Union Fleurs Newsletter

November 2013






The 3rd 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 held a successful 2013 Autumn Meeting in Bogotá, Colombia

Gathering an international crowd of 27 participants from 12 countries, the Union Fleurs 2013 Autumn meeting took place in Bogotá, Colombia from 28 September to 1 October, with a special focus on South America thanks to the active participation of our hosting member Asocolflores, the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters.

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Rewarding Union Fleurs participation in Proflora 2013

This year, Union Fleurs was able to combine its 2013 Autumn Meeting with the Proflora International Trade Show organised by its member Asocolflores, the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, from 2 to 4 October in the Corferias Center in Bogotá. Present at the Fair with its own booth, Union Fleurs Secretary General Sylvie Mamias and President Lennart Loven took the opportunity to further promote the work of the association amongst the Colombian and South American Flower industry.

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Annual meeting of the EU Advisory group Flowers & Plants : Frank Zeiler (BGI) elected Vice-President on behalf of Union Fleurs

The annual meeting of the EU Advisory Group Flowers & Ornamental Plants organised by DG Agriculture of the European Commission, took place in Brussels on 9 October 2013.
This meeting gathers once a year representatives of the EU floricultural sector (growers, traders and florists) to discuss with European Commission officials all EU regulatory matters of importance to the sector.

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Union Fleurs takes part in the first meeting of the new GlobalG.A.P Flowers and Ornamentals Stakeholders Committee

Union Fleurs Secretary General Sylvie Mamias attended as an observer the first meeting of the GlobalG.A.P Flowers and Ornamentals Stakeholders Committee that took place on 11 October in Cologne, Germany at the GlobalG.A.P. Headquarters.
Ten participants from various segments of the international floriculture supply-chain took part in the meeting. Martin de la Harpe (Finlays Flowers UK) was unanimously appointed as chairman of the Committee.

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The 2013 Statistical Yearbook is out!

Union Fleurs and AIPH (the International Association of Horticultural Producers) are pleased to announce that the 2013 edition and 61st volume of the International Flowers and Plants Statistical Yearbook was released in November 2013.

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Union Fleurs actively present at IFTF 2013

The 4th edition of the International Floriculture Trade Fair IFTF took place in Vijfhuizen, Holland from 6 to 8 November in combination with the IHTF and was a total hit according to the organisers who counted 23.241 visitors (+27.7% compared to 2012). Union Fleurs had the privilege to be part of the 300 exhibitors who shared 24.000 m2 of exhibition space. 

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Union Fleurs attends the 2013 edition of ISMC in Amsterdam

As a close partner of IDH Sustainable Trade who is working together with Union Fleurs on the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI), the Union Fleurs secretariat and Board members were invited to participate in the 2013 International Supply Chain Management Congress that took place on 5 November at the prestigious Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam on the eve of the IFTF – IHTF trade show

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UNION FLEURS GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2014: 3 to 6 April 2014 in Gran Canaria

Slowly closing on the year of 2013 and already looking at 2014, Union Fleurs is happy to announce that its next General Assembly will take place from 3 to 6 April 2014 in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands).
As usual, the Union Fleurs meetings and work sessions will be coupled with a number of social events and visits for participants to enjoy this heavenly location and make the best of their trip.
Union Fleurs members and partners will receive in due time the formal invitation and more details on the programme of the event. In the meantime we warmly invite you to save the dates in your agendas as of now!

Union Fleurs active supporter of FSI

The close collaboration and synergies developed in the past year between Union Fleurs and the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) were once again well put in use by both parties at the occasion of the 2013 Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting and Proflora Trade Show in Colombia.
Invited by Union Fleurs as a guest speaker to the afternoon open session, FSI Executive Officer Jeroen Oudheusden gave the assembly an introductory presentation of the initiative with a special emphasis on the FSI Equivalency Tool process and benefits. Liaising with Union Fleurs members and partners during such meetings contributes to the development of FSI by increasing its visibility and gaining insights on the floriculture sector. The FSI Executive Officer also joined Union Fleurs to their presentation before ProExport on the last day of the Fair and presented the project to a new group of stakeholders potentially interested in joining the initiative.


NETHERLANDS – KENYA / VGB and KFC on GreenCHAINge: Convincing Dutch Minister Ploumen with promising results

Coordinated by Union Fleurs members VGB (the Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products) and KFC (Kenya Flower Council) as well as other Dutch and international key players, the multi-stakeholder collaborative project GreenCHAINge was presented on Thursday 31 October 2013 to Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation at the occasion of her trade mission to Kenya.

One of the aims of GreenCHAINge is to develop a pilot scheme demonstrating the feasibility of long-distance transport by water, consequently reducing CO2 emissions by 87%. As the Dutch delegation visited the Kenyan port of Mombasa, a demonstration shipping container filled with flowers was specially put in place to show how the project effectively works and to illustrate the potential leading role that the Netherlands could play in making the transport chain for floriculture products more sustainable.

GreenCHAINge promotes various greener – and less expensive – transport modes for both 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.

COLOMBIA / Asocolflores awarded the order of Boyaca at PROFLORA opening ceremony

Proflora 2013 marked a milestone in the history of Asocolflores. The President of the Republic of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos seized the opportunity of the grand opening ceremony of the Trade Show on 2 October to award the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters the Order of Boyacá, the highest medal granted by the Colombian Government for exceptional services to international relations. The Order was received by Augusto Solano, President of Asocolflores and Board member of Union Fleurs.

Celebrating 40 years of dedicated work and support towards shaping today’s growing Colombian flower industry, the medal of honour came in perfect timing. The occasion was ideal to also give recognition to the now globally renowned Proflora Trade Show and the large number of buyers and exhibitors who continuously contribute to the success of Colombian flowers around the world.
View complete speech on YouTube.

COLOMBIA / Successful 2013 edition of PROFLORA

The 2013 and 12th edition of PROFLORA turned out to be a smashing success with over 1.200 buyers from more than 45 countries, and 7.000 visitors in total, attending the fair from 2 to 4 October. According to the calculations of the industry, there were over a million flowers on display across the 200 exhibitors’ booths during the 3 days.
Focus was given for this edition to technological innovations and production technologies, and the Netherlands were the guest country this year.
Asocolflores can take pride in having brought over the years PROFLORA to be one of the not-to-be missed meeting points for the industry, not only for the American countries but also at worldwide level as reflected this year by the outstanding international participation.

The next edition of PROFLORA will take place from 30 September to 2 October 2015 in Medellin, Antioquia – Colombia’s second largest flower-growing region. Medellin has recently been named the ‘Most Innovative City in The World’ by The Wall Street Journal and Citibank.

COLOMBIA / Augusto Solano inducted new member of the American Academy of Floriculture

On 24 September 2013, the American Academy of Floriculture (AAF) named seven new members to join its ranks on the occasion of the SAF’s (Society of American Florists) 129th Annual Convention in Phoenix, USA.

Amongst them was Augusto Solano, President of Asocolflores and member of the Union Fleurs Board. He was elected for his deep personal and professional commitment to helping his country’s flower sector succeed while prioritizing on the needs and welfare of Colombian floral workers and the communities surrounding the country’s flower farms.
Every year, the American Academy of Floriculture (AAF) names deserving industry members to its ranks in recognition of their deep dedication to volunteer service in their local communities and the floral industry. The stringent requirements of the Academy make AAF status a distinction recognized throughout the industry.

MOROCCO / PRIM’ROSE wins “Most valuable foreign supplier” Award by the Dutch Flower Group

Thursday 7 November is a date to remember for Union Fleurs member Ali Bennani-Smires, as his company Prim’Rose was named this year’s winner of the prestigious Dutch Flower Group Awards in the foreign supplier category. The carnation nursery based in Casablanca, Morocco stood out for its excellence and quality products. Mr Bennani-Smires dedicated his prize to the 600 hard workers currently employed by Prim’Rose.
For the 12th time in a row, the awards aim to recognise the most successful and outstanding flowers and plants entrepreneurs amongst the large panel of suppliers to the Dutch Flower Group. During the ceremony, CEO Marco van Zijverden announced a strong provisional growth of around 15% in 2013 for the group of 30 trading companies, with a joint turnover expected to exceed €1.2 billion.

KENYA - KFC / Green Farming project: Cultivating roses in Kenya with half the water

One year after the launch of the Green Farming water project, the first results were presented during the Naivasha Horticultural Fair organized in September 2013 with the support of Union Fleurs member Kenya Flower Council (KFC). Combining Dutch expertise on water and nutrient use in protected horticultural production systems with Kenyan knowledge of the area is how this collaborative project aims to improve rose cultivation through better water management.

The results presented by the project partners, Mr Martin Helmich of Hoogendoorn Growth Management and Ms Anne Elings of Wageningen University and Research Centre conclusively showed that proper technology and management adjusted to local conditions can lead to a strong reduction of water and fertilizer use while actually boosting the quality and production of specific horticulture and floriculture products such as Kenyan roses.

GERMANY/ IPM 2014: BGI Trade Centre

Without failing the tradition, Union Fleurs German member association BGI will this year again be present at the 2014 IPM Trade Fair in Essen with the much impressive and appreciated BGI Trade Centre in Hall 1. With approx. 1,000 square meters of exhibition space in the most frequented hall, the BGI Trade Center offers all BGI members and numerous internationally renowned companies not only an exclusive location for successful business contacts but also a well appreciated stand concept specifically designed to make the best out of this four days’ event. Union Fleurs will this year again also participate in the BGI Trade Centre with its own booth.

For more information on the BGI Trade Centre, don’t hesitate to contact BGI directly at info@bgi-ev.de.

JAPAN / Record-breaking figures for IFEX 2013

The 10th edition of the International Flower Expo Tokyo  - IFEX, Asia’s largest flower trade show has gathered over 1.200 exhibitors  from all over the world from 9 to 11 October . The trade show attracted close to 35.000 visitors in 3-days - an increase of 27% compared to last year and a record-breaking figure since the launch of IFEX 10 years ago.
The next edition of IFEX will take place from 15 to 17 October 2014 at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo.



UNION FLEURS GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2014: 3 to 6 April 2014 in Gran Canaria

Union Fleurs will hold its 2014 General Assembly from 3 to 6 April 2014 in Gran Canaria Island, one of the main islands constituting the Canary archipelago.
It will be another great occasion for Union Fleurs members to catch up with the associations’ activities and enjoy in a heavenly location  the usual networking opportunities offered by Union Fleurs meetings.

We look forward to seeing Union Fleurs members and partners there!

UNION FLEURS ‘POT PLANT NETWORK’: first meeting in Lochristi (Belgium) on 5-6 December 2013

Union Fleurs is launching a new ‘Pot Plant Network’ for its member organisations and their member companies active in the Pot plant business. To kick-off this initiative, a first meeting, organised with Union Fleurs Belgian member organisation NAVEX, will take place on 5 & 6 December 2013 in Lochristi, Belgium. A mix of company visits, working session and business networking opportunities will be offered to the participants over the 2 days.  Union Fleurs members interested to join should contact the Union Fleurs office at info@unionfleurs.org

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

FSI GENERAL ASSEMBLY – 30 January 2014 (3.30pm- 5.30pm) at IPM Essen

FSI has recently announced that its 2014 General Assembly will take place during IPM Essen on Thursday 30 January 2014 from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.
The event will mark the first anniversary of the official launch of the initiative and will be the opportunity to take stock of the progress achieved so far and keep the momentum going by again bringing together all the FSI members and supporters.
The FSI General Assembly will be followed by the traditional BGI Stand Party at 6 pm.