Almost 100 delegates from 10 countries made their way to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to attend the 51st Annual Convention from 5 to 7 July and to spend quality time networking with industry friends and colleagues. Members were delighted to finally meet again in person for the first time since 2019. Traditionally co-organised by one of the members, this year's special edition was hosted by Fleuroselect in honour of the organisation's 50th anniversary in 2020.
Delegates welcomed Founder and Honorary Member Simon Groot to open the celebrations by explaining the origins of Fleuroselect leading up to its foundation in 1970. Subsequently Sally van der Horst and Ann Jennen, Secretary Generals past and present, delved into organisation's rich history and shared recent developments showing the strength of the organisation as it is today.
Three new members join Fleuroselect
During the Annual General Meeting, the current membership welcomed three new companies to the organisation. The Newey Group supplies perennial and shrub plugs/liners, cutting raised and seed raised bedding plants and premium quality container grown trees, shrubs and soft fruit to commercial growers and retailers in the U.K. market. Morel Diffusion supplies bulk seed of cyclamen to young plant producers and growers across the world. Annually, over 300 varieties are sold in more than 70 countries. Clematis, the Source of Good Climbers sells over 1.5 million young plants (rooted cuttings) and over 1 million finished plants annually to more than 40 countries on 5 continents. The company owns 70 varieties of Clematis and 11 other climbing varieties.
The importance of flowers and plants in the cities of the future
Delegates were treated to an inspirational debating session led by young entrepreneurial experts on the role of plants and flowers in urban living.
Nina Sickenga, founder of MOSS & HRBS, specialises in full package green design projects ranging from tropical indoor gardens and intensive green roofs to urban agricultural projects. Denise Stuur and Jorrit Jager, both landscape designers at Deltavormgroep, are specialised in the area of spatial concepts and nature-inclusive designs. Representing WE THE FUTURE, Jacintha Scheerder asked an important question: "What about plants in future cities?" Finally, Tom van Ruitenbeek and Sam van der Zanden from Upperbloom shared their concept for a sustainable plant service for balconies.
Learning from the past, meeting needs of the present, taking care of our future
To illustrate the Convention theme, visits to sustainable green projects in the Amsterdam area were included in the programme. The first stop was an informative visit to Circl, a platform on the Amsterdam Zuidas, which has been designed and constructed according to circular principles. The roots of Dutch horticulture were brought to life at the Historical Nursery Museum in Aalsmeer, including a small Dutch auction in the original auction room. The evolution of horticulture in The Netherlands was accurately explained here with use of historical documents, photos and gardening tools. Delegates also had the opportunity of admiring a vast collection of heirloom plants and varieties in the extensive showgarden. At the Flower Art Museum, delegates visited the exhibition 'The Floral Album' and attended the book presentation 'Bloom: Art, Flowers and Emotion', featuring key works of art from the Tate Gallery in which flowers play a leading role, by Rachel Giles. Finally, the delegation visited FloriWorld. Looking at horticulture today, this new initiative offers a fun and educational exploration through the world of flowers and plants, raising awareness on how flowers and plants contribute to well-being and health.
Gold Medal Winners 2023
The Annual Convention culminated at Restaurant De Kas in Amsterdam for the Closing Dinner, where Gold Medals were awarded to the 2023 winners. Four varieties excelled in the judging criteria, including innovation, practical use, floriferousness and garden performance. Fleuroselect President Karol Pawlak and Secretary General Ann Jennen handed out the certificates and medals to the winners:
- Peter Denney, Managing Director at SeedSense for Helianthus annuus Lemon Cutie
- Gerard Werink, Commercial Director and Juul van Loon, Head of Business International at Syngenta Flowers for Helenium autumnale HayDay Golden Bicolor
- Anne Leventry, President and Carsten Leth, Global Business Manager Pot Plants at PanAmerican Seed for Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii Goldblitz
- Rob van der Voort, Owner at Van Hemert & Co for Verbena bonariensis Vanity
2023 - United Kingdom
The 52nd Fleuroselect Annual Convention will take place in summer 2023 in the United Kingdom. Highlights will include visits to Floranova, Mr. Fothergills and the RHS Hyde Hall trial fields.