Union Fleurs Newsletter

July 2013






Fruitful General Assembly 2013 in Antalya, Turkey

33 participants from 12 countries took part in the 2013 Union Fleurs General Assembly from 3 to 7  April in Antalya, Turkey. Once again, the event was not only the occasion to cover Union Fleurs’ ongoing work and latest developments, but also an opportunity to meet all together, colleagues and friends, in a productive yet relaxing environment. We hope all the participants enjoyed the mix of business and social events and we are already looking forward to our next meeting in Colombia from September 28 to October 01.

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Union Fleurs welcomes two new Members from FRANCE and SOUTH AFRICA

At the Union Fleurs General Assembly in Antalya, two new members from France and South Africa were formally welcomed into Union Fleurs, bringing the total number of countries now represented in the organisation to 19.

 - FRANCE - New Associate Member

Valhor is the umbrella branch organization for ornamental horticulture in France. It includes 9 professional organisations covering all segments of the branch (commerce and distribution, flower shops, growers, landscaping, nurseries, etc).

Contact person:
Jean-Marc Vasse, General Delegate
Maxime François, Président FGFP (Fédération nationale des Grossistes en Fleurs et Plantes)

Website:  www.valhor.fr

 - SOUTH AFRICA - New Affiliate Member

Finlays Horticulture South Africa (Pty) Ltd is one of the world’s largest producer and packer of Fairtrade flowers. Located outside of Johannesburg, they operate the largest covered flower project in South Africa. Their total production capacity is 42 million stems per annum, the majority of which are sold in Europe, South Africa and Japan.

Contact person: John Meijer, Managing Director
Website:  www.finlays.net

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Successful participation of Union Fleurs at IFTEX Nairobi

In the first week of June, Union Fleurs took part in the International Floriculture Trade Expo (IFTEX) in Nairobi, KENYA. The Union Fleurs booth, shared with our German member organisation BGI, attracted many visitors and was efficiently used as functional meeting point for our members and potential new members to get together and have an informal discussion.

Union Fleurs visibility during the show was boosted by its participation on June 6 to the conference organised by the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), “International Flower Industry Focuses on sustainability for growth”. In close collaboration with the Floriculture Sustainability initiative (FSI), the three organisations approached sustainability as a means of enhancing productivity. For the occasion, Sylvie Mamias gave a presentation on emerging phytosanitary issues in the European Union.

In parallel to the fair, Board members of Union Fleurs met on June 6 to catch up with the organisation’s latest advancements. Our Kenyan presence was also the opportunity to visit the production facilities and lands of several KFC member companies in the areas of Thika (northeast of Nairobi) and Lake Naivasha.

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Union Fleurs speaks at a High-Level conference in Brussels on the new EU Plant health law

On May 6 2013, Copa-Cogeca, the association of European farmers and Agri-Cooperatives, invited Union Fleurs Secretary General Sylvie Mamias to present the views of the flower trade sector on the European Commission’s new package of measures to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain.

The package, called “Healthier Animals and Plants for a Safer Food Chain”, is expected to provide a modernised and simplified, more risked-based approach to the protection of health and more efficient control tools to ensure the effective application of the rules guiding the operation of the food chain and of phytosanitary controls.

For the occasion, Copa-Cogeca organised a two-day high-level conference in association with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, bringing together 250 Member State representatives, the European Institutions and other relevant European stakeholders to address the main issues at the core of the legal proposals.

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The 2012 edition of the AIPH / Union Fleurs Statistical yearbook is now available!

The 2012 issue of the AIPH/UF yearbook of International Statistics Flowers and Plants was recently released. The document is a unique and complete reference for international market research and analysis in ornamental horticulture. Compiled by the Zentrum für Betriebswirtschaft im Gartenbau (ZGB) of the Leibniz University of Hannover, it provides users with statistics and easy-to-use charts on floricultural production, trade & markets and consumption from all the major floricultural countries worldwide.

This year, for the first time, it was published on CD, which gives access to additional Eurostat data and facilitates search in the PDF version. Preferential access conditions are given to Union Fleurs members so if you didn’t receive your copy yet, please contact the Union Fleurs office at: info@unionfleurs.org

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Union Fleurs Annual report 2012 released !

The Union Fleurs 2012 Annual Report is now available and provides a general overview of all the activities carried out by Union Fleurs in 2012. The report covers the three areas in which Union Fleurs is particularly active: Advocacy & representation, Meetings & networking and Information & communication.

In 2012, Union Fleurs has especially followed developments and actively lobbied on trade, market access, plant health and phytosanitary issues, at European and World level.

The Annual Report is available for download on the Union Fleurs website: www.unionfleurs.org

If you wish to receive hard copies for distribution to your members, please contact directly our Communications Officer Caroline Le Grand at the Union Fleurs office: communications@unionfleurs.org / +32 231 06 38

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FSI now officially hosted by Union Fleurs in the Brussels office

The Floriculture Sustainability Initiative has successfully started-off since its official launch at the IPM in January. A new FSI Executive officer, Jeroen Oudheusden, was appointed in March, followed by Caroline Le Grand, who will take up the communications for FSI as well as for Union Fleurs and the other organisations hosted by the Sacar head office. The decision to make the Brussels office host of the FSI was officialised in March 2013 and seen as a way to reflect the neutrality carried out by the initiative.

Union Fleurs, founding member, will continue to provide support with its network and knowledge of the sector. Richard Fox, Union Fleurs board member and chairman of the World Trade Committee, represents the trade in the FSI Board and has recently been appointed Vice-President of FSI.

For more information, feel free to visit the FSI website at www.fsi2020.com or contact the FSI office by email atinfo@fsi2020.com or by phone: +32 2 231 06 38.

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Latest publication of the Union Fleurs Europhyt interceptions report 2011 & 2012

In June 2013, the full version of the Union Fleurs report on Europhyt interceptions during 2011 and 2012 was released and distributed to the members of Union Fleurs. It provides an overview of the total number of interceptions reported by EU Member States and Switzerland of harmful organisms in imported plants and other plant products in the years 2011 & 2012. This updated version includes additional data on import statistics and the ratio between EUROPHYT interceptions and imports into the EU.

The Union Fleurs Europhyt report has been specifically developed by the Union Fleurs office for the Union Fleurs members and provides an exclusive compilation of data and information useful to any organisation involved in the flower trade.

For any enquiries about the report, don’t hesitate to contact Romans Vorss, Policy Adviser, at sps@unionfleurs.org

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GERMANY / BGI: Schnittblumen Made In Germany

In a joint event with the Straelen Horticulture Research Center of Agriculture in North Rhine-Westphalia and with the kind support ofVeiling Rhein-Maas, our German Member BGI organised on June 25th a full-day workshop to promote the image of cut flowers in the mind of the consumer. Experts and different actors from the German cut flower industry gathered to discuss how to increase the public’s attention and consideration towards cut flowers, and the role of the “Made in Germany” as an added value.
BGI website: www.bgi-ev.de

THE NETHERLANDS / Research shows MPS certificates offer the best access to the international market

The globally recognised certification scheme MPS, a Union Fleurs affiliate member, was recently recommended by an independent research bureau (RIRDC) to the Australian government for promoting sustainable labelling among Australian growers and exporters. In combination with Fair Flowers Fair Plants, the research showed that it offers growers the best access to the international market. According to MPS Director Theo de Groot, “Certification is a ‘must’ in order to continue to play a meaningful role in the international floriculture market’. For more information, you can access the full article here.
MPS website: www.my-mps.com

THE NETHERLANDS / HBAG Bloemen en Planten

The Dutch Agricultural Wholesale Board / Flowers and Plants released on June 17th its latest numbers on the Export value of flowers and plants in 2012. With € 2.6 billion, the export turnover of flowers and plants from the Netherlands dropped by 3% in 2012. This bad outcome can be explained by the extremely cold spring that lasted longer than normal in many part of Europe, affecting the production of specific garden plants, combined by the lasting effects of the crisis on the consumers’ purchase attitudes. For more information, you can access the full article (in Dutch only) here.
HBAG Bloemen en Planten website: www.hbagbloemen.nl

KENYA / KFC: Naivasha Hortifair Fair

Supported by our member the Kenya Flower Council, the Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2013 will be held on Friday 20th & Saturday 21st September at the Naivasha Sports Club. Naivasha is not only scenic and central but it is home to one of the largest horticultural communities in East Africa. Additionally to being a highly popular event attracting representatives from almost all flower farms in Kenya, the fair also bears a social and philanthropic dimension as all the money collected goes to local and national charities with a focus on, but not limited to, caring for woman and children from the surrounding communities.
KFC website: www.kenyaflowercouncil.org



Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting in Bogotá, Colombia from Sept 28 to Oct 01 2013

Our next Autumn Meeting will take place from September 28 to October 01 in Bogotá, Colombia.


The PROFLORA Flower Trade Show, organised by the Colombian organisation and member of Union Fleurs Asocolflores will follow from October 02 to 04. Union Fleurs will be present on the show with its own exhibition booth.

If you are interested in joining the event and did not receive a formal invitation including the full programme and the subscription form, don’t hesitate to contact directly our Communications Officer Caroline Le Grand at the Union Fleurs office:
+32 231 06 38

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IFTF 2013 in Vijfhuizen, THE NETHERLANDS from Nov 06 to 08

This year’s International Floriculture Trade Fair is likely to be particularly interesting. The organisers have decided to put special emphasis on the foreign growers from the Southern Production countries such as Ecuador, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

Union Fleurs will be present with a booth and will not miss the opportunity to meet with a handful of potential new members, as well as getting together with current members present at the fair. For more information you can visit the IFTF website.

Union Fleurs will be able to provide free 3-days passes. If you are interested, don't hesitate to contact directly our Communications Officer Caroline Le Grand:
+32 231 06 38