Union Fleurs Newsletter

January 2014






The 1st 2014 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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Happy New Year from Union Fleurs!

Kick-off Meeting of the Union Fleurs Pot plant network (Lochristi, 5-6 December 2013)

Union Fleurs has recently taken the initiative to activate a ‘Pot Plants Network’, specifically directed to its member organisations and their member companies involved in the pot plant business. The objective is to keep this network business-minded, network-oriented and open to companies member of the Union Fleurs national associations. Frank Zeiler, BGI Executive Director and chairman of the EU section, will be leading the activities of this network, with the support of Sylvie Mamias, Union Fleurs secretary General.

To kick-off this new initiative a first meeting was organised together with Union Fleurs Belgian member organisation NAVEX in Lochristi (Belgium) – the key center of Belgian ornamental plant cultivation and export. 15 participants from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark took part in the event, which offered a mix of company visits (wholesalers Floreac and Gimall plants, and growers De Mol-Verlee, Leybaert, Raf Goossens) working session and networking over the 2-days. During the work session, participants exchanged views on the specific issues of relevance for the pot plant business and expressed their interest in further strengthening this network to enhance cooperation between pot-plant focused countries. It was agreed to organise similar meetings in the future, starting with Germany.

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Union Fleurs welcomes a new affiliated member from Japan

Union Fleurs is proud to announce that since January 1st 2014, the Japanese importer and wholesaler YMS Co Ltd joined its ranks as Affiliate member.

The Union Fleurs membership has unanimously and enthusiastically welcomed the application of YMS Co Ltd, represented by Ms. Yoko Sakamoto and Ms Akiko Ogawa. Their presence at the Union Fleurs General Assembly 2013 in Antalya and at the last Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting in Colombia gave them the opportunity to meet Union Fleurs members and express the interest of YMS CO Ltd company to become direct member of Union Fleurs.


YMS Co Ltd was established in 1987 and is a major importer of quality fresh cut flowers and foliage from around the world. Although their office is located in Osaka, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan, they distribute nationwide to various customers, always keeping the quality and freshness of their products as their top priority.


Contact person:

Ms. Akiko Ogawa

1-11-3 Iguchido Ikeda,
Osaka 563-0023

Tel: +81 72 762 8068
Fax: +81 72 762 8088
Web: www.yms-co.jp

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Union Fleurs booth at IPM Essen: Hall 1 Stand 1D12.21

For the thirdyear in a row, Union Fleurs will be present with its own booth at IPM Essen in Germany, the largest International trade fair for Flowers and Plants from 28 to 31 January 2014.

In cooperation with its German member BGI (der Verband des Deutschen Blumen- Groß- und Importhandels e.V.), the Union Fleurs stand will be part of the BGI Trade Center, which has brought together wholesalers and producers within the IPM for the past 15 years. Celebrating this special anniversary, the 1,000 m2 area entirely dedicated to production and trade, promises to be an important international meeting point.

Located in Hall 1, you are warmly invited to visit the Union Fleurs booth, N°1D12.21 where Sylvie Mamias, Union Fleurs Secretary General and other Union Fleurs members and friends will have the pleasure to liaise and discuss the latest news and developments regarding the international trade of flowers and plants.


As an exhibitor at the IPM, Union Fleurs is able to provide a limited number of 1-day free entrance tickets to its members with a limit of 2 tickets per member. If you are interested, we invite you to contact without delay the Union Fleurs secretariat at info@unionfleurs.org as we will only be able to serve the first demands until we run out.

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

Union Fleurs is thrilled to hold its next General Assembly from 3 to 6 April in the Canary Islands. The meeting will take place on the island of Gran Canaria, at the Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort & Spa. The 4 star superior category hotel is located on the sea front and just a few metres from the Nature Reserve of Dunas de Maspalomas, in the south of Gran Canaria Island.

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. The final details programme is still under preparation and will be communicated shortly together with all the practical information Union Fleurs members and guests will need to book their trip.

In the meantime we invite our members to save the date and make sure they arrive at Las Palmas (Gran Canaria Airport) one day prior to the meeting (on 2 April) to fully enjoy the activities and exceptional surroundings of the location.

We look forward to welcoming Union Fleurs members in this blissful environment and enjoying with them all the fun and pleasure Canary Islands have to offer.

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2013 Statistical Yearbook: note for Apple users

As announced in the last issue of Key Notes, the 2013 issue of the AIPH/UNION FLEURS Yearbook of International Statistics Flowers and Plants was released on CD in November 2013, with the purpose of giving access to additional Eurostat data and facilitate the search possibilities and exploration within the PDF.

Unfortunately, it appeared that the required software for reading the yearbook data is only available for PC. AIPH, together with Union Fleurs would therefore like to express their sincere apologies to Apple users who are presently unable to use the CD version they received.

Of course, everything is being done to resolve the problem at once and we will keep our members informed as soon as possible. Be assured that it will not happen again and we will make certain that the 2014 issue will suit all Operating Systems.

For your information, the 2013 issue is still available for purchase with a preferential price for Union Fleurs members. If you are interested, please contact the Union Fleurs office at: info@unionfleurs.org

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GERMANY/ Celebrating 15 years of BGI Trade Center

A particular vibe will resonate this year in the alleys of the BGI Trade Center at the leading International trade fair, the IPM Essen in Germany. What started in 1999 as “the BGI-booth” celebrates this year its 15th anniversary.

Evolving from a surface of 365 to 1,000 m2 in 2014, the undeniable success of the BGI Trade Center reflects the importance of bringing together importers, producers, carriers and other key players from the production and trade in an area of short distances. 

As it has successfully been doing in the past 15 years, The BGI Trade Center offers not only a great meeting point for traders and producers from all around the world, but also the facilities and knowledge from 1 and a half decade of supporting exhibitors to get the best out of the IPM.

Located in Hall 1, this year’s 34 international exhibitors parcelled out within the BGI Trade Center will represent not only traders and producers, but also logistics and software experts, who become more and more important for the greens industry.

You are warmly invited to come and see for yourself the impressive setting of the 2014 Trade Center, and celebrate a successful IPM together at the BGI Standparty on Thursday January 30 at 6PM, stand 1D12.

THE NETHERLANDS/ GreenCHAINge: The Dutch pot plant industry positive about GreenCHAINge results

On 11 December 2013, the VGB and other GreenCHAINge founding partners organized a knowledge café where researchers from Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research gave insight on the quality development of various pot plants in different transport conditions. 

The presentation gave a clear picture about the influence of time, temperature and humidity on the quality of the plants. The aim of this study is to help growers and traders improve the shelf life of their products by adjusting transport conditions.

To recall, 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.

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THE NETHERLANDS/ Into Green: VGB partners up with VHG to promote wellbeing through flowers and plants

VGB, the association of the Dutch flowers and plants wholesale trade, together with VHG, the Dutch Trade association for green entrepreneurs, have recently launched Into Green, an initiative which aim is to put their knowledge together to show how green contributes to wellbeing, health and happiness. Through inspiring and understandable factsheets, Into Green’s ambition is to reach new groups in the professional world, like architects, HRM Managers, CSR experts, but also the care and education sectors, and sensitize them to the benefits of bringing plants into our lives.

At home, in the office, in the classroom or in care institutes, plants and flowers actively contribute to people’s health, wellbeing and ability to concentrate. This can lead to important cost savings in absenteeism, educational achievements, behavioural problems, air filtration or medication.

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FRANCE/ Val'hor present at Salon du Végétal from 18 to 20 February 2014 in Angers

The 29th edition of Salon du Végétal in Angers, France will gather this year from 28 to 20 February 2014 over 600 international exhibitors and looks to attract over 15,000 industry professionals from 37 countries.

Union Fleurs French associate member Val’hor (the umbrella branch organization for ornamental horticulture in France) will again be present at the Salon, gathered with several other sector organisations around the “interprofessional village”, a special area set up to promote interconnections and joint actions within the horticulture sector.

Particularly well-known for its showcase of new products and latest technologies, The Salon du Végétal is a great opportunity for Valhor to demonstrate its support to innovations in the sector via the exclusive sponsoring and co-funding of this year’s Innovert novelty competition, a must-see which results will be revealed on Thursday 19 February in the brand new Ardésia event hall.

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TURKEY/ International Horticultural Forum with Turkish guests

This year, Turkey is the partner country of the International Horticultural Forum, which Ulmer Verlag is organising together with Messe Essen and INDEGA at the IPM ESSEN. Following the traditional open panel discussion, the audience will be invited to share their views and ask questions to the speakers.

The Forum is being held in the Congress Center West, Berlin hall, on Thursday, 30 January 2014, at 14:00.
The great mutual interest has again been confirmed in talks with Turkish industry representatives. For the German horticultural industry, the increasing level of mechanisation in vegetable and ornamental plant production as well as the constant expansion of production areas provide starting points for business relations. Furthermore, Turkey is still regarded as an important bridge to the countries bordering the Black Sea and the Arab states.

As the representative of Union Fleurs member organisation the Turkish Ornamental Plants Exporters Union (OAIB), its chairman, Osman Bagdatlioglu, will be talking at the forum. Several experts as well as key player from the Turkish industry will be reporting on the local situation and share insights on issues regarding imports and exports such as phytosanitary regulations. Following the event, the Turkish delegation will invite the audience to continue the discussion at the Turkish joint stand in Hall 8, Stand 8C41 from 4PM.

If you are interested in participating to the Forum, you can register free of charge by filling in the application form at the following LINK.

TURKEY/ Ornamental Plant Promotion Group participated in the 2013 Flowershow Exhibition (Istanbul)

Union Fleurs member Turkish Ornamental Plants Promotion Group participated in the Flowershow Turkey 2013 Exhibition that was held in Istanbul from 28 November to 1 December, 2013.

Foreign editors from well-known industry magazines were present at the exhibition and participated to the International Media Conference organized by Ornamental Plants Promotion Group.During the meeting, journalists from important magazines in the sector like Floraculture International, Taspo, Gulf Agriculture, Pod Oslonami, Floratecnica, Verdimedia, Sari Landscape Design were informed of the latest developments on the ornamental plants industry in Turkey, while field trips to some exporter companies were organized for the media members in Istanbul by Ornamental Plants Promotion Group and Ornamental Plants Producers Union on 29 November 2013.

COLOMBIA/ Equivalence between Florverde® Sustainable Flowers and GLOBALG.A.P

In 2013 the agreement that recognizes Florverde® Sustainable Flowers version 6.0 as a Resembling Scheme of GLOBALG.A.P 4.0 was confirmed.

Florverde, an independent label supported by Union Fleurs member Asocolflores (the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters), is recognized as a Resembling Scheme with its own rules (written in its Standard for sustainable production of flowers and ornamentals) and management system (defined in the General Regulations document) that overlap the requirements of the GLOBALG.A.P, with some exceptions.

Certified companies will be allowed to use the Florverde® Sustainable Flowers brand and label in products with a mix certified and non-certified ones, always and when they fulfil that more than 70% of the flowers used are certified.

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FSI General Assembly on 30 January 2014 at the IPM in Essen.

The Floriculture Sustainability Initiative will hold its first Ordinary General Assembly at the IPM International Trade Fair in Essen, Germany on January 30, 2014 from 3:30 to 5PM. Celebrating one year of joint efforts to raise the level of sustainability in our industry, the meeting will give the FSI members the opportunity to appreciate the progress completed in 2013 and get a good insight on the coming developments and activities for 2014 and beyond.
Furthermore, the presentation will focus on the advancement of the FSI Equivalency Tool, which first version is currently being finalised: the first standards have gone through the quick scan by the ITC Standards Map, resulting in an initial overview of where they each stand according to a floriculture perspective. In a second step, standards will be invited to proceed with the Social & Environmental benchmarking using the Product & Compliance criteria of GSCP Reference Code and Global G.A.P. Benchmark Tool.

AIPH: Call for entries for AIPH International Grower of the Year 2014

Grower associations around the world are invited to enter a candidate into the prestigious International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) International Grower of the Year awards 2014 in association with FloraCulture International.

There can only be one candidate from each country but now is the time to be thinking about entering. Deadline for applications has been set on 31 March 2014.

AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe, commented “There is no higher accolade for a nursery than to win the prize of International Grower of the Year. I want to encourage every country, whether they are an AIPH member or not, to select the best of their best growers of flowers, ornamental plants or trees, to enter the competition.”

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World Floral Expo 2014 has landed at Chicago O‘Hare Airport and has found an excellent location at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Just a 10 minutes ride from O’Hare international airport and only 45 minutes away from downtown Chicago. After stops in New York, Miami, and again in New York, it is now the turn for Chicago to host this very international flower trade show with exhibitors from all major flower producing countries.

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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.
IPM Essen will take place over 4 days from 28 to 31 January 2014.
For more information on IPM Essen 2014, please visit: www.ipm-messe.de


As an exhibitor at the IPM, Union Fleurs is able to provide a limited number of 1-day free entrance tickets to its members with a limit of 2 tickets per member. If you are interested, we invite you to contact without delay the Union Fleurs secretariat at info@unionfleurs.org as we will only be able to serve the first demands until we run out.

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. Arrival day is scheduled on 2 April and the program will kick off on 3 April with a day excursion to Las Palmas and Agüimes. Meetings will take place on 4 and 5 April, and the event will conclude with a Gala Dinner on 5 April evening.

It will be another great occasion for Union Fleurs members to catch up with the associations’ activities and enjoy each other in a heavenly location.

More information will be posted soon on the Union Fleurs website, so don’t hesitate to frequently visit our events page!

Of course we are looking forward to seeing you there!