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World Floral Expo 2018
CHICAGO – The 2018 edition of the World Floral Expo was held here at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on March 20-22. Over 70 exhibitors and growers from the United States, Colombia, Ecuador, and Kenya displayed their flowers and related floral products and services. Buyers and attendees from 30 states were able to view some of the latest flower offerings and meet directly with the growers. With the addition informational seminars, WFE offered visitors a... Read more
This year seems to be going well, florally speaking. Valentine’s Day sales were strong, Women’s Day continues to grow, SAF reports strong sales overall for the year so far and a healthy amount of optimism for 2018. As Mother’s Day and the rest of the spring holidays approach, floral professionals are engrossed in plans and preparations for increasing holiday sales. And there’s an attitude of never resting on past accomplishments and victories because there is always... Read more
Alexandra Farms unveils new varieties, new logo, new website
Alexandra Farms in Bogota, Colombia, announced several new changes this year. The grower has introduced five new rose varieties for the 2018 wedding season — Golden Mustard, Princess Maya (Night Rain), Princess Suki (Loved One), Sabrina and Tiara. Princess Maya (Night Rain) is a new addition to the Princess Japanese Garden Rose collection. Also, Alexandra Farms’ shipments to the United States are now in new packaging — boxes, sleeves and variety labels — that feature... Read more
The American Floral Endowment is now accepting applications for 2018 educational grants, according to a news release. Educational grants help fund programs that are wide-reaching educational endeavors that solve industry needs and challenges and focus on attracting young people to the industry. Last year the Endowment funded nearly $40,000 in educational grants. Examples of programs funded through AFE educational grants include: • e-GRO Alert and Webinars — an... Read more
In 2017, Congress passed a resolution declaring July “American Grown Flowers Month” to recognize the economic and cultural impact of America’s cut flower and greens farmers, according to a news release. To spread the word about American Grown Flowers Month, Certified American Grown is working with farmers and retailers nationwide on in-store promotion programs to help consumers identify and celebrate homegrown blooms throughout July. The campaign includes a national... Read more
Women’s Day gaining traction as U.S. floral holiday
International Women’s Day was founded on March 8, 1917 to celebrate women’s suffrage and after 100 years of evolution, it is coming into its own in the United States. In the last decade, the floral industry has promoted Women’s Day as a time to honor all women through giving flowers as tokens of appreciation. In briefly recapping floral sales results for 2018, it appears the holiday is both solid and gaining strength. ‘Fearless Girl,’ a 250-pound bronze sculpture... Read more
Gretchen Carlson to keynote Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference
Television anchor, bestselling author and women’s advocate Gretchen Carlson will be the closing keynote speaker at the sixth annual Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference, April 15-17, in Miami, hosted by the Center for Growing Talent by the Produce Marketing Association. The conference is developed specifically for women in the floral and produce industries across all career stages, with a mission to cultivate women’s potential, according to a news release. Gretchen... Read more
State of the industry: Q&A with SAF’s CEO Kate Penn
I recently had the pleasure of chatting on the phone with Kate Penn, chief executive officer at the Society of American Florists in Alexandria, VA, about some current floral industry topics. She has her finger firmly on the pulse of the flower business and the results of that conversation are as follows. The Produce News: How did Amazon’s entry into the cut flower/plant market affect Valentine’s Day retailers’ flower sales? Kate Penn, chief executive officer at... Read more
Star Valley Flowers acquires Blooming of Beloit
On March 10, Star Valley Flowers in Soldiers Grove, WI, a grower of fruiting, flowering and decorative branches, acquired the growing operations and assets of Blooming of Beloit in Beloit, WI. With a history of friendly competition, the two business owners have also been close colleagues and fellow Wisconsin farmers -— sharing knowledge, hardships, products and customers. Shlomo Danieli founded Blooming of Beloit 22 years ago by purchasing 100 acres of productive... Read more
First American Tulip Day welcomes spring in San Francisco
On March 3, in partnership with iBulb and Anthos in the Netherlands, Sun Valley Floral Farms in Arcata, CA, brought 100,000 tulips to Union Square in downtown San Francisco to celebrate the inaugural American Tulip Day. Dutch bulb exporters spearheaded this effort in order to increase Americans’ familiarity with Dutch tulip bulbs and to encourage the sale of cut tulips grown in the United States. The Netherlands produces billions of tulip bulbs in more than 3,000... Read more
Expo Flor Ecuador  slated for Sept. 19-21
Ecuador has around 600 varieties of flowers and during Expo Flor Ecuador Sept. 19-21 at the Metropolitan Convention Center in Quito, visitors will be able to meet 80 flower producers, 13 international breeders, and get to know the latest varieties of Ecuadorian flowers, according to a news release. At Expo Flor Ecuador 2018 in Quito, Ecuador, visitors will be able to meet 80 flower producers, 13 international breeders, and get to know the latest varieties of Ecuadorian... Read more
Arne M. Thirup, former president  at Pajaro Valley Greenhouses, dies
Arne M. Thirup, the former president at Pajaro Valley Greenhouses, Inc. in Watsonville, CA, died peacefully on Feb. 21 at the age of 90. Mr. Thirup was born and raised in Denmark, one of six children of a greenhouse operator, according to a news release. He was educated in the field of horticulture, came to the United States in 1953 for an internship program in Indiana, and eventually made his way up to San Francisco. He met Pauline in San Francisco, a recent... Read more
Gay Smith Memorial Tribute established
A memorial tribute has been established with the American Floral Endowment honoring Gayle (Gay) Smith, 63, who passed away on March 1, according to a news release. The tribute was established thanks to a generous contribution from Chrysal Americas president Jim Kaplan. Smith served as the technical manager for Chrysal for more than 18 years. “We are honored to establish the Gay Smith Memorial Tribute on behalf of our staff, clients and the entire industry,” said... Read more
New England GROWS discontinues
After 25 years, New England GROWS — both the annual event and the organization behind the event — are discontinuing operations, according to a news release. “The decision to dissolve New England GROWS was difficult, but we all believe it is the right decision at the right time,” said GROWS President Michelle Harvey in a press release. “Changes both within and outside of the industry contributed to the decision to close GROWS, but this does not diminish the significant... Read more
Costa Farms in Miami announced the acquisition of Green Leaf Nursery in Homestead, FL, in a news release. Green Leaf Nursery has a long history of producing indoor foliage and tropical plants. It covers 50 acres, employs about 80 people and is co-owned by brothers Gus and Tom Pena. “This is the first acquisition since joining forces with Markel Corporation,” Costa Farms’ chief executive officer Jose Smith said in a press release. “We’re excited to partner with... Read more
Henry Gonzalez has been named chief marketing officer at Costa Farms in Miami, according to a news release. Gonzalez will oversee Costa Farms’ marketing, research and category management teams. With more than 25 years of experience in brand and retail marketing, Gonzalez has worked on both the client and the agency sides of marketing. “Henry will be of tremendous benefit to our organization,” said Jose Smith, Costa Farms’ chief executive officer, in a press release,... Read more
SpartanNash Spring Trade Show includes supermarket floral
Minneapolis — “Destination Savings” was the vacation theme during the SpartanNash Spring Trade Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Teams from the various store departments were challenged to choose a country and decorate displays to that theme. Around 750 vendors exhibited their products in 250 booths featuring recreated landmarks from France, Italy, Great Britain and Mexico. “I loved it because I was able to meet with a lot of people and put a face with... Read more
March is here with its promise of spring and daylight saving time, March Madness basketball games, and the blossoming of several upcoming flower holidays. But before we surrender February to history, let’s look back at the past month and appreciate what took place. If you’re an Eagles fan, the Super Bowl in Minneapolis may have been the highpoint of your month, or maybe even your lifetime. Then there were the Winter Olympics in South Korea, where elite athletes... Read more
Entire floral supply chain contributes to successful Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day 2018 is now in the history books and initial reports, at the time of this writing, indicated that it was a good holiday. According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers were expected to spend $19.6 billion — up from $18.2 billion a year ago — on gifts for Valentine’s Day, with more than 10 percent — or $2 billion — spent on flowers. United Parcel Service delivered approximately 88 million flowers through its global “lovegistics” network,... Read more
Congressman Jimmy Panetta to deliver pep talk to CAD participants
One of the floral industry’s biggest advocates in Congress, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D. CA), will deliver a pep talk to the Society of American Florists’ Congressional Action Days participants before they meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, according to a news release. Rep. Panetta will speak at the Grassroots Breakfast during the 38th annual CAD in Washington, D.C., March 12-13. Benno Dobbe of Holland America Bulb Farms, Inc., and SAF Growers Council member Diana... Read more