The General Assembly of Union Fleurs, the International Flower Trade Association, was organised this year in partnership with Flower Expo Poland in Warsaw, Poland from 31 August to 3 September 2017. Members travelled from 11 countries as far as Turkey and Kenya to share perspectives and insights on the current developments in the floriculture value-chain. Overall, participants were impressed with the blooming business opportunities offered by the Polish market and the positive energy displayed at every corner of the joint fairgrounds of Flower Expo Poland and Green is Life.
During the Union Fleurs General Assembly meeting on 2 September, members were joined by three knowledgeable stakeholders active in the Polish flower & plant sector: Mr Martijn Homan, Agricultural Counsellor at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Poland, Mr. Kees van Rijn, CEO of Polish-based Dutch wholesale company Bart Kwiaty and Ms. Anna Małcużyńska, director of PR agency Sigma International Poland, presented a very positive outlook on the future of the Polish market with solid growth perspectives in the coming years. They exchanged views with the participants on the Polish market’s specificities, focusing on consumption & distribution patterns.
The meeting also offered stimulating views and perspectives on the global challenges and market changes currently faced by the flowers & plants value-chain, particularly traders and wholesalers. The membership agreed that those pre-competitive challenges, including the Brexit process, market access issues and phytosanitary risks, require strategic and coordinated efforts through reinforced lobbying activities by Union Fleurs in Brussels and at international level, for the ultimate benefit of the global flower industry. Additionally, members supported ongoing initiatives to strengthen Union Fleurs activities in the pot plant segment and took on board the need to cooperate more actively among member countries to sustain and encourage global consumption of flowers & plants via generic promotion campaigns, in particular towards the younger generations.
In line with the Union Fleurs strategic review, devised in the last 3 years and formally approved in 2016, members widely supported the renewed objective of further engaging directly with key private players of the floriculture value-chain, in addition to the traditional core membership of national wholesale & import/export trade associations. By directly connecting with Union Fleurs’ international network and supporting the Association’s missions and activities, those players will contribute to optimising the global enabling & policy environment of common relevance to all operators across the floriculture supply-chain. This is more than ever one of the core missions and strategic objectives of Union Fleurs in order to deliver maximum value to its members as the international association of the flower trade.
A busy and stimulating agenda therefore lies ahead of Union Fleurs and its members in the coming months. Union Fleurs members and key partners will next gather in the Netherlands on 7 November afternoon for the first World Floral Summit, jointly organised by a coalition of organisations from the floriculture sector and hosted by Royal FloraHolland the day before the opening of the IFTF and RFHTF trade fairs. The next Union Fleurs General Assembly will take place in San Remo, Italy from 12 to 15 April 2018.