The 25th annual Seeley conference will be held June 26-29 in Ithaca, N.Y. The theme this year will be: “Floriculture’s Environmental Footprint: An Inconvenient Truth or Consumer Opportunity?”
For several years, we’ve heard about global warming and climate change as issues we need to address. The debate has had arguments spanning from compelling science to just a natural cycling of weather patterns. Now, legislators the world over have begun to amend the dialogue to one of measuring the carbon footprint. Scientists have added water to the equation and are now beginning to speak of measuring the entire environmental footprint.
For our industry, the issues are more compelling. We think of ourselves as being the original green industry but we often fail to promote that, perhaps, partly out of fear. Do we know what our environmental footprint really is? Are we as green as we think? Do we have an opportunity for better promotion, or do we need to get our house in order first?
Of course, the real issues revolve around what it means for our individual businesses: our bottom lines. Will the outcomes of the legislative debate impact our businesses? Are there modifications we need to make to stay in business once the debate ends and the laws are enacted? Will our businesses be able to remain financially solvent or will regulations force us out of business?
Charlie Hall, holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University who is coordinating this year’s Seeley Conference, says business owners should not think of the climate change debate as merely an environmental issue. Instead, they should view it as a market transition. With the water and carbon policy debates occurring locally and nationally this year, this year’s conference is all the more critical to attend, Hall says.
As always, the think-tank atmosphere of the Seeley Conference will allow for plenty of interaction with fellow industry leaders regarding these timely issues. For more information about the Seeley Conference and this year’s program visit the conference website at www.hort.cornell.edu/seeleyconference. Facebook users can refer to the Seeley Conference fan page.