Union Fleurs Newsletter

January 2015


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 about regulatory developments, networking and exchange of information.

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Union Fleurs wishes you a flourishing and joyful New Year

Union Fleurs lobbying case: restoring duty-free access for imports of Kenyan flowers into the EU market

Since 25 December 2014, all flowers and floricultural products exported from Kenya to the EU can benefit again from duty-free access.

This news came as a huge relief to exporters in Kenya, importers in the EU and the whole floriculture industry after a decade of a roller-coaster process that finally concluded on 16 October 2014 with the completion of the negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the East African Community (EAC).

As part of its objective to ensure the free flow of floricultural products from supplying countries to consumption markets, Union Fleurs has been actively involved in the process from its start in 2003 and particularly in the past few months since delay in finalizing the EPA led to the reinstatement as of 1 October 2014 of GSP import duties on floriculture exports from Kenya to the EU market. The additional cost associated with the duties has had to be absorbed by the floriculture sector in order to remain competitive in European markets and to safeguard jobs and the enormous capital investment in the industry.

On 16 October at last, the EPA between the EU and EAC Member States was successfully finalized and initialled. Union Fleurs, together with its member the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) tirelessly lobbied on the fast reinstatement of a duty-free regime for all flower exports from Kenya to the EU market. 

Read more

Click here to see the Union Fleurs – KFC joint statement to acknowledge the EU’s efforts in fast-tracking Kenya’s reinstatement on duty-free status and adequately recognizing the crucial importance of the approaching Valentine’s Day peak flower sale season.

Looking back at the Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting 2014 in London: a stimulating event !

At the end of October 2014, Union Fleurs members were invited to London for the Annual Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting which focused on the UK floriculture market, its main characteristics and key drivers. With more than 40 participants from 15 countries, the three-day event was a true success in a way that a strong cooperation between the main industry players was clearly perceived as they took steps to join forces and make the best of the network and capacities offered by Union Fleurs.

Organised with the support of Finlays Horticulture Ltd., the group visited Finlays Cut Flowers and Finlays Fresh Produce packaging sites north of London.  The Union Fleurs Members Meeting on Saturday 01 November was followed by a Seminar to which a number of external guests and high-level speakers were invited. Moderated by Mr Richard Fox, Union Fleurs Vice-President, the conference gave stage to a panel of industry key players among which UK retailers, wholesalers and international suppliers as well as UK floriculture magazine. They each shared their point of view on the structure, challenges and opportunities and the position of the UK market in long-term supply strategies, at the same time driving the discussion with the audience on the future of the floriculture industry in a context of increased globalization and innovations.

Union Fleurs participation in IFTF 2014 and in FSI Members Meeting on 6 November 2014

Scheduled just after the Union Fleurs Annual Autumn Meeting end of October, the 5th edition of the International Floriculture Trade Fair IFTF from 5 to 7 November 2014 was a great way for Union Fleurs and its members to keep the momentum of a particularly successful meeting in London.

Besides having its own stand where Sylvie Mamias was able to meet with visitors and other exhibitors active in the international trade, Union Fleurs also attended on 6 November the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative Members Meeting where the first FSI Member Projects were presented and officially launched. Herman de Boon, president of Union Fleurs and one of FSI initiators, addressed the audience for the occasion.

The Union Fleurs 2013 Report on EUROPHYT Interceptions is out and available to members

The Union Fleurs Report on Europhyt interceptions during the year 2013 was released and distributed to Union Fleurs members in November 2014 during the Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting in London. As in the first report issued last year, the aim of this new edition of the report is to provide Union Fleurs members with an overview of EUROPHYT interceptions reported in 2013 for the most relevant commodities to the Union Fleurs membership: cut flowers and foliage, potted plants and Bonsai. To put the plant health performance of the major exporting countries to the EU market into perspective, the Union Fleurs office also completed the EUROPHYT data with EUROSTAT trade statistics, which shows the actual ratio between EUROPHYT interceptions and imports into the EU.

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Union Fleurs members wishing to receive hard copies of the Report should contact the Union Fleurs office at: info@unionfleurs.org

Union Fleurs booth at IPM Essen: Hall 1 Stand 1D12.14

From 27 to 30 January 2015, Union Fleurs will be present with its own booth at IPM Essen in Germany, the largest International trade fair for Flowers and Plants. Installed at the heart of the BGI trade Center in Hall 1, which brings together wholesalers and producers of flowers and plants in a 1,000 m2 area entirely dedicated to production and trade, you could hardly miss the Union Fleurs booth N° 1D12.14. You are warmly invited to stop by and join Sylvie Mamias, Union Fleurs Secretary General and other Union Fleurs members and friends to share and discuss the association’s latest activities or any topic related to the international trade of flowers and plants.

Read more


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 communications@unionfleurs.org
Hurry as we will only be able to serve the first demands until we run out!

SAVE THE DATE: UNION FLEURS 2015 GENERAL ASSEMBLY - 16 to 19 April 2015 in Hyères, France

For its 2015 General Assembly in April, Union Fleurs and members and guests will head to the South of France at the heart of an important flower production zone and near the city of Hyères where the main flower auction in France and 4th in Europe is established.

The Union Fleurs meetings will be coupled with visits to the Hyères flower auction and some flower farms, as well as key attraction sites in the beautiful surroundings of Saint-Tropez.

The Hotel and details of the programme are yet to be confirmed 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 via Nice Airport on Thursday 16 April latest to fully enjoy the activities and exceptional surroundings of the location. For those able to prolong their stay over the weekend, we are planning a touristic excursion on Sunday 19 April in beautiful Provence.

We look forward to welcoming Union Fleurs members in France for what promises to be an interesting and productive week!

Union Fleurs and AIPH release International Statistics – Flowers and Plants 2014

The latest volume of the report International Statistics – Flowers and Plants 2014 is now available. It contains the current available data on the global production and trade of ornamental flowers and plants.

Union Fleurs collaborates with the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) to publish this yearly report of International Statistics Flowers and Plants 2014 which is the result of extensive research and data compiled by the Leibniz University of Hannover.

Read More

The 2014 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

The Kenya Embassy in the Netherlands and the Kenya Flower Council honour Union Fleurs former President and Secretary General during IFTF in November 2014

On the occasion of a presentation of the Kenya Flower Council “National Mechanism for Compliance” (see article below) on 6 November 2014 in IFTF Trade Fair, the Kenya Embassy in the Netherlands and the Kenya Flower Council awarded Union Fleurs former President Lennart Loven and Secretary General Sylvie Mamias for their continuous contribution and support to the development of the Kenyan floriculture industry, in particular in the context of the negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the East African Community.

As a mark of recognition, the representative of the Kenya Ambassador in the Netherlands handed each of them a casting in bronze, representing Kenya’s most emblematic fauna and flora: a Rose and a Kingfisher.

Sylvie Mamias contributes to the December issue of The US Produce News Magazine

“Amsterdam was definitely the place to be during the first week of November - a place where innovation and creativity met business and supply-chain efficiency!” stated Sylvie Mamias when asked by United States Fresh Produce Magazine The Produce News to share her impressions on the two flowers fairs IFTF and Flora Holland Trade Fair taking place simultaneously early November  2014 near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. What best than the point of view of the International flower Trade Association Secretary General, who has been present at the fair for the past 5 years and actively works all year round to support the development of the European and Global flower industry, to explain US readers the excitement arising from both fairs and the great opportunity they represent for the whole sector.

Click here to download the article.


GERMANY/ BGI celebrates 50 years of history and introduces new website

2015 Marks the 50th Anniversary year of Union Fleurs member the German Flower Wholesale and Import Trade (BGI), initially established in 1965.

When the Association of the saw the light of day in Düsseldorf 50 years ago, the sector had been relatively well established in a Germany earmarked by the “economic miracle”; however it was still in a developing phase. Pretty soon Germany became the most important consumption country for the flower market – and it still is today.

In 50 years the German Flower and Plants sector has seen some important transformations and overcame major challenges. The declining domestic production in the early years and growing number of imported cut flowers and pot plants were the main concerns of the BGI at its debut. The Association was forged with the mission to “lead wholesalers away from the foreign products and thus convince them of the quality and the good product range of domestic products.” But the latent protectionism of the early BGI years has soon yielded to an open approach and on its 50th anniversary the association is internationally networking and represented in important global committees, among which alongside Union Fleurs at the European Commission.

Today the BGI sees itself 50 years YOUNG! And to mark the new breath of half a century, the association has introduced a brand new and attractive website featuring more content and responsive navigation. Feel free to take a tour at http://bgi-ev.de/!

To duly celebrate its way into a second half-century, BGI will host a special Stand Party on Thursday 29 January at 6PM in the BGI Trade Center of IPM Essen, Hall 1 Stand 1D12. The party will combine BGI and MPS’ celebrations of their respective anniversary: 50 Years BGI and 20 years MPS – The Best from both countries. Union Fleurs members and friends are cordially invited to join for a pleasant evening of interesting talks, fine drinks and tasty food!

DENMARK/ Danske Prydplanter becomes Flora Dania

On 1 January 2015, Union Fleurs Danish Member Danske Prydplanter changed its name to Flora Dania. Founded in 2003, the mission and set up of the association remain the same, which is to support its members in the production and marketing of their products. Flora Dania Managing Director Peter Larsen-Ledet has informed Union Fleurs of the recent change of name, which comes with a new logo that refers more clearly to ornamental plants, the focus product of the association. Although the website remain the same, the URL has changed to www.floradania-org.dk.

For more information, feel free to contact Peter Larsen-Ledet at pll@floradania-org.dk.

DENMARK & THE NETHERLANDS/ Flora Dania and VGB supporters of the Nordic Flower Expo on 13 – 15 April 2015 in Malmö, Sweden.

The Nordic Flower Expo taking place from 13 to 15 April 2015 in Malmö, Sweden is the first dedicated exhibition for Flowers and Plants in the Nordic Region targeting trade visitors from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Baltic Region. With one of the highest GDP per capita in Europe, the region is considered to be a very interesting and promising export market for the coming years. The sector sees the Nordic Flower Expo as an attractive opportunity to present its high-quality ornamental plants and welcomes the support from VGB, the Dutch Association of Wholesale Trade in Horticultural Products as well as Florint, the International Florist Organisation who both sponsor the Expo. 

THE NETHERLANDS/ VGB “Typically wholesale” 2014 Report now available in English

What are the various aspects of Dutch floriculture wholesale? What types of businesses are involved? What were the most important developments of the floriculture wholesale between 2008 and 2013? To address these questions the VGB has compiled a report ‘Typical wholesalers 2014’, an updated version of ‘Typical wholesale 2005-2011’.The study was conducted using anonymous HBAG export data and supported by the Dutch Product board for Horticulture.

Click here to download the full report in English

KENYA/ Kenya Flower Council launches its “National Mechanism for Compliance” during the Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting in London and IFTF in Vijfhuizen

After the Union Fleurs Seminar on 1 November in London, the Kenya Flower Council invited the participants to a cocktail celebrating the launch of their “National Mechanism for Compliance”, a Kenyan initiative supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs that aims to sustain access to international markets by establishing a national framework for industry-wide compliance with industry requirements. Focusing on the industry’s efforts to increase sustainability, Jane Ngige, the Kenya Flower Council CEO, invited Jeroen Oudheusden, Executive Officer of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative, of which KFC and Union Fleurs are both members, to further explain the steps taken by KFC within FSI and the importance of joint commitment from the whole industry.

The Kenya Flower Council held another presentation of the National Mechanism for Compliance on 6 November 2014 during the IFTF Trade Fair in Vijfhuizen. The meeting brought together participants from flowers associations and buyers from all parts of the world which included; Russia, Turkey, Israel, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, United states of America, Ethiopia and Kenya. Representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which financially supports the programme, and of the Kenya Embassy in the Netherlands were also in attendance.

COLOMBIA/ Asocolflores launches Flower Campaign in Japan with three distinguished events

30,000 Colombian Flowers for Tokyo

The First Lady of Japan, Akie Abe, lent her gracious presence during Asocolflores' (the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters) recent campaign to pay tribute to Japanese women in their roles as wives, mothers and family mainstays with the gift of a Colombian flower. Asocolflores chose to kick start its floral meme just before Good Married Couples' Day by handing out over 30,000 Colombian flowers at Tokyo's Yurakucho Station this past Wednesday, November 19th 2014.

Carpediem Roses for Japan's Aki Abe

PQR Wayuu Flowers presented 150 of its brand new Carpediem Rose variety to the wife of the Prime Minister of Japan, Akie Abe. The Colombian Ambassador to Japan, Roberto Vélez, presented the first bouquet of roses on behalf of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters in appreciation of Mrs. Abe's presence at the Asocolflores flower campaign kicking off Good Married Couples' celebration this past Wednesday, November 19th at Yurakucho Station.

Flowers and Fashion in Japan

On November 18th, 2014, the Colombian Embassy in Tokyo opened its doors to a reception for Japanese importers and the media. The attendees were greeted with a colorful fashion catwalk show put together by participating Colombian companies in the Japan 2014 Showroom promoted by ProColombia and Asocolflores. Japanese models sported Haute Couture gowns from the Fashion House of Zin Kato - a real draw for Japanese main fashion spreads. The image features model, Alexandra Farms, showing off Maria Theresia and Baronesse garden rose varieties.

FRANCE/ Valhor present at Salon du Végétal from 17 to 19 February 2015 in Angers

For its 30th edition, the Salon du Végétal in Anger, France will showcase from 17 to 19 February 2015 the wonderful world of greenery over 30,000 m2 of exhibition area. The Fair will be divided in four spaces:

  • The Green Spaces and Landscaping Center is designed for local authority and landscape professionals;
  • The Cut Flowers Center will give florists and wholesalers the opportunity to explore new trends and meet exhibitors from different fields of activities.
  • The Distribution Center will gather retail chains, developers, producers, the specialist press, logisticians, professional organisations in one place
  • The Young Plants Center will bring together horticultural and nursery plant production companies in a privileged exhibition space.

COLOMBIA/ Asocolflores Gearing up for Proflora 2015

The next edition of Proflora, Colombia’s first Flower Trade Show, will take place from 28 to 30 October 2015 in Bogotá, Colombia.

Although it was announced during the opening ceremony of Proflora 2013 that the show would move to Medellin for its next edition, organizers were faced with the obligation to step back as the city is unfortunately currently unable to furnish the minimum technical and economic conditions required of a specialized fresh-cut flower trade show the size and importance of Proflora. As a result, Proflora 2015 will as usual be held in the Corferias Convention Center in Bogotá, which remains the best trade-show venue of Colombia and offers all the comfort and facilities to satisfy both exhibitors and visitors, and keep delivering the superior excellence that has distinguished Proflora throughout the years.


Floriculture Sustainability Initiative General Assembly 2015 at IPM in Essen on 29 January

As a member of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative, Union Fleurs will attend the FSI General Assembly 2015 on 29 January during the IPM. Members and Partners of FSI will gather from 3.30 in the afternoon to discuss the results 2014 and steps forward and priorities for 2015 onwards. Among other topics, the meeting will focus on the FSI ambition for 2020 and the Basket of standards, as well as the latest results and next steps of the Member Projects. FSI Members meetings always see a broad range of key industry players coming together and offer great opportunities to liaise with all kind of actors in the whole supply chain

Click here to read the last FSI Newsletter

AIPH launches new horticultural Expo Conference on 19 March 2015

AIPH Expo Conference is a new event which takes place for the first time on Thursday 19 March 2015 at Marriott Paris - Opera Ambassador Hotel, Paris, France. It is open to organisers of international horticultural exhibitions as well as anyone with an interest in this area. The event will include expert advice from expo consultants, inspiration for those considering organising an expo as well as opportunities to share information between expo organisers.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

CBI seeks to involve European importers in a new coaching programme for Colombian exporters of Tropical Flowers & Foliage

CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries), PROEXPORT and ASOCOLFLORES have joined forces to coach future exporters in the Tropical Flowers and Foliage sector in Colombia with an Export Coaching Programme.

In this context, they are willing to also engage European importers at an early stage of the programme in order to create sustainable and beneficial relations between producers, exporters and importers even before Colombian entrepreneurs enter the European market.

The Union Fleurs network is the perfect pool to find the right candidates and we invite any interested European entrepreneurs and importers of Tropical Flowers and Foliage to be part of this project.Depending on your own interest, you can get involved in the following ways:

  • Participate in the business audit and selection of companies;
  • Participate as a guest speaker and share knowledge during training  workshops;
  • Coach selected companies (alongside the CBI experts);
  • Be involved in certification processes;
  • Participate in B2B events, including buyers mission. 

You can visit the website for more information and signing up.

HPP Exhibitions: Hortiflora Expo 2015 March 25 – 27 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The 6th edition of HortiFlora Expo Ethiopia will open its doors on 25 March 2015 for three days of intense business and networking opportunities. Growers and suppliers exhibiting will have a first row ticket to meet with a number of international buyers who will make the trip to Addis Ababa. Suppliers from Russia, the Middle East, Europe as well as the USA are expected to show up in number and make Hortiflora Ethiopia an excellent place for Floricultural & Horticultural Industries to promote their product and encourage innovation. The Trade Show is willing to keep growing this year and in the future, by increasing the number of stands and exhibit more sectors that are important to the economic growth of Ethiopia.


IPM 2015 (27-30 January 2015)

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 50 countries and trade visitors from more than 100 countries are expected at IPM Essen in 2015.
IPM Essen will take place over 4 days from 27 to 30 January 2015.
In 2015 again, Union Fleurs will participate to 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
Click here for more information on IPM Essen 2015


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 atcommunications@unionfleurs.org
Hurry as we will only be able to serve the first demands until we run out!

UNION FLEURS 2015 GENERAL ASSEMBLY - 16 to 19 April 2015 in Hyères, France

Union Fleurs will hold its 2015 General Assembly from 16 to 19 April 2015 in Hyères, France.

We invite all Union Fleurs members and those willing to participate to the meeting to book their ticket to Nice Airport on Thursday 16 April latest. Friday 17 April will be dedicated to field trips and the Union Fleurs meeting and dinner will take place on Saturday 18 April. For those able to prolong their stay over the weekend, we are planning a touristic excursion on Sunday 19 April in beautiful Provence.

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!