes’ garden rose assortment, which will add to the depth and breadth of their overall assortment. Kordes’ potted roses will fall under the management of Ball Ingenuity, which handles other potted plants, such as alstroemeria and celosia, for the corporation. With the agreement comes the responsibility for trialing, supply and patent protection.

“We are excited to expand our network of garden rose offerings to our customers, which will ultimately grow the North American market and introduce gardeners to a wider variety of roses,” says Steve Hutton, President of Star Roses and Plants.

GrowerTalks asked Gary Pellet why he decided to sell the Kordes license to Ball. He replied that he’s now 65 and wants to “semi-retire.” He and his wife Christine will continue to represent Kordes’ unique “English-style” cut roses, which are popular with specialty cut flower growers, as they don’t ship well, so the big off-shore growers don’t tend to grow them. The Pelletts have also agreed to support Star Roses and Plants and Ball Ingenuity during the transition period. GT