40 European Ornamental Young Plant Cies Convene in Düsseldorf and Agree to Unite under Fleurose
Meetings, Companies, Horticulture
65 participants representing 40 young plant companies agreed at their second convention on 31st October to unite as a European group under the Fleuroselect umbrella.
According to Frank Hüdepohl of Bruno Nebelung, one of the members of the steering group, the conclusion was clear: ‘There is a definite need for a platform for companies in this sector at European level. At national level organisations exist, but an arena to network, share experiences and develop strategies at a European level is missing’.
Fleuroselect was founded 40 years ago by proprietary seed breeders to protect their rights. It has developed to encompass production and distribution companies and breeders of vegetatively propagated material and is an independent, non-political, international organisation. Many companies in the young plant sector are already members and at its Annual General Meeting in Madrid in June, the membership approved a proposal to accommodate all young plant companies. On behalf of Fleuroselect, the Secretary Sally van der Horst noted that Fleuroselect has been pleased to host these companies on 2 occasions, but that it was now time to formalise the arrangement.
The steering group (Herman Hamer/Florensis, Josef Clodius/Syngenta, Frank Silze/Silze and Frank Hüdepohl/Bruno Nebelung) pointed out additional reasons to unite under the Fleuroselect umbrella. ‘Fleuroselect has a long tradition as a highly successful meeting platform and the relationship with the Fleuroselect breeders, the suppliers of the genetic material is crucial. This is also a cost-effective solution for us. We do not want to waste resources on unnecessary overheads and Fleuroselect is a non-profit organisation with an established secretariat. It has a solid financial base and maintains a no-frills, ethical approach which suits our sector.’
At the meeting in Düsseldorf an initial 3-year membership package was offered and accepted by the young plant companies. They will become full voting members of the Fleuroselect, as members of the business unit ‘Production and Distribution’ and be represented at Board level by 2 members (currently Herman Hamer/Florensis and Josef Clodius/Syngenta). In addition permanent working groups will be set up to cover Intellectual Property and Regulation, Production Issues and Commercial Issues. These will steer discussions and prepare topics for presentation on issues relevant to the sector. All business unit activities including future meetings will be funded from the membership fees.
The convention also covered topical issues with representatives of the Germany auction Landgard, the Landwirtschaftskammer Nordrhein-Westfalen and Syngenta Crop Protection speaking on the new regulations applying to ‘Pesticide Residues in Herb Production’ which are applicable to many ornamental species officially classified as herbs (e.g. Salvia). In addition, VEK international horticultural consultants provided a fascinating insight into new energy sources for the sector. A geothermal option with 1.5 km bore holes and investment costs of EUR 6-7 million stimulated lively discussions.
The corridor remained the busiest place during last week’s meeting. Why? ‘Although the seminars are interesting and topical, it is the networking that we come for’ was the general response. Each free moment was used by the delegates to develop new relationships and share cross-border information. This is surely the main reason to unite the industry and the participants were so keen to carry on work-in-progress that their next meeting has been set for 12th and 13th February 2009, again in Düsseldorf.