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Don’t look for dramatic changes in floral offerings at the 2012 Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit. There will not be a preshow floral tour, floral education sessions, a floral packaging award winner or even a Floral Marketer of the Year award. There will be the time-honored floral networking reception.

The newly reconstituted PMA Floral Council is working on floral for the 2013 Fresh Summit, you see, because the lineup for floral 2012, such as it is, was all sealed and delivered before it came on the scene. Next year, expect changes, starting with a floral pavilion that will be the centerpiece of floral activity at Fresh Summit. See the story beginnning on this page for details.

Also in this issue is coverage of how California growers responded to the economic difficulties of the past few years. An article in our last issue detailed the dangers and delights of flower growing, and this story elaborates on that theme. See the story on page 100.

Fall brings Halloween and harvest themes and pumpkins. See the story on Frey Farms and and its autumn offerings on page 105.

Also in this issue we offer guest columnists on container trends, fall fashion styles, and the age-old question, “Do people need flowers?” Columnist Noam Temkin also suggests three ways to convert occasional flower buyers into everyday floral customers. Continuing our efforts to show the faces behind the flowers, we carry profiles this month of Blooming of Beloit and Dramm Corp. 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.