NEWS on the GROW
The American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA)Convention & Executive Learning Retreat in Boston was home to many specialevents: the retreat; a number of tours; a clambake; an announcement of the newand continuing Board members; an announcement of a marketing partnership andmore.
The retreat opened up with a “New England”clambake the evening of July 17th. But, before the clambake, attendees wereable to tour a few industry-related locations. I joined the group on the Westtour. We started at the Mt. Auburn cemetery in Cambridge, Mass., which is aworld-renowned horticultural site with more than 5,500 trees. Next, the tourtook us to Gold Star Wholesale Nursery and Seasons Four Garden Center, YarmouthPort, Mass. Then we were off to Cavicchio Greenhouses, Sudbury, Mass., andfinished up at Weston Nurseries, Hopkinton, Mass., who then held the clambakefor all of the Convention attendees.
Dale Bachman, president of Bachman’s, Inc., Minneapolis,Minn., was elected as ANLA 2003-2004 president, replacing Wayne Mezitt ofWeston Nurseries.
Other 2003-2004 elections included Stan Brown Jr., AlamedaWholesale Nursery, Englewood, Colo., as president of the Landscape DistributionGroup; Josh Bracken, Nicholson-Hardie, Dallas, Texas, as president of theNational Garden Center Organization division; and Cornelius Millane, III, NealA. Millane & Associates, Madison, Conn., as president of the WholesaleNursery Growers of America division.
ANLA developed a new affiliation with the Japan Nurserymen’sAssociation (JNA). The ANLA Board of Directors voted to establish arelationship with the JNA to initiate visits among U.S. green industrybusinesses and Japanese firms, improve trading among the two countries andbegin a student exchange program. You can read more about the partnership inthe August issue of GPN.
History in the making
Those at the clambake were able to see Gordon Bailey, Jr.,chairman of the board of Bailey Nurseries, Inc., St. Paul, Minn., finish thefinal leg of the Tour de Hort III, a program to raise money for industryresearch. Bailey rode 1,200 miles from Cleveland, Ohio, to complete the trek inBoston, cycling into the tent to claps and “Gordie” chants from thecrowd, who raised their drinks in appreciation of the ongoing industry support.
During the last day of the retreat, the attendees split upagain for one final tour.
I joined the retail tour, and we ventured over toMarché, a favorite Boston restaurant with a different idea of servingcustomers. Marché’s idea was a “farmers market” approach todining. Customers had many stations to choose from, from seafood to pasta tosalads, all fresh and made upon request. We had the opportunity to talk withthe manager about a variety of topics from employee retention to lossprevention.
After the visit, we were able to sit with each other anddiscuss what garden center retailers could take away — good and bad — fromthe visit, such as more help for the customers, better aisle space, brightcolors and smiling employees.
GPN Updates Web site
In case you haven’t noticed, the GPN Web site has a very newand different look. The former Web site, www.onhort.com, now takes you to thenew GPN site, www.gpnews.wpengine.com. The new site will still feature articles,calendar events, the Poinsettia Zone, online buyers guide, PGR data and muchmore; but it has a new look and adds a news feature that will keep you updatedon the latest happenings in the industry.
The site was launched in early August and has alreadyreceived many hits daily. It helps people in the industry access features inthe magazine, as well as information on PGR’s and how to contact all of thecompanies in our annual buyers guide. More new Web site features will be addedin the future to better service the reader. But for now, enjoy the new site.
2003 Poinsettia Trials
It’s time again for The National Poinsettia Trials,sponsored by the poinsettia breeders (Ecke Ranch, Oglevee Ltd., Fischer USA,Selecta First Class and Dummen USA). The trial dates are December 2, 2003 atPurdue University; December 4, 2003 at North Carolina State University; andDecember 9, 2003 at the University of Florida-Gainesville. Along with theuniversity sites, trials are also conducted by Joe Stoffregen at HomewoodNursery in Raleigh, N.C.
The trials were established to provide an independentevaluation of the newest poinsettia cultivars being introduced. This makes iteasier for growers because there are too many new cultivars out there forgrowers to adequately evaluate all of them. Individual poinsettia varietiesrequire different production procedures, so these trials are able toaccommodate those differences instead of having the growers work around all oftheir different crops to identify the ones that work best for them.Additionally, adequately judging a cultivar takes up to 2-3 years, taking up alot of bench space that could be used for crops. That is where the poinsettiatrials come in. The trial sites can have the cultivars on the bench and readyfor the growers to judge. It is a great way to pick what will work best in thegreenhouse for outstanding sales during the Christmas season.
According to the trial coordinators (Jim Barrett, Universityof Florida-Gainesville; Allen Hammer, Purdue University; and John Dole, NorthCarolina State University) “We hope these trials help growers focus onwhich cultivars might have the best fit in their operation based on theirmarkets and production styles.”
Look for the trial findings on the Poinsettia Zone on theGPN Web site, www.gpnews.wpengine.com, in January 2004, as well as complete trialcoverage in the February 2004 issue of GPN. For more information on the trials,go to www.poinsettiatrial.org, where you can find locations, past trialdatabases and much more.
FCC Delays Junk Fax Rules
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a recentruling delaying the Junk Fax ban until 2005. The rule states that companiesmust obtain written permission before sending unsolicited faxes.
The rule was first announced in July, the same time as thedo not call rule, and was originally supposed to take effect in late August;however, with the new ruling, the FCC has agreed to delay the effective date 16months to January 1, 2005. According to the Associated Press, the FCC made thisdecision because it will give businesses more time to get the approval theyneed from the people they want to fax. Another reason is that the delay willprovide extra time for the FCC to respond to requests for reconsideration ofthe new rule.
Currently, people do not have to have written permission tofax unsolicited mail to people they already do business with. However, they arenot allowed to fax unsolicited items to people they do not have a businessrelationship with.
Sakata Acquisitions Dæhnfeldt
Sakata Seed Corporation, Japan, and Emergent Genetics Inc.have finalized an agreement for Sakata’s acquisition of the flower division ofL. Dæhnfeldt A/S, which includes operations in the United States andChile.
This transaction is subject to the final approval of Danishgovernmental authorities and was completed through the Danish company SakataOrnamentals Europe A/S, with a transfer date at the end of August.
The Dæhnfeldt (USA) operation will continue withbusiness as usual during the approval process. Once approved, both parties willwork towards a smooth transition and integration of operations, with minimaldisruptions to customers.
Both parties believe thatwith this acquisition there will be a synergy with the integration of theirproduct portfolios that will strengthen and secure their joint position in theflower world market.
FloraStar’s New Trial Winners
FloraStar has three newwinners from their spring 2003 new varieties trials. The three Winners includeKalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Calandiva Pink’ by Fides Holland BV; New Guineaimpatiens ‘Gem Suncatcher Salmon’ by Oglevee, Ltd.; and Bacopa ‘Abunda GiantWhite’ by Ball FloraPlant.
Fides Holland BV’sKalanchoe blossfeldiana Calandiva Pink has all the normal characteristics ofblossfeldiana type varieties, other than the fact that no other variety is knowto have decorative flowers in kalanchoe. Instead of four flower petals, thistype is reaching at least 26.
Oglevee’s New Guineaimpatiens Gem Suncatcher Salmon consistently produces at least 10 petals perflower, and the variegation makes it really stand out in combinationcontainers.
Ball FloraPlant’s BacopaAbunda Giant White is a much fuller plant with flowers almost twice the size ofothers on the market. Due to the larger flower size, this variety offers muchmore color and flowers for a longer period of time.
OFA Short Course Shows Strength in Numbers
The numbers from the OFAShort Course are in, and the association is smiling. The attendance for the2003 event was approximately 9,600, making the number slightly less than thepast few years but still generating positive comments from attendees andexhibitors. “We have received extremely positive comments from exhibitorsabout the amount of business conducted and leads generated from the tradeshow,” said Wendy McAtee, OFA director – expositions.
There were more than 500exhibitors that showcased a number of new products, plant material andequipment from 1,300-plus booths. Also featured were the new additions of theCyber Café for easy Internet access; the OFA bookstore; the relocationof the new varieties and product displays to the north end of the conventioncenter for a decrease in traffic jams in the main concourse; and the number ofeducational programs for all segments of the industry. According to John R.Holmes, CAE, OFA executive director. “Our success in 2003 was the resultof a strategic decision and concerted effort to focus on providing qualifiedbuyers for the trade show floor and a continued emphasis on our strongeducational program.”
EuroAmerican Open House
“Autumn inBloom” is the theme of the second annual EuroAmerican Propagators’ openhouse September 26 and 27 at the EuroAmerican facility in Bonsall, Calif. Theevent will provide growers and grower-retailers with an in-depth look atEuroAmerican’s new plant varieties, as well as facility tours and a series ofpresentations such as how to price products to ensure profitability andmerchandising. Merchandis-ing expert Judy Sharpton is among the scheduledspeakers, and she is best known for her Mannequin Technique, a method ofmerchandising placement and display that increases customer and merchandisecontact. For more information, contact EuroAmerican at (888) 323-0730.
AIB Comes to Chicago
The city of Chicago andthe Chicago Park District will host this year’s America In Bloom (AIB)Symposium and Awards Program September 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago onthe Riverwalk. Known internationally for its greening and beautificationefforts, Chicago was the grand winner of AIB’s largest population category in2002.
AIB is a nationalcampaign Á and contest that promotes enhancing communities throughbeautification. In the competition, communities are matched by population andevaluated on their efforts related to floral displays, urban forestry,landscaped areas, turf and groundcover, tidiness, environmental awareness,heritage conservation and community involvement. Judges visited the communitiesduring the summer, and the winners will be announced at the awards banquet, thegrand finale for the year, in Chicago.
Approximately 40communities are participating in the second year of AIB. The 2003 AIBcontestants by population are:
* 5,000or less — Allegan, Mich.; Amelia, Ohio; Elfin Forest, Calif.; Flemington,N.J.; Lavonia, Ga.; Lewes, Del.; and Sequim, Wash.
* 5,001-10,000– Milledegeville, Ga.; Montgomery, Ill.; Oberlin, Ohio; Silverton, Ohio;Warwick, N.Y.; Waterloo, N.Y.; and Williston, Vt.
* 10,001-15,000– Brecksville, Ohio; Cadillac, Mich.; and Washington Courthouse, Ohio.
* 15,001-20,000– Berea, Ohio and Sylvania, Ohio.
* 20,001-25,000– Batavia, Ill.; Derry Township-Hershey, Pa.; Rocky River, Ohio; andWilloughby, Ohio.
* 25,001-50,000– Bartlett, Tenn.; Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Lake Oswego, Ore; Sandusky, Ohio; andTupelo, Miss.
* 50,001-100,000– Encinitas, Calif.; New Bedford, Mass; and Reston, Va.
* 100,001-300,000– Akron, Ohio and Des Moines, Iowa.
* 500,001-1,000,000– Boston, Mass.; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Monroe County, N.Y.
* 1,000,001or greater — Columbus, Ohio.
Festivities in Chicagowill kick off with an opening reception Thursday, September 18. The next day isan educational symposium with a lineup of workshops on topics such as streetscapes,urban forestry, container gardening, nature areas and other greeninginitiatives presented by Chicago in-house experts. Other symposium highlightsinclude a scheduled keynote speech by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and remarksby television celebrity Bill Kurtis.
The last day begins witha choice of tours to community gardens, a downtown greening walking tour,Lincoln Park and the Chicago Botanic Garden, nature areas, annual floralgardens and historic parks. AIB’s festivities conclude with the evening galaawards dinner. For more information about the event, please go to www.americain
Al Gerace Receives AAS Medallion of Honor
Al Gerace, CEO of WelbyGardens, Denver, Colo., was presented the Medallion of Honor from All-AmericanSelections (AAS) during the AAS Summer Meeting. According to AAS, the Medallionis the highest honor given to an individual who has contributed to theadvancement of horticulture or the garden seed industry in an exceptionalmanner and is bestowed on a person for his or her lifetime achievements. Thisis the first time AAS presented the award to a professional grower who usesseed as a major component of their product line. All-America Selections is anon-profit organization that tests and introduces superior new flowers andvegetables from seed.
July Wholesale Prices Up
Wholesale prices seem tobe going up according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In July, there was aslight 0.1 percent increase in the Producer Price Index, which measures pricesbefore they reach store shelves, making it good news for people sellingwholesale.
In June, wholesale pricesrose to 0.5 percent reflecting the higher costs for energy products due to thepossible energy crisis the United States may see this winter (see “EnergyCrisis 2003”, page 14). Because of this increase, which was expected byeconomists, the Federal Reserve is a little less worried about the possiblethreat of deflation.
Despite the increase inwholesale prices, unemployment claims are still higher than average. As eachweek goes by, the unemployment claims keep edging up slightly. By the end ofthe week of August 9, claims had risen from 2,000 to 398,000, according to theAssociated Press. However, with the claims staying under 400,000 — an amountassociated with a weak labor market — for the past four weeks, comes apossible sign that the number of job layoffs may be leveling off for the timebeing. The highest number of claims came in April, at 459,000.
However, even thoughthere is a bright future on the way for the U.S. economy, the Associated Pressreported that Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chairman, and his colleagues havedecided to leave the current short-term interest rate at 1 percent, a 45-yearlow. Predictions from economists say the economy is expected to build up in thesecond half of the year, possibly allowing for some economic growth with anannual rate of 3.5 or 4 percent or higher.