The new Union Fleurs Board of Directors will work for the next two years (2014-2016) under the leadership of Herman de Boon (Netherlands) as President of Union Fleurs, with the close support of Richard Fox (Kenya) as Vice-President.
Reflecting the global reach of Union Fleurs and its unique position as the representative organisation for the international floricultural trade, the new Board is made of a very international team, with the following representatives:
· Herman de Boon, President (VGB, Netherlands)
· Richard Fox, Vice-President and Chairman World Trade Committee (Kenya Flower Council, Kenya)
· Frank Zeiler, Chairman EU section ( BGI, Germany)
· Augusto Solano, Chairman Americas Committee (Asocolflores, Colombia)
· Martin Estad, Chairman Pot Plants Committee (Danske Prydplanter, Denmark)
· Gülsen Bay, Relationship Manager (Ornamental Plants & Products Exporters Union, Turkey)
· Sylvie Mamias, Secretary General
The election of this new Board of Directors marks the initiation of a strategic review of Union Fleurs. A kick-off workshop was organised during the 2014 General Assembly to assess the market situation and upcoming trends and look into the best approach to consolidate Union Fleurs position as the prevailing International Flower Trade Association.
Building on the results achieved by the outgoing Board of Directors in the past two years, the new Board will work together with the Union Fleurs membership to design a fresh and innovative vision for the association’s role and activities going forward.
The General Assembly was also the occasion for Union Fleurs to officially welcome two new members (YMS Co Ltd – Japan and Agora Group – Belgium).
In order to pay tribute to the outgoing President, Mr. Lennart Lovén, who dedicated his time and energy as member of the Union Fleurs Board of Directors from 2008 and as President from 2011 until today, the members of Union Fleurs unanimously conferred Mr Lovén the title of Honorary President of Union Fleurs during the closing Gala Dinner on 5 April.
Over 40 participants from 15 countries were present at the meeting, coming not only from EU countries but also from Turkey, Morocco, Kenya, Colombia and Japan. Guests from partner organisations FLORINT, FSI (Floriculture Sustainability Initiative) and AIPH also attended.
Keeping in line with its general mission of protecting and promoting the common interests of its members and the floricultural trade in general, Union Fleurs will continue to follow developments and maintain an active dialogue with the authorities and partner organisations in the fields of international trade, phytosanitary regulations and customs issues. With the active support of Sylvie Mamias in Brussels, the association has recently been very involved in lobbying activities in the areas of the Reform of the EU plant health regime, the Reform of the EU GSP (Generalised System of Preferences), the EU-Kenya/EAC EPA negotiations, market access issues for flowers from Ecuador and South Africa and the export ban by Russia on EU plant products.
Union Fleurs members will next meet in London from 30 October to 2 November 2014.