December 2, 2008

Walmart To Adopt RFID In China

Starting in 2009, Walmart will require all of its Chinese suppliers to use RFID rather than bar codes. RFID is expected to cost about 20 times more for each of Walmart’s 1,000-plus suppliers in China. Could the demand next be shifted to U.S. suppliers like greenhouse growers? It very well could be, considering an estimation by RFID provider Invengo Information Technology that Walmart should save $8.35 billion. According to Chen Chang’an, general manager of Invengo, Walmart can now check production information, brand name, production location and price very quickly. Those advantages should, in turn, reduce Walmart’s chain and distribution costs. The adoption of RFID in China is just one of several steps Walmart has taken to impose stricter standards on Chinese suppliers. Just two months ago, Mike Duke, vice president of Walmart who will soon take over as company CEO, said Walmart would be specifically asking Chinese apparel suppliers to […]

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June 18, 2008

Tagging At Buckley Growers Illinois

Buckley Growers Illinois began tinkering with the look of its plant tags over the winter, and it settled on an enhanced tag design this spring for about 40 varieties that includes everything from plant care information to the company logo. The tags were designed with the assistance of MasterTag, and they’re specific to most of Buckley’s 3.5-to-4.5-inch component plants. On the back of tags, Buckley will place more information on plant height and space type, uses, soil and where to learn more about the variety featured on the Web. The Buckley logo graphic is just as important. “We want to build the confidence of garden center customers when they see this very attractive logo graphic on plant tags appearing on shelves in the retail marketplace,” says Bill Ruppert, a marketing and sales representative for Buckley. Plans are currently in the works to promote the plants purchased by Buckley’s retail garden […]

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June 17, 2008

Kudos For Creativity

We’re happy to see the growing presence of merchandising companies at the California Pack Trials. Packaging has becoming increasingly important as plants compete for attention and discretionary dollars against other consumer goods. It also helps growers and retailers differentiate programs from each other instead of all carrying the same merchandise. Programs that engage consumers offer a competitive edge and help them stand out. The two companies leading this effort are MasterTag and The John Henry Co. They’ve become so much more than tag companies, designing complete point-of-purchase programs coordinating tags, pots and signage to dress up benches and carts at retail. Some campaigns are linked to consumer-focused Web sites with more information and interaction. MasterTag became an exhibitor at Pack Trials in 2005 with broker Henry F. Michell at Speedling’s facility in San Juan Bautista. That was the year the Gardening For Dummies branded program debuted and was immediately picked […]

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April 23, 2008

Proud Of Your Tag Designs?

We found an Exotic Angels plant tag at Home Depot that includes a logo, benefits of the plant (air purification and calming the senses) and an introduction from the plant itself—”I’m Croton ‘Bush On Fire.'” Have you produced a custom tag of your own? We want to see them. Please send images of your tags to by Wednesday, May 7. Our June 2008 issue will include your entries in a story on tags and labels.

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March 12, 2008

Wal-Mart Rates Vendors On Packaging

Last month Wal-Mart introduced an environmentally minded packaging scorecard that evaluates suppliers based on the sustainability of their packaging and rates them against their competitors, Ad Week reports. With more than 60,000 suppliers around the world, Wal-Mart aims to reduce overall packaging by 5 percent by 2013, removing 213,000 trucks from the road and saving 76 million gallons of diesel fuel in a year, according to Ad Week. Wal-Mart’s buyers will be using the scorecards to inform their purchasing decisions. The ripple effect the initiative could have on the way products are packaged is enormous. Evaluation metrics include greenhouse gas emissions, product-to-package ratio, the amount of renewable energy used in packaging production and transportation emissions. One example is laundry detergent manufacturers switching to more concentrated formulas in smaller packages. What will the packaging scorecard be on a biodegradable flower pot from China vs. a plastic one produced domestically? We’re curious […]

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February 13, 2008

MasterTag Offers Sustainable Options

MasterTag has two new plant label options made with environmentally sustainable materials.  The materials, shape and design were developed to complement biodegradable pots that are becoming more popular at retail. MasterTag will offer a stake label made of recycled and recyclable materials, and a new hanging tag, made from biodegradable and recyclable plastic, has been developed to work with nursery, perennial and annual plant containers. MasterTag also offers creative design and product development services that can create custom labeling to complement other eco-friendly packaging components. For more information, go to

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December 19, 2007

Eco-Friendly Plant Tags

Horticultural Identification Products (HIP) has developed two sustainable plant tag products. EcoTag is a degradable alternative to traditional plastic plant tags. Manufactured using wind power as one energy source, EcoTag retains its structural integrity until buried in compost or disposed of in a landfill. The buried tags disintegrate in one to five years. BioTag is made of biodegradable plastic using state-of-the-art polymer technology that relies on bio-based products, such as corn and soybeans, instead of fossil fuel-based resins. The end product has a natural composition that is biodegradable. The degradation process takes about one year. Bob Lovejoy, president and CEO of HIP, has identified a need for environmentally friendly packaging options and developed alternative materials for custom-designed labels. “These environmentally conscious horticultural tags contribute to the brand image of a horticulture company, not only enhancing the look of plant products, but also conveying a corporate commitment to environmental awareness and […]

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November 14, 2007

John Henry Wins Teddy Award

The John Henry Co. recently won first place at the Teddy Awards for excellence in design and innovation of promotional displays. The Teddy Awards are held annually to honor the most creative and innovative displays designed worldwide from Nomadic products. Named in honor of Ted Zeigler, founder of Nomadic Display and inventor of the pop-up display, the Teddies are presented in seven categories and have been a tradition for nearly 20 years. John Henry’s Backwall Display was selected as the best in combining versatile, modular and flexible design with strong graphics to create a dynamic brand image. Many of you probably saw this display on the trade show floors this summer. “We are honored to be recognized at this year’s Teddy Awards,” commented Kristi Huffman, John Henry’s senior vice president for horticulture. “The Backwall Display is a great example of the creativity that John Henry offers florists, growers and retailers […]

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April 4, 2007

Wanted: Bilingual Production Labels

Last week a grower from one of the largest operations called to see if we could get more chemical and fertilizer companies to provide label information in Spanish, as well as English. In his quest, he did find bilingual resources from PanAmerican Seed and Bioworks and mentioned that Fine Americas will be coming out with Spanish translations soon. Which suppliers are helping you provide production information in multiple languages? Or if you are doing this as a supplier, please let us know. Drop us a line at

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