January 18, 2010

Olson’s, Rancho Tissue Earn VeriFlora Certification

Olson’s Greenhouse in Utah is among the latest greenhouse operations to earn VeriFlora sustainability certification. Certification by VeriFlora means products grown by Olson’s Greenhouse are independently certified as being produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. It also identifies the company enlists quality, employee-friendly management practices that meet and exceed pre-determined standards of excellence. In order to obtain certification, a grower must meet or exceed environmental protection requirements covering issues in the areas of pest management, media fertility, production yields, energy efficiency, carbon footprint, waste management, water conservation and ecosystem care. “As we started working with VeriFlora, we could see many of the things we were doing as a company was already in-line with the VeriFlora certification program,” says Bart Olson, president of Olson’s. “With VeriFlora’s help, we were able to identify additional areas where improvement would be beneficial. The certification process has not only helped Olson’s Greenhouse in […]

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January 12, 2010

Five Questions With … Dominik Neisser

As part of our State Of The Industry report, we asked industry leaders to answer questions about the state of all things greenhouse floriculture. Dominik Neisser, the grower at EuroAmerican Propagators, shares his take on the state of the industry this week. How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today? I think we got a good share of the nationwide crisis. Because our product is a luxury product, people remove flowers from their shopping list when money gets low. The result of that will be a market that has more product than demand, which will push down prices. As a greenhouse operator you need to carefully watch the costs and eliminate any kind of waste of spending so your lower income will still be higher than the overall costs. Good quality and fair prices is not just a good sales argument anymore; it is essential to […]

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January 6, 2010

Western Trade Show Rebranded

The Western Nursery and Landscape Association has rebranded its annual conference, The Western, as the National Green Centre. The show will also now alternate between St. Louis and Kansas City. “This rebranding will build upon the historical success of the Western while expanding the event to serve the national nursery, lawn and garden retail, and landscape contractor markets,” says Sarah Woody Bibens, executive director. The 2010 event features an expanded educational program featuring five concurrent educational programs with an internationally acclaimed faculty of speakers. “As the horticulture markets continue to change, the need for a powerful, national event to help bring the industry together and provide deep and meaningful educational programming and networking opportunities has never been greater” says Jim Mason of Country Landscapes and 2010 association president. “By alternating between St Louis and Kansas City we’ll be delivering a conference in the center of the country and maximizing the […]

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January 5, 2010

OFA Names Michael Geary CEO

OFA has named Michael V. Geary, CAE, as the association’s new Chief Executive Officer. The selection comes after an extensive search process that began last spring. Geary will start at OFA on March 1. “We are very pleased to have Michael’s record of success in association management applied on OFA’s behalf as the industry and association plan for the future,” says OFA President Danny Takao. Geary has 18 years experience in association management and organizational development, which includes serving as executive director of the American Institute of Architecture Students, senior director for the National Association of Home Builders and senior staff positions with The Delta Chi Fraternity and the North American Interfraternity Conference. “I am very pleased to join the OFA team,” Geary says. “With the support of a visionary board and active membership and staff, OFA has become a leader in the horticulture industry. I look forward to continuing that […]

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January 4, 2010

Five Questions With … Chad Underwood

As part of our State Of The Industry report, we asked industry leaders to answer questions about the state of all things greenhouse floriculture. Chad Underwood, president and general manager of the Kalamazoo Flower Group, shares his take on the state of the industry this week. How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today? The state of the industry is good but could certainly be better. I think collectively we have an opportunity today to capitalize on the new attitude Americans have as a result of the economic downturn. Our products match the shift in values and priorities we’ve seen as a country. Has our industry entered a new era or paradigm shift? Please explain why or why not. With regard to retail, I think it has. We no longer simply ship as much as possible into a store and leave the retailer to worry about […]

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December 31, 2009

Top Stories, Conversations And Videos Of 2009

Top News Stories: #1 Hines Announces New Name & Management Team One of the year’s most-read stories was about Hines Horticulture, the company’s rebranding as Hines Nurseries back in April and the unveiling of its new management team. The story also generated a couple dozen comments from readers reacting to the story. #2 Disease Costs Bonnie Plants $1M In Recall The Late Blight epidemic that struck the Northeast this year was one of the most-talked-about stories of the summer. Bonnie Plants was at the center of the scandal, which led to a he-said, she-said debate between the company, university officials and growers.  #3 SUV Crashes Into Michigan Greenhouse This September 2009 story didn’t generate the reader reaction the Hines Nurseries and Late Blight stories did earlier in the year, but the unimaginable sight of an overturned SUV that crashed into a Michigan greenhouse still caught the attention of our eager readers.  #4 Anna Ball’s […]

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December 29, 2009

State Of The Industry: Top Trends For 2010

Much of what we can expect to see in 2010 is a progression of what we saw in 2009. Here are the top 10 trends shaping the greenhouse floriculture industry.  Download: The Complete Greenhouse Grower State Of The Industry Report You’ve read the highlights and analysis, but there’s much more information available from the 2010 Greenhouse Grower State Of The Industry survey. Click here for our 12-page State of the Industry white paper and find out in their own words what growers think are their opportunities and challenges, and the hottest trends for 2010. 1. Supply Chain Correction The industry had been in a state of oversupply for a long time. The past two years, we’ve seen growers become more conservative with production. One reason for this shift is the advent of pay by scan or vendor managed inventory, where growers only get paid for plants rung through the cash […]

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December 29, 2009

State Of The Industry: Driving Sales In A Down Economy

At a time when so many companies are filled with doom and gloom, we’re seeking out the success stories–growers who are defying the recession and excelling. The three growers we’re featuring offer strategies you can implement in your business. Download: The Complete Greenhouse Grower State Of The Industry Report You’ve read the highlights and analysis, but there’s much more information available from the 2010 Greenhouse Grower State Of The Industry survey. Click here for our 12-page State of the Industry white paper and find out in their own words what growers think are their opportunities and challenges, and the hottest trends for 2010. Dedication & Reputation Bettinger Farms in Swanton, Ohio, near Toledo is mostly focused on spring production, serving independent garden centers in the South and Eastern Midwest. At a time when maintaining sales is the new up, Bettinger’s sales continue to grow–12 percent in 2007, 3 percent in […]

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December 28, 2009

State Of The Industry: Overview

Last year was hardly a cakewalk for growers. In fact, some will argue it was the most challenging they’ve ever faced. The weather was uncooperative in certain regions, competition became a bigger challenge for more growers, and labor, energy and input costs didn’t provide many breaks.  Download: The Complete Greenhouse Grower State Of The Industry Report You’ve read the highlights and analysis, but there’s much more information available from the 2010 Greenhouse Grower State Of The Industry survey. Click here for our 12-page State of the Industry white paper and find out in their own words what growers think are their opportunities and challenges, and the hottest trends for 2010.   No greenhouse operation is immune to these challenges − although some face them with more ease than others − as we saw El Modeno Gardens, a Top 100 Grower, close its doors along with other operations in 2009. Times […]

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December 28, 2009

Brookwood Community and We Grow Dreams Enrich Lives Of Employees

  Most garden centers have goals such as increased profit, retailing quality plants and even enhancing the lives of customers by providing beautiful plants. The Brookwood Community in Brookshire, Texas, and We Grow Dreams in West Chicago, Ill., are two garden centers with those same goals, but they share an additional goal that differentiates them from the average garden center. They strive, above all, to enhance the quality of life of disabled adults by providing meaningful job opportunities. The Brookwood Community and We Grow Dreams share many commonalities. They were both founded by parents of disabled individuals who were faced with few opportunities for a work life after they passed school age. They are both not-for-profit organizations, raising operational funds largely from plant sales and donations and neither accepts government subsidies. The Brookwood Community Founded in 1985, the 475-acre Brookwood Community is a God-centered educational, residential and entrepreneurial community for […]

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December 28, 2009

State Of The Industry: Life After Walmart

When Walmart hit the garden center scene a couple decades ago, a few growers saw an opportunity for growth and pounced on it. Then, as Walmart’s garden center business began to boom, more growers jumped on the bandwagon, creating a Walmart network over the years that included a few hundred growers.  Download: The Complete Greenhouse Grower State Of The Industry Report You’ve read the highlights and analysis, but there’s much more information available from the 2010 Greenhouse Grower State Of The Industry survey. Click here for our 12-page State of the Industry white paper and find out in their own words what growers think are their opportunities and challenges, and the hottest trends for 2010. Over the last couple years, though, Walmart’s grower network has dwindled to fewer than 40 select growers. Complexity and costs in the supply chain led to consolidation, which came as a surprise to many of […]

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