Union Fleurs Newsletter

September 2013






The 2nd Union Fleurs Key Notes is out!

This is a bimonthly, free publication for industry relations that provides a selection of industry news with focus on information and updates on Union Fleurs events, activities and membership.

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Union Fleurs represents and promotes the worldwide interests of traders in the floriculture sector. It offers membership to National trade associations and individual companies involved in the trade of cut flowers, foliage & cut greens and pot plants. Members benefit from many services, such as lobbying and advocacy, news & updates on regulatory developments, networking and exchange of information.

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Union Fleurs Autumn meeting 2013 in Bogota, Colombia (28 September -1 October)

Seizing the opportunity of the Proflora International Trade show, Union Fleurs will hold its 2013 Autumn Meeting in Bogotá, Colombia from September 28 to October 01. Hosted by our member Asocolflores, the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, this year’s Autumn Meeting will once again gather an international group of Union Fleurs members and partners.

Monday 30 September  will be fully dedicated to the Union Fleurs Autumn meeting, during which a number of speakers will present and address different topics related to the American & South American Flower Industry and markets; the role of AsocolFlores and its certification scheme, Florverde Sustainable Flowers, and updates on the latest developments of Flower-specific projects. To conclude the day, Asocolflores will accommodate Union Fleurs and special guests with a Gala Dinner at an exclusive venue.

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Union Fleurs booth at Proflora (N°304/ South Pavilion)

Two years after the impressive show put together in 2011 for its 20th anniversary, PROFLORA is once again taking place this fall 2013, from October 02 to 04 in Bogotá, Colombia. The Proflora international Trade Show is expected to be as remarkable as always and Union Fleurs will be present with its own booth N° 304 in the South Pavilion, located next to BGI’s, its German member. If you are visiting the show, come and visit us!

Since 1991, Proflora has grown to be one of the best specialised international cut flower trade fairs in the world. For Union Fleurs, the Colombian flower show is not only the perfect occasion to get together with its members from all over the world, but it also represents the ideal venue for networking and building new relationships with various people and organisations.    

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Union Fleurs took part in the BGI Association day in Hamburg (14 September 2013)

This year, Union Fleurs German member organisation BGI (Verband des Deutschen Blumen-Groß- und Importhandels e.V./ Association of the German Flower Wholesale and Import Trade) organised its annual Association Day in Hamburg on Saturday 14 September. The venue was beautifully located in the Wälderhaus building on the premises of the IGS (Internationalen Gartenschau Hamburg).

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Union Fleurs new communication tool: In Bloom

The Union Fleurs office introduced last month to its members a new communication tool called “In Bloom”. Developed as a newsletter, it is aimed to inform the Union Fleurs members exclusively and on a monthly basis of the recent policy & regulatory developments relevant to the sector at EU and international levels. This unique publication also offers a global overview of the work done from Brussels and a summarised coverage of all issues that have caught attention during the month and on which the office have been active for the benefit of the Union Fleurs membership.The first issue was released in the end of August and the next ones will be circulated on the last Thursday of every month.

Union Fleurs booth at IFTF (A5.04)

This year, Union Fleurs will again be present at the IFTF Trade Fair in Expo Haarlemmermeer, Vijfhuizen, Holland from 06 to 08 November 2013. Anyone visiting the show is invited to come and visit the Union Fleurs Booth, N° A5.04. You are also welcome to use it as a meeting point during the fair and take advantage of this busy area to meet and liaise with the Union Fleurs members and partners throughout the duration of the fair.

As an exhibitor, Union Fleurs is pleased to invite you to attend the Fair, by offering free multi-day entry tickets. If you are interested, simply click here to register free of charge and receive a personalised 3-day entry pass by email

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The Floriculture Sustainability Initiative well on track

Union Fleurs remains an active member and supporter of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative and as such will participate in the Equivalency Tool Implementation Group. Sylvie Mamias, Union Fleurs Secretary General, will meet  this month with a number of other FSI members to work on the finalization and operationalization of the Equivalency Tool.

The FSI Equivalency Tool is an important feature of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative that aims to support the creation of mainstream sustainability by establishing a set of requirements to which existing standards can be compared. Currently, the great variety of schemes and certification programmes leads to fragmentation, inefficiencies and therefore slow market uptake. To overcome this barrier, transparency and comparability of standards is needed. The FSI Equivalency Tool objective is precisely to create a common language for sustainability which must be fact-based and neutral. This is not a new production standard nor a baseline as it is built on what currently exists in the sector. 

If you are interested to receive more information on FSI, don’t hesitate to visit the FSI website www.fsi2020.com or contact Caroline Le Grand at caroline@fsi2020.com

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Union Fleurs – FloraCulture International partnership and New FloraCulture International website

Last month, FloraCulture International has revamped its website, offering its partners the opportunity to have a banner with their name and logo to run on the website when there is space available. Union Fleurs happily responded to this offer and the Association’s banner is now displayed on different pages of the FloraCulture International website.

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VGB and KFC on GreenCHAINge : First shipping container full of roses proves promising!

Union Fleurs members VGB (the Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products) and KFC (Kenya Flower Council)recently celebrated the successful achievement of the first pilot scheme for the multi-stakeholder collaborative project GreenCHAINge which they both support. The aim of this first step was to demonstrate the feasibility of long-distance transport by water, consequently reducing CO2 emissions by 87%. On Tuesday September 10, the first shipping container holding roses from Mombasa, Kenya arrived in the Netherlands in good order. Following an extended period of preparation including varietal selection, choice of packaging, and mapping out the supply chain, the first pilot scheme for the GreenCHAINge project has proven successful.

Stimulating sustainable logistical combinations in the international floriculture sector to reduce CO2 emissions is one of the aims of the GreenCHAINge project, which involves plant breeders, growers and wholesalers, import and export. The project is subsidised by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Topsector Tuinbouw and Productschap Tuinbouw.

For more information, please contact Robbert van Willegen, project manager, Import work package or Anton Bril, GreenCHAINge project manager at VGB, tel. +31(0)297 380202.
Or download here the press release issued on September 10.

KFC: Kenya Flower farmers launch kit to measure carbon footprint

On Wednesday, September 11, Union Fleurs Member KFC (the Kenya Flower Council), together with the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) and Camco Advisory Services (Kenya) Limited have launched a computer-based toolkit for assessing the impact of their operations regarding Carbon Reduction, Resources and Opportunities in the hope of safeguarding the increasingly demanding European market.

The Carbon Reduction, Resources and Opportunities Toolkit (CaRROT) measures water usage, energy consumption and carbon emissions from the farm to market as local exporters seek to reduce the carbon footprint. “We expect to demonstrate that while our mode of transport (air freight) is a major polluter, the overall environmental impact of operations undertaken by farmers contribute least to global warming compared to our competitors.” said Kenya Flower Council Chief Executive Officer Jane Ngige. Kenya’s European competitors grow their horticultural crops under artificial conditions, but local exporters maintain that the overall environmental impact of their African operations is minimal and lower than that in any other region of the world. The toolkit was developed for the Kenya Flower Council and Horticultural Crops Development Authority by Gamco Advisory Services. The project was financed by Climate and Development Knowledge Network.

For more information, feel free to visit the KFC website and blog

FEPEX - Iberflora, the green vitamin

The 42nd edition of Iberflora, the International Fair for Plants and Flowers, Technology and Garden DIY, will take place this year from October 02 to 04 in Valencia, SPAIN. More than 800 exhibitors on 50.000 m2 and 25.000 visitors are expected to show at “Iberflora, the green vitamin” which will be held in conjunction with Vegetable World, the agricultural technology and Innovation Fair. With a special focus on Innovation and R&D, the organisers hope to attract even more foreign companies and organisations and put forward the Mediterranean products and plant industry. Visitors will be the principal actor of the fair. A special programme of activities was designed to make sure they get the opportunities to discover all aspects presented at the fair: Sales, Vegetal Health & Plague Management, New Varieties & Varietal Revolution, and New Sectors.

For more information, please visit www.feriavalencia.com/iberflora or contact: iberflora@feriavalencia.com

Asocolflores: from Colombia to Australia by sea

Quality at its best. The Colombian flower growers´ slogan speaks for itself: one of their main concern is to ensure the flower life for another 13 to 15 days once they reach the end customer. Consequently, Colombian flower exporters are usually required to use air freight for transporting their products, which not only comes very expensive, but also produces a lot of CO2. El Capiro, an Asocolflores (The Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, member of Union Fleurs) member company, has decided to take the plunge by developing its own logistic and operations to be able to use water transport without hindering the quality of the flowers. The financial and economic risks taken by El Capiro’s CEO, Carlos Manuel Uribe, has proven to be worth, as the company now ships almost half of its production to several markets around the world, including the UK, South Korea, Japan, Chile, the United States and more recently, Australia. The flowers are packed directly from the farm itself on a container; the container is put on a truck that takes it to Cartagena; and in Cartagena the container is put on a ship that will take it to its final destination. The grading and packing of the flowers follow several strict steps in order to have the flowers in ultimate conditions for the travel time they must undergo.


The association of Colombian flower exporters (Asocolflores) announces that in only 3 weeks their biggest event is beginning: Proflora 2013. In its 12th edition, Proflora will be hosting with more than 15 exhibiting countries form the floricultural sector, buyers from more than 40 countries will be visiting the flower show, and more than 300 companies will be filling the biggest pavilion in Corferias, Bogotá, Colombia. This magnificent event not only offers a great opportunity for networking and negotiations, but also the chance to meet with the main representatives of the international flower and plant sector from Ecuador, Costa Rica, Holland, Russia, the United States, as well as national farms or international general supplier companies from France, Spain, China, the United States, and of course local ones. A great list of social activities have been put together by the organisers: a Golf tournament, farm visits, outstanding varieties competition and the most unique closing party.

Proflora 2013, the biggest flower trade show invites everyone who wants to be part of a unique event, with social responsibility, that works hard on making the floricultural sector stronger. Proflora 2013 will be taking place from the 2nd to the 4th of October 2013. For more information please visit www.proflora.org.co.

JFTA – IFEX 2013

Supported by Union Fleur Japanese member JFTA (Japan flower Trade Association), the 10th edition of the International Flower Expo Tokyo will take place from October 09 to 11 2013 at Makuhari Messe, JAPAN. With almost 1.500 exhibitors from 25 countries, this year’s theme Region will focus on Taiwan and the high quality flowers produced on the island. For more information and details, please visit www.ifex.jp/en/eguide/



IFTF electronic tickets

Union Fleurs will be present at IFTF in Vijfhuizen, Holland from 06 to 08 November 2013. You are welcome to visit the Union Fleurs Booth, N° A5.04.

As an exhibitor, Union Fleurs is offering free multi-day entry tickets. If you are interested, simply click here to register free of charge receive a personalised 3-day entry pass by email.

IPM 2014 (28-31 January 2014)

IPM Essen is one of the largest trade fairs in the fields of plants and technology, floriculture and sales- promoting measures. More than 1,500 exhibitors from 40 countries will be present at IPM Essen in 2014 and about 60.000 visitors from around the world are expected. IPM Essen will take place over 4 days from 28 to 31 January 2014. In 2014 again, Union Fleurs will participate at IPM Essen in full partnership with its German member association BGI.

Visit us at the BGI Trade Center in Hall 1! More information about BGI and the BGI Trade Center is available on the BGI website: www.bgi-ev.info

For more information on IPM Essen 2014, please visit: www.ipm-messe.de