CAPITOLA, USA: Fact: about 80 percent of cut flower production occurs in California, creating an economic engine with an estimated impact of billions of dollars*. In 2014, the industry’s leading association for flower farmers, the California Association of Flower Growers and Shippers (CalFlowers), achieved a number of milestones to support this strong industry that affects farms big to small and the many suppliers and services that support them.
“The association now known as CalFlowers has for years supported the many farmers that make California the leading U.S. producer of cut flowers,” noted chief executive officer Michael LoBue, appointed in 2013. “In 2014, coming out of a tough economy that is increasingly globalised, CalFlowers actively expanded its role and mission to further develop this important industry.”
The group’s 2014 milestones include:
- Rebranding the organisation to CalFlowers to reflect an increasingly globalised floral economy and a larger role in the worldwide floral industry.
- Continuing to expand its expertise and services in transportation, one of the key links to getting product to market efficiently.
- Doubling its exhibit space at the World Floral Expo. In collaboration with the California Cut Flowers Commission (CCFC), CalFlowers will host a large pavilion at the March 11-13, 2015 Los Angeles-based expo.
- Sponsoring the 2014 Wholesale Florist and Florist Supplier Association (WFFSA) annual meeting, where it helped form a collaborative group to promote floral consumption, including the international Women’s Day holiday March 8, 2015.
- Planning for the biennial Fun n Sun event, the largest California floral industry trade show in the country, set for July 29-August 1, 2015, Monterey, Calif., which will offer educational seminars, nursery and packing facility tours, and numerous networking opportunities for CalFlowers members and others in the industry.
Also in 2014, the organisation added a number of new members and formed relationships with growers and shippers outside of the U.S. to benefit its members.
* Data and statistics on the California floriculture industry: http://ucanr.edu/sites/UCNFA/newsletters/Volume_11,_Issue_221664.pdf