Union Fleurs Newsletter

November 2015


The Union Fleurs KEY NOTES is a quarterly, 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 all set for its 2015 Autumn Meeting from 6 to 9 November 2015 in Rotterdam, Netherlands

In a few days, Union Fleurs members and friends will gather in Rotterdam on the occasion of the Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting 2015. This year, the Autumn meeting has been organised in the continuity of the International Flower Trade Fair (IFTF), held in Vijfhuizen, Netherlands (4 - 6 November) to ease  travel plans for our members and allow significant participation from industry partners to the various parts of the programme.  Union Fleurs has teamed up with MPS and VGB who will host the event as part of MPS’ 20th anniversary celebrations and the 40 years of VGB.

The week-end programme will take participants to visit growers in the Westland and discover by boat Rotterdam Harbour, one of the largest in the world. Parts of the programme will be organised jointly with Florint, the International Florist Association, which will be holding its congress during the same week-end. This shall offer everyone ample opportunities to network and make new acquaintances!

Monday 9 November will be dedicated to meetings: Union Fleurs Members’ Meeting in the morning and a large-scale industry seminar “Shaping the Future of Floriculture” in the afternoon (see article below).

We look forward to welcoming soon Union Fleurs members and friends in Rotterdam for what promises to be “the best event of the year”!

Click here to see the full programme of the 3-day event.

Don’t miss the Union Fleurs/ VGB/ MPS Seminar: “Shaping the Future of Floriculture” on 9 November in Rotterdam!

Union Fleurs, MPS and VGB are jointly organising on Monday 9 November afternoon a large-scale industry seminar to discuss how sustainability and disruptive innovations will shape the future of the floriculture industry.

From 13h30, high-level speakers from across the floriculture value-chain will discuss in front of an audience of more than 300 attendees  the impact that disruptive innovations and sustainability could have on the future of the floriculture sector, and how all supply-chain players can anticipate and adapt to adequately prepare so as to turn these challenges into valuable opportunities.

Well-known sustainable entrepreneur and “Green guru” Ruud Koornstra will introduce the audience to the issues at stake and will moderate the afternoon. The various presentations and closing panel discussion will aim at addressing the following questions:

  • What if one day the entire floriculture industry is shaken by a ‘disruptive innovation’ and has to be entirely re-thought?
  • How is the sector anticipating and adjusting to changes, while fostering innovations at the same time?
  • Is sustainability a game-changer for the global floriculture industry?

The Seminar will take place on the ship “SS Rotterdam” in Rotterdam Harbour (Maashaven/ 3e Katendrechtsehoofd 25). Attendees  are expected to arrive from 12h30 to allow for a timely start. The conference will start at 13h30 sharp and finish at 17h. It will be followed by a closing cocktail from 17h to 19h.

The Seminar is open to everyone from the industry. Attendance is free of charge - but online registration is mandatory. If interested, make sure to register here - by Friday 7 November at the very latest.

NB: Union Fleurs members who are registered to the Autumn Meeting are also booked for the Seminar, so no need to register separately!

Click here to check the programme and list of speakers and the Seminar banner. 

IFTF 2015: Visit the Union Fleurs booth n° C1.11 / Get your free entrance ticket!

From 4 to 6 November, Union Fleurs will as usual be present with its own booth at the IFTF Trade Fair Expo in Haarlemmermeer, Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands.  Please come and visit us at booth C1.11!

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

Union Fleurs EU members attend the annual dialogue group with the European Commission on 2 October 2015 in Brussels

The meeting of the EU Civil Dialogue Group Flowers & Ornamental Plants, organised every year by DG Agriculture of the European Commission, took place in Brussels on 2 October 2015.

This meeting gathers once a year representatives of the EU floricultural sector (growers and traders representatives). It gives them the opportunity to discuss all important EU regulatory matters with European Commission officials and express the specific needs and expectations of the floriculture supply-chain to relevant EU policy-makers. 

Union Fleurs is recognised as the representative organisation of the floriculture trade and in this capacity has access to several expert seats at the meeting, opened to representatives of its member organisations in the EU. Herman de Boon, Union Fleurs President, Frank Zeiler, Chairman of Union Fleurs EU Section and Sylvie Mamias, Secretary General, were accompanied in this meeting by Union Fleurs members from Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Italy.

Through its various interventions during the meeting, Union Fleurs efficiently put forward the role and views of the floriculture trade on various issues such as the  ongoing reform of the EU legislation on plant health and official controls, changes to EU Combined Customs Nomenclature for cut flowers, foliage and ornamental plants), the market situation with Russia, as well as other growing points of concern for the supply-chain (e.g. neonicotinoids, Plant Breeders’ Rights and the potential spread into the EU territory of  the plant pathogen Xylella Fastidiosa).

New-look Union Fleurs monthly reports on phytosanitary interceptions at the EU borders

In order to optimise the use of the information contained in the monthly EUROPHYT lists of phytosanitary interceptions that Union Fleurs has been exclusively circulating to its members every month since 2011, a new two-page overview has recently been developed by the Union Fleurs office. Starting August 2015, and updated every month from now on, this new-look Union Fleurs report now provides:

  1. Summary statistics of all phytosanitary interceptions at the EU (and Swiss) borders reported into the EUROPHYT database since the beginning of 2015 for the following 3 categories:
  • cut flowers & foliage,
  • potted plants
  • and bonsai.
  1. A comparison with the total number of phytosanitary interceptions reported in the past 4 years (2011 to 2014).
  2. A breakdown of the total number of interceptions for those exporting countries most notified in EUROPHYT– to monitor the performance of these countries in 2015 up to now and in comparison with previous years (2011 to 2014) and assess trends.
  3. A breakdown of the interceptions of specific harmful organisms in 2015 for the top exporting origins to the EU – to be able to identify emerging risks and anticipate potential issues at import into the EU.

This new-look Union Fleurs monthly reports with summary statistics are a unique monitoring tool developed and produced by the Union Fleurs office for the exclusive benefit of Union Fleurs members, and aim to help better assess potential phytosanitary issues and emerging risks.

In other news, the Union Fleurs Annual Report on EUROPHYT interceptions for the year 2014 has recently been finalised and will be distributed to Union Fleurs members during the Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting in Rotterdam. Union Fleurs has developed and produced such a detailed annual report since 2012 for the exclusive benefit of its members.  It has proven on many instances a useful and unique information and monitoring tool, in particular to support Union Fleurs advocacy work and dialogue with the European phytosanitary authorities.  

EUROPHYT – EU notification and rapid alert system dealing with interceptions for plant health reasons of consignments of plants and plant products imported into the EU (and Switzerland) or being traded within the EU itself.

Source: http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/plant_health_biosafety/europhyt/interceptions_en.htm

Seminar on the new EU Promotion Policy for agri-food products co-organised by Union Fleurs and Agri- food chain partners on 22 October 2015 in Brussels

Union Fleurs and sister organisations Freshfel (Fresh Fruit & Vegetables) and Europatat (Potatoes), together with  other representatives of the agri-food supply chain Celcaa, FoodDrinkEurope and Copa-Cogeca joint organised a high-level Seminar in Brussels on 22 October to discuss the new EU promotion policy for agri-food products which enter into force on 1 December 2015.

With an increased budget, the new policy has great potential to help EU agri-food operators diversify into new export markets, promote consumption of agri-food products on the EU domestic market and raise awareness on high quality European food products.

The Seminar brought together over 160 participants from across the agri-food chain with high-level representation from the EU Commission and national governments. Union Fleurs president Herman de Boon attended the seminar with Sylvie Mamias, Secretary General, Frank Zeiler, Chairman of the EU section, and Union Fleurs members from Austria, Sweden and Belgium. Opportunity was taken on several occasions during the meeting to highlight the importance of the floriculture sector in the global outputs of the European agri-food sector. The support of the EU is more than ever crucial for putting together generic promotion campaigns that aim to sustain and enhance consumption of flowers & plants in the EU in the coming years. The message was further supported by the presentation of Marc Eijsackers, Managing Director of the Flower Council of Holland, who presented the new generic promotion campaign #Favouriteflower, co-funded by the EU. By creating high visibility in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and France through press coverage, large-scale PR activities and a large presence on various Social Media channels, this innovative campaign aims to reach (young) consumers and to communicate that giving or receiving a favourite flower is much more valuable than just any bunch of flowers.

Click here to see the Promotion Seminar press release.

Click here for more information on the #Favouriteflower campaign.

Union Fleurs takes part in the BGI Verbandstag and 50th anniversary celebrations in Berlin

On 12 September 2015, Union Fleurs German member BGI - the Association of German Flower Wholesale and Import Trade combined its 50th anniversary celebrations with its annual “Verbandstag” meeting. Over 120 participants convened in Berlin for a day of dialogue and debates on the topic “In Zukunft Handeln” (Trading in the Future). Union Fleurs was represented at the event by Herman de Boon, President, and Sylvie Mamias, Secretary General.

Emphasis was put throughout the day on the challenges and opportunities for the trade and wholesale of Flowers and Plants. Around the central themes ‘Innovation”, “Growth” and “Quality of Life” several speakers gave their opinion and shared their experience and best practices. Prof. Dr. Ingo Balderjahn from the University of Potsdam shared his most recent findings on the consumers’ high awareness for sustainable products which does not necessarily mean they are willing to pay a higher price for it. In the opinion of Alexander Zoern from Blume 2000, trade should align with how consumers think nowadays and focus on new way of promoting and selling floriculture products.

Younger generation – Millennials - do like flowers and are ready to purchase more, but the promotion campaigns need to target them more specifically, and get creative to reach their consumption model, their mood, their “soft spot”, as efficiently underlined by the dynamic and “Digital native”  moderator of the day Tim Schreder.

The day concluded with a Gala Dinner to celebrate in style the 50th anniversary of BGI.

The full report of the BGI Verbandstag (in German) can be downloaded here

Union Fleurs takes part in the Steering Committee of the FSI/ VGB project aiming to measure the sustainability performance of the flower sector

The steering committee of the FSI Member project lead by VGB (the Dutch Association of Wholesale Trade in Ornamental Products) on measuring volumes of flowers and plants from responsible sources has been put in place at the beginning of 2015 . Composed of Sylvie Mamias (Union Fleurs), Leon Mol (Albert Heijn) and Marcel Zandvliet (Dutch Flower Group), its role  is to examine the feasibility of the project, provide a sounding board to the project managers Jeroen Oudheusden (FSI) and Manon Velthuis (VGB) and formulate recommendations on the methodology and approach through its different steps.

The VGB Measuring project, co-funded by IDH through FSI, aims to develop a tool to measure the sustainability performance of the trade and thereby assess the actual level of responsible sourcing in the floriculture industry. For FSI, this project is fundamental as it will help determine measurable objectives in the area of sustainability and a credible agenda towards a more sustainable industry. It is expected that by early 2016 it will be possible to determine the current percentage of sustainably sourced flowers and plants and define next steps towards the realization of the FSI members’ ambition of 90% flowers and plants from responsible sources by 2020.

As the leading representative of the global floricultural trade, Union Fleurs contribution from the start is particularly valuable in providing feedbacks on the strategy and capacity of the project.

Union Fleurs attends the 67th AIPH Annual Congress in Stresa, Italy

The Annual Congress of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) recently took place in Stresa, Italy from 20 to 23 October 2015 and was attended by Sylvie Mamias on behalf of Union Fleurs.

Held in Stresa by the magnificent Lake Maggiore near Milan, the Congress provided participants with an insight into the Italian ornamental horticulture industry, with contributions from Alberto Manzo from the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Marco Cappellini, President of Associazione Nazionale Vivaisti Esportatori (ANVE). Delegates discussed  during the meetings on 20 & 21 October the latest trends and challenges for the ornamental industry with expert speakers on plant breeders rights, plant health and greening cities, and were updated on latest progress with future Exhibitions.

The Congress also saw the election of Bernard Oosterom from the Netherlands as new President of AIPH. A potted plant grower, Mr. Oosterom is Chairman of the Dutch Council for Cooperatives (NCR), Chairman of the Dutch Flower Auctions Association (VBN), Chairman of the Supervisory Board of FloraHolland and has been Vice-President of AIPH and Chairman of the AIPH Novelty Protection Committee for the last three years. His past roles include being a Board Member of the Flower Council in Holland (BBH). He replaces Vic Krahn from Canada who has served as President since 2012. Vic Krahn was presented with the prestigious AIPH Gold Medal in recognition for his services to AIPH over many years.  Tim Edwards from the United Kingdom, was elected as the second AIPH Vice-President alongside Professor Qixiang Zhang from China.


KENYA / Kenya Flower Council to launch the Kenya Flower Industry National Mechanism of Compliance (NMC) on 5 November at IFTF

The Kenya Flower Council is inviting all Union Fleurs members to celebrate the launch of the Kenya Flower Industry National Mechanism for Compliance (NMC) during a meeting taking place on Thursday 5 November from 11h00 to 13h00 at the ITFT International Floriculture Trade Fair in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands.

The NMC is a sustainability initiative funded by the Dutch Government to enhance market access of the Kenya Flower Industry through a credible commitment to enhance product quality, environmental stewardship and social accountability. The event marks the end of the project, during which the National standard KS 1758 for Flowers and Ornamentals was revised and its scope extended to cover breeders, growers, consolidators and cargo handling companies.

The Standards KS1758 will now become an integral requirement for all export licences and will ensure continued access to key markets, among which the EU is the most significant for Kenyan horticulture industry.

TURKEY / Invitation – Turkish stand cocktail (C3.06) at IFTF on 5 November at 16h

The Turkish Ornamental Plants Promotion Group is kindly inviting all fellow Union Fleurs members to join their stand cocktail on Thursday 5 November at IFTF. The cocktail party will start at 16h and will take place in Hall C – Stand N° C03.06. Don’t miss it!

COLOMBIA / Asocolflores celebrates the success of Proflora 2015 and the 1st America’s Cup

Every two years, Asocolflores, the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, is one of the main organisers of the America’s “Best Flower Trade Show” Proflora, that recently took place in Bogotá, Colombia from 28 to 30 October 2015. More than 500 exhibitors and around 7.000 visitors and international buyers gathered in the Corferias exhibition center in Bogotá where over 1.600 varieties of flowers were showcased last week.

This year, Asocolflores have newly partnered with Florint, the International Florists’ Association to host the 1st Proflora America’s Cup. The cup reflected the prominent diversity of flowers grown in Colombia (over 1,000 varieties), and set the stage for astonishing floral arrangements fashioned at the hands of top florist professionals.

For more information, visit www.copaproflora2015.com

ETHIOPIA/ EHPEA 2015 General Assembly discusses vital issues for the Ethiopian flower sector

During the General Assembly of new Union Fleurs member EHPEA (Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association) on 16 October 2015 in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian flower sector discussed important issues such as cool chain management, freight costs, tax matters and issues and electricity problems.

In a presentation by Mr. Henk de Groot, a consultant, the participants were reminded that flower exports have shown positive trend in Ethiopia in the last 15 years although improvements such as proper arrangement and optimal temperature are still needed in order to better compete on international markets.

Concerns regarding freight costs, affected by a decreased Euro currency and unpaid claims, were raised by EHPEA members towards Ethiopian Airlines. Both parties agreed that joint steering committee will consider the issues.

Mr. Arafayne Gebere-Egziabher from the Ethiopian Customs and Revenue Authority responded to questions on tax issues and clearance, while representatives from the Ethiopian Electric Authority took note on the electricity problems related to line connection and power interruptions.

Read the full report on the EHPEA website.

NETHERLANDS/ MPS launches trade portal for reliable grower’s information and investigate product certification with Floraholland

MPS has introduced in October the MPS-Trade portal where certificate overviews can be shown per grower. On this portal, traders can now create a ‘favourites’ group in order to see at once any changes in the certification  of supplying growers. In order to offer up-to-date information, traders can present themselves from now on as an exclusive Affiliate Member of MPS.

MPS and FloraHolland have also recently announced that they are looking together into an instrument that will enable them to provide product guarantees in the pilot 'Product Proof'. Both consumers and customers want to know which active substances are found on plants and flowers. The first meeting of the pilot group 'Product Proof' revealed that growers sooner rather than later see an instrument or certificate which grants a product guarantee. Companies want to respond to the growing need for sustainability, not only at company level but also at product level.

Click here to read the full press release

DENMARK/ Dates released for 2016 Nordic Flower Expo: 15 to 17 March 2016

Organised in partnership with Union Fleurs Danish member FloraDania and Dutch member VGB , the trade exhibition Nordic Flower Expo will take place for its 2nd edition in 2016 from 15 to 17 March at the MalmöMässan convention centre in Malmö, Sweden.

The event has been brought forward to the month of March to enable more growers and garden centre retailers to attend. This second edition will again target trade visitors from the Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their Baltic neighbours: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania where there is a high potential market.

Exhibitors’ registration for the 2016 Nordic Flower Expo is now open. For more details please visit: www.nordicflowerexpo.com

NETHERLANDS/ Dutch Flower Group CEO Marco van Zijverden awarded “Master Entrepreneur of the Year”

On 8 October 2015, Marco van Zijverden, CEO of the Dutch Flower Group, was awarded winner of the EY (Ernst&Young) Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 in the Master category. Through this award, EY rewards the work of one entrepreneur who brilliantly manages a market-leading company showing impressive results for many years. The Dutch Flower Group typically represents the success model of Dutch entrepreneurship and the spirit of “perfectionism with a human touch”. At the head of a true family business, Marco is a legacy builder that proves that transparency and trust are the basic ingredients for innovation and growth.

As the Dutch winner, Marco van Zijverden will participate in the World Entrepreneur of the Year contest taking place next June 2016 in Monaco. 


FRANCE/ Salon du Végétal to focus on Urban Greenery for its 2016 edition (16-18 February 2016)

"Go for Urban Greenery" is the tagline for the 2016 edition of France’s leading horticultural trade exhibition Salon du Végétal which will take place in the Angers convention centre from 16 to 18 February 2016. Over 600 exhibitors and approximately 16,000 industry professionals are expected.

"A trade show must bring answers to the stakes of the future" , stated Serge Tsvétoukhine, trade show director. Thus, the 2016 edition will put the spotlight on the Gardens in Towns. "Currently, more than half of the world population lives in cities and this proportion will keep increasing. New exhibitors, new conferences, shows and demonstrations in the different universes will focus on this theme". Exhibitors will be asked to propose an adequate offer on their stand, inviting visitors to discover a specific range of plants, products and services that are likely to gain in popularity and demand in the coming years.

More information on the Salon du Végétal 2016 can be found on their website.


FSI Member projects reach completion and create best practices for the industry

The 10 FSI projects that started at the end of 2014 are now in their finalization phase and running full speed to conclude by the end of 2015.

Overall, the projects partners have already achieved a lot and the outcomes so far are impressive. 230 farms are currently being trained in good agricultural, social & environmental practices in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Colombia. Over 20 workshops/ roundtables/ stakeholder meetings have been organised by the different projects and are already making a difference and creating interest on all sides with more than 50 Partnerships secured so far with a large range of stakeholders (farms, NGOs, Governmental bodies, certifications, retailers…). FSI members will meet on 5 November afternoon during the IFTF to share the results and discuss their activities going forward.  More information on the outcome of these projects is available on  the FSI website

Check the latest FSI newsletter for further details on their recent and ongoing activities!

FLORINT Members’ Congress (5-7 November in Rotterdam)

Florint, the international Florist Organisation, will host from 5 to 7 November its Annual Member’s Congress in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This year’s Congress will focus on both the florist and the supply chain, simultaneously starting from both the end and the beginning. Behind this theme is the idea that “there will always be a breeder and there will always be a florist, we need to connect the two of them”.

Parts of the congress will be organised jointly with the Union Fleurs Autumn Meeting and the celebrations of MPS’ 20 years anniversary and VGB 40th anniversary.

Download the Florint 2015 Member’s Congress brochure for more information.

IFTF World of Flowers, a special event for the florist

A unique florist event, co-organized by HPP, Green Team Consultancy and International Florist Organisation Florint, will take place during the upcoming IFTF trade fair (from 4 to 6 November in Expo Haarlemmermeer, Vijfhuizen). Famed floral arrangers will create on this occasion  the ‘Flower Shop of the Future’.  "Together we looked at a specific consumer segment, the 'millennials': consumers between 19 and 34 years," explains Michael Bourguignon of Florint. "How do they look at flower shops? What trends do they consider important? What does that mean for our marketing? We present all of those findings at IFTF, and we hope that will have its effect on florists’ way of thinking.          

Click here to read the full article

CIOPORA: the 2015 edition of the CIOPORA Chronicle is available online

The 2015 edition of CIOPORA’s annual magazine, CIOPORA Chronicle, published in cooperation with FloraCulture International is now available online.

This year’s Chronicle is all about ‘Zooming in on IP’ – what does proper IP look like around the world, how is it changing, how breeders can we enforce their rights, and what details of the industry still need to be refined. In a perfect world, we would collectively take a closer look at plant breeder’s rights and work together to create the best system. This magazine is CIOPORA’s attempt to do just that.

Read the CIOPORA Chronicle 2015 online

CIOPORA is the International Association of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties – see www.ciopora.org for more details.


Union Fleurs GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2016, 4 to 7 June 2016, KENYA

The Union Fleurs General Assembly 2016 will be hosted in Nairobi by the Kenya Flower Council on the occasion of its 20th anniversary celebration. The dates of the event have been set as follows: from Saturday 4 June til Tuesday 7 June 2016 – in order to coincide with the dates of the IFTEX show 5th edition in Nairobi, which will next year be pushed to the second week of June (8 to 10 June 2016). We invite our members to SAVE THE DATES in their diaries and stay tuned for more details on the programme in the coming months!

IPM 2015 (26-29 January 2016)

In 2016 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 2016.

CIOPORA Venlo II Conference (2-3 December 2015): The Future of Patents and PBR in Horticulture

CIOPORA, the International Association of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties, has just announced a series of special events to be held in Venlo, the Netherlands on 2 & 3 December 2015 – in particular a conference on 3 December 2015 entitled “Venlo II: The Future of Patents and Plant Breeders Rights in Horticulture “ .

The CIOPORA Conference on Patents and Modern PBR in Horticulture Breeding previously held in 2012 in Venlo was the starting point for deep discussions among breeders regarding the IP protection systems for their innovations. Three years later, CIOPORA invite interested participants to join the discussion on what has happened in the industry since 2012, especially considering the milestone decision of the EBoA in the Broccoli II and Tomato II cases, and how we want to shape the future of our industry.

Union Fleurs President Herman de Boon has been invited to speak at this Venlo II Conference and will bring forward the perspective of the floriculture trade on the issue of Plant Breeders Right and Patents.

Click here to download the full programme of CIOPORA Venlo II Conference

Registration to this event is now open