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Proflora to feature exhibits, farm tours, breeder and grower contest

Proflora, the biennial Colombian flower show, will feature exhibits, farm tours, a golf tourney, opening ceremony with the president of Colombia welcoming attendees, grower and breeder competitions, and a noted closing party.

The show will be held Oct. 2-4 at the Corferias convention center in Bogotá, Columbia. This 2011 show was held in expanded quarters in a new pavilion at Conferias, where most events and all exhibits could be housed under one roof. The new venue offers 30 percent more exhibit space and will have a technology pavilion.

Cristina Uricocechea, the director of the show for 22 years, said in an interview that the show will again feature a carbon-offset program that allows attendees to help lessen the impact of their travel to the show on the environment by making contributions for reforestation or land conservation. The program was unveiled at the 2011 show.

The matchmaking sessions putting growers and buyers together will be streamlined with more advance pairings of buyers and sellers, she said.

Events will begin Sept. 30 with preshow tours of flower farms in the savannah region of Colombia, the country’s main flower-growing area. The tours, open to international buyers, will visit firms that are exhibiting at Proflora. On Oct. 1, a golf tournament will pit exhibitors and international buyers against each other.

The opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. Oct. 2 in the Corferias conference hall will feature welcoming remarks from Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, Ms. Uricocechea said.

President Santos has held office since 2010, and previously served as Minister of Foreign Trade, Minister of Finance, and Minister of National Defense. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics, Harvard University, the University of Kansas and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

The Proflora closing party will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 and carry over into the early morning hours Oct. 5, when the exhibit hall will be open to the general public.

The 2011 show had 300 exhibitors and 4,775 buyers that traveled from 47 countries to attend. About 80 percent of the exhibitors represented flower growers; the rest were service providers, general suppliers and institutional exhibitors.