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The new year got off to a fast start as Valentine’s Day set records in many stores. On its heels was Women’s Day, March 8, a growing floral holiday. Easter results were not in at press time, but were predicted to continue a rebound. The biggest floral day of all, Mother’s Day, awaits.

There’s a new push to restore Memorial Day as a floral holiday. The program had a “soft opening” last year and is expanding this year. Read all about it on page 106 and think about joining in. Elsewhere, we have those predictions for Easter, sage advice from Cindy Sulzman of Hy-Vee on building relationships with consumers and insight into the U.S.-Ecuador trade agreement from Dean Rule, an industry veteran.

The World Floral Expo, held in New York this year March 13-15, has not reached “the next level” envisioned by its founder, but was international in scope — you could hear many languages in its halls. New products entranced: green orchids for St. Patrick’s Day (“Are Your Irish Eyes Smiling Yet?” a placard asked), spray roses twice normal size and 100 or more blooms to the stem, and a luau party orchid kit, for starters.

We offer a full report on WFE, and a progress report on the Produce Marketing Association Floral Council.

The new year is off to a fast start, so look lively. See you next month.

John Niblock is the floral editor and floral sales manager of The Produce News. He can be contacted at 843/724-9888 or jniblock@earthlink.net.