Good Day, goede dag, buen dia, Guten Tag, bon jour, bel giorno, dobry dzień. These greetings were among the many that you were likely to hear at the latest IFTF show (International Floriculture & Horticultue Trade Fair) in Holland. This is truly a global business we are in and it was obvious at this floral show.
These last thirty days have been a whirlwind of travel and events that have added much excitement to the floral world. WFFSA, PMA, PROFLORA, IFTF and FLORAHOLLAND all have their markets and successes. So many companies have traveled the world setting up and breaking down the grand, and some not so grand, displays making it clear that there is money to be made in the Flower business.
IFTF is a big show covering nearly two soccer fields (13,000 m2)and very floral specific therefore a great place to find what you are looking for. However, it is not too much of a maze, so you can navigate around without a map or GPS. The mix of exhibitors is much like one would expect to see at an International show. Isle after isle of Breeders, Growers, Exporters, Logistics companies and more, a machine that cuts, grades, bunches, and ties stems automatically. Even a cyclops robot locked in a cage! The demand for exhibit space is high so I was told that 3,000 m2 more space would be added for next years event.
The isles were full and I heard good things about the quality of the audience from those that I asked. For Americans with so many good shows to choose from in the west the buyers here were mostly from European and Eastern countries. HPP knows how to conduct shows so the layout of the booths were open with ample room to cruise the isles without bumping into each other. This years numbers were impressive with 250 exhibitors, 27,500 visitors and 117 countries represented.
One common theme that spanned all of the shows I attended was the presence of Ecuadorean growers who were rarely seen outside of the Russian shows. The situation there has caused much pain for growers that were heavily invested Russia. Clearly, there is still business happening in that part of the world but the prices are much reduced and are not likely to return to those highs. It is a classic case of a business cycles that we learned about in business class studies. Colombia has just come out of a down cycle now that the peso is once again weak and the dollar strong. The spill over of high quality roses into the global market place has put pressure on rose prices around the world.
Floral exhibitions put on by HPP are no nonsense, straight forward shows that dispense with fanfare and give exhibitors and attendees what they came for. Business! Of course they offer a full range of activity. From the very start the show offers free coffee and the Dutch love their coffee. There was a well attended wedding show featuring some simple yet elegant designs.
Florint, The International Florist Organization in cooperation with Green Team Consultancy and HPP created the “Flowershop of the Future.” I regret that I did not partake in this activity but it included bunk beds where I am told one could relax and shout out your floral market worries. The layout was open with tables set up for those wanting to sit Starbucks style with wifi and coffee. One of the most clever items were the Beam me up displays created by Flowerweb.com. These are basically mini 360 degree theaters where you step up and inside a circular display and find yourself in the field or the packing room of a grower. The grower can be heard telling you of his or her processes while you see it in action.
And of course many booths have non stop adult beverages and tasty little treats and, of course, more coffee. The Turkish booth is once a again a favorite stop. Never quite sure what those little things on a cracker are but we eat them anyway and hope for the best.
The Breeding company DeRuiter has been granted Royal Status by the King of Holland. This is a big deal and puts them in the same status as other so granted companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Royal Philips and maybe even Royal Sir Paul McCartney or maybe not. And a big shout out to Jan Spek Rosen BV for being 125 years old!
Some of the exhibitors here at IFTF also had stands at the FloraHolland exhibit at the Auction, which was going on simultaneously, and must have been expensive and logistically challenging. The FloraHolland show is larger and incorporates more plants and hardgoods as well as floral.
For breeders the IFTF show offers a good opportunity to show off their new creations. I do not envy their efforts to find the next yellow or pink or pale lavender. The nuances are just so subtle that only a trained eye can see the difference. I happen to like this Lilly.
Finally this show is perfect for those that want to see what is new coming down the pipleline from the best breeders and producers in the world.
Beautiful girls were harder to find here but I found one.
See all of the many show images below.
Until the next show, thanks for reading and please subscribe to flowersandcents.com