You don’t have to be a millennial to appreciate the impact the demographic’s consumer preferences and purchasing decisions are having on our industry’s products and channels. Millennials’ demands are ever evolving. So it is in the interest of all of us, as professionals in the floral industry, to identify those preferences and adapt or create marketing strategies to cater to them to drive consumer demand. Take a look at occasion-driven purchases — weddings are... Read more
ATLANTA — As I entered the huge World Congress Center, here, I was swept up into a sea of humanity flowing down escalators to the exposition hall of the 2016 PMA Fresh Summit. It reminded me of Black Friday shopping, when the crowd surrounding you determines the direction of your journey. After entering the gigantic exhibit hall, the crowd spread out in all directions to visit the 1,060 exhibitors covering 267,000 square feet of floor space. Like an open-air market,... Read more
Leonard Levy, former president at Hillcrest Gardens in Paramus, NJ, was honored with the Leland T. Kintzele Distinguished Service Award at the annual meeting of the Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association in Miami, according to a news release. Levy served as president at WF&FSA from 1995-96. The LTK award is the highest honor given annually by WF&FSA and it is presented to one individual who meets three criteria: • Dedication, ability and... Read more
The Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association shattered another attendance record at its 2015 Floral Distribution Conference. More than 780 wholesalers, suppliers, growers, importers and shippers descended on Miami for this annual event in mid-October. This conference continues to grow and break new records each year.   I value the educational opportunities led by professionals at in-depth sessions at the conference, this year on design trends,... Read more
Robert Shibata taking the helm as new president at WF&FSA
Robert Shibata, president at Mt. Eden Floral Co. in San Jose, CA, assumed the presidency at the Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association, following the term of Alan Tanouye, general manager at Floralife, according to a news release. Alan Tanouye passes the torch to Robert Shibata as the new president of WF&FSA.During his speech to members at the WF&FSA annual meeting Oct. 22 Shibata said, “I asked past president Pete Garcia if he had any advice... Read more
Bob Friese was inducted into the Michigan Floral Foundation’s Hall of Fame at a dinner held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, according to a news release. Friese has shared his knowledge and his artistry and his support of the floral industry for over 50 years. Early in his career, Friese began teaching and mentoring students at his floral school in Chicago. He took an active part in the Great Lakes Floral Expo, teaching classes at the conference... Read more
AmericanHort invites high-level professionals to attend NextLevel in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jan. 18-20, in order to offer owners, managers, and emerging leaders a fresh perspective on their businesses. NextLevel is an opportunity to focus on company culture, vision, marketing strategy, succession planning, and more, according to a news release. “It is one of the only conferences that I attend where I disconnect myself from day-to-day business operations to actually... Read more
The American Floral Endowment is now accepting applications for the new Altman Family Scholarship and the Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship for graduate students who have the skills and passion to become leading floricultural scientists and educators, according to a news release. The applications are available online and the deadline is Feb. 1. Ken and Deena Altman, owners at Altman Plants in Vista, CA, created the Altman Family Scholarship in 2015 to support efforts... Read more
After concluding a successful pilot project of three farms, the California Cut Flower Commission’s official third-party-certified sustainability certification program, BloomCheck, is ready to launch, according to a news release. The program is the result of a comprehensive study and two-year Specialty Crop Block Grant that was initiated to help better position California’s flower farming practices as the sustainability standard of choice for consumers and the... Read more
The California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers announced major steps to standardize the boxes used to ship flowers from the field to users (who include wholesalers and retailers), according to a news release. CalFlowers, with participation by transportation carriers, growers, national floral associations and box suppliers, has been driving an effort to standardize boxes for several years. The standardization is in response to the use of more than... Read more
Colombia’s Proflora show draws more than 7,000 international attendees
Recently I was asked if it is really worth the time, effort and expense to attend trade shows. This was asked of me in reference to the recent Proflora show in Bogota, Colombia, an event that I have attended every other year for longer than I care to admit. Time away from the office and farms, time away from my family, 20 hours of round-trip travel time — all powerful reasons to say that these shows are not really worth the financial, physical and psychological... Read more
Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers’  intensive affirms flower farming is serious business
The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers’ Virginia Grower Intensive I recently attended was certainly true to its mission statement, “Grow/Share/Learn/Tour.” From the first Q&A session to the last flower farm tour, I learned that flower farming is serious business. As a first-time attendee and a floral designer, not a grower, I arrived feeling a bit out of my element. However, the first attendee I met is both a grower and a designer, so we quickly... Read more
‘Godzilla’ El Nino threatens to affect Valentine’s Day rose production
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration predicted in August that this year’s El Nino could be among the strongest in the historical record. “This definitely has the potential of being the Godzilla El Nino,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, CA, in a conference call for journalists. Valentine’s Day roses in the greenhouses at Unique Collection in Bogota, Colombia, were sprayed with water... Read more
Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano creating  rose supply jitters
No one knows when it will happen but the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador will erupt one day and probably destroy surrounding rose farms and neighborhoods. According to volcanologists, the magma is rising and the volcano will erupt, but it could take days, weeks, months or even years. The uncertainty has growers not only fearing losing their farms but also fearing that current customers are looking for other growers to ensure their flower supply. The Cotopaxi volcano... Read more
Three essential flower design tips for the holidays
The holidays have a way of building up and while we all have intentions of saving ourselves some time to get creative, the pressure of the holidays can leave us feeling tapped out. Fear not — I’ve collected a great arsenal of tips, tricks and hints to help you save time at the holidays — and that means you’ll have more time to be creative, add that extra pizazz, or just knock off early and get some much needed rest. Tip No. 1. Use and measure flower nutrients.... Read more
Time is now to prepare for International Women’s Day
Tuesday, March 8, is Women’s Day 2016 and this floral event is maturing into a serious sales opportunity, so retailers are already starting to prepare. Since the holiday comes three weeks after Valentine’s Day, retailers and wholesalers understand that it is essential that their Women’s Day offerings and marketing are in place for a smooth rollout. Women’s Day was first celebrated in New York City in 1909 and was called National Women’s Day and then quickly spread... Read more
It’s never too early to begin thinking about Valentine’s Day. Unlike fall and Christmas, where we plan and merchandise for seasons, Valentine’s Day is more of a one- or two-day event, despite our efforts to create a weeklong celebration. The upside of the narrower calendar is that you can create a “V-Day Minus” plan for each aspect of your floral operation and this plan can be updated and fine-tuned every year. The plan would detail how many days prior to Valentine’s... Read more
TPIE 2016 slated for Jan. 20-22
The Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association’s 2016 Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition will once again take place Jan. 20-22 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The trade event will showcase the latest trends in foliage, floral and tropicals in a 200,000-square-foot indoor garden exhibit space, according a news release. Marcella Lucio-Chinchilla from Silver Vase in Homestead, FL, discussing the colorful Vanda orchids with... Read more
Fail to plan and you may be planning to fail
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Preparation is key to any endeavor and that definitely applies to the Valentine’s Day holiday in any floral department. In this issue we continue to emphasize preparedness with more Valentine’s planning ideas from Nick Fronduto, while J. Schwanke shares some practical, timesaving design tips. Plus, we report on two developing natural phenomena... Read more
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner — our favorite day to love and hate. As retailers we love the sales, yet we hate all the anxieties that lead up to this very profitable day that helps get us through what might in our industry be a dreadfully low sales month. Each year retailers begin the long and daunting process to prepare for the romantic at heart and the number one holiday in the floral industry. If a store is not prepared, this holiday can do intense... Read more