Ladies and Gentlemen,
I realized that I promised you all a full week break from me, however, too much has happened to me to pass on sending along some great photos and update you on my travels. The Lovely Maggie and I traveled down to Ecuador last Saturday to participate in a gathering of Floral Opinion Leaders with representatives of Pro Ecuador and Expoflores. To give you a brief recap of the first few days, the earth literally "moved under our feet" on Sunday morning when a 7.1 scale earthquake hit Bogota, Colombia and the aftershocks were felt all the way to Quito, Ecuador where we were housed. Since Sunday was the Lovely Maggie's 39th birthday...or some anniversary of her 39th birthday, I took full credit for arranging for the drama and the theatrics.
On Monday and Tuesday, our group visited 4 excellent farms, all unique in their own way. The farms were Greenrose in Cayambe, Freshcut Roses in Cayambe, Valleflor in Puembo and Rosaprima in Cayambe. The experience was nothing more than Disneyland for the floral industry. The farms were all unique in their own way. Here are a few photos to give you a taste of what we experienced during our time "down on the farm".
We had a group of 8 floral professionals ranging from retailers to wholesalers to leading industry figures. None of us were deeply rooted on Ecuador or the practices that bring their wonderful product to market. We had all been exposed to half truths and old wife's tales on working conditions and farm conditions. What we saw was a very caring nation and farm owners that worked hand-in-hand with their employees to grow the near perfect product and build a better life for their workers. Exposure to exquisite rose production at Greenrose whose owners are in the process of switching over to more environmentally friendly hydroponic growing practices. We witnessed a totally organic farm in FreshCut Roses that changed horses in mid stream 3 1/2 years ago to champion their beliefs in changing their operation from the norm to one that was better for their world with a total organic focus. Their idea of "home brew" is greatly different than mine but it produces the end result of the near perfect rose. We witnessed an owner at Valleflor, who grows beautiful summer flowers, that just completed building a chapel where their workers could pray, meditate and reflect. Hardly an adverse employer-worker relationship but one that truly appreciated and respected the other and the value that each brought to their chosen occupation. Finally a farm visit to Rosaprima that could best be described as "floral Disneyworld." Imagine, if you can, a test house facility that has over 300 new rose varieties that, in all likelihood, will produce one or two varieties that will ever see full production cycles. My statements do little to describe the magnificence of this country and their dedication to the floral industry.
In future issues I'll take you "behind the curtain" to discuss some issues that need to be better understood to continue to bring this great product to the U.S and Canadian Markets. My heartfelt thanks go out to very special people that answer to names like Ramiro, Salome, Sophia, Pro Ecuador and Expoflores that made this amazing experience a reality. Plus, a special "shout out" to Raj Ravani at the Florist Buying Club who allowed me the opportunity to accept this wonderful learning experience.
If you were California Dreamin
’ and in need of some of the best California grown product….then read on. We urge you to join the ranks of the satisfied customers of California Floral Solution
...aka CFS..CFS is Florist Buying Club's sister
company and the daily operations are run by Clint Rogers. Clint, aka Mr. Rogers, has put together a very nice selection of farms to provide our club members with the finest product California has to offer. Further, as a member of the Florist Buying Club you get the benefits of both operations…Two for the price of one!
Florist Buying Club + California Floral Solution = Outstanding Value and Amazing Quality!!!
Clint is constantly adding new farms to his stable offering unbelievably interesting product. Customers have given rave reviews on freshness, quality, and price. The pricing shown in this newsletter is FOB California for the week of October 1, 2012. All you need to do is add the shipping price from California.
Remember, when you join FBC you are automatically a member of CFS. Clint can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-798-2391
Every week Clint visits with the various California farms and puts together his “hot list”
of great product opportunities that you can take advantage of.
This week there are a few new
items that you may want to take a closer look at. Just to name a few, we have Baby Euc and Myrtle now offered in a “Ready to Use” grade that is a 20 stem cleaned bunch…ready to use…with no waste and no fuss.
New Mixed Euc Boxes this week:
Quarter Box that includes 2 Baby, 2 Gunni, 2 Willow, 4 Seeded
Eighth Box with 1 Baby, 1 Gunni, 1 Willow and 2 Seeded
There are 8 pages of product offerings this week…so remember to scroll down. The attached list shows pricing for our FOB CA customers. We think our California offerings are second to none.
We are extremely flexible with our offerings. If you have any questions on this great product availability…contact your FBC/CFS sales person. Soon Clint will be offering airport to airport pricing for those that don't have established trucking from the west coast. Stay tuned!
"Bill: Thanks for the great coverage of the SAF convention in your newsletter. I thought you did an outstanding job capturing the conference. It was great to see 64 new faces among industry veterans as well as all the energy in the educational sessions and nightly events. The feedback from attendees has been very positive.....now onto plans for 2013!
Peter J. Moran, CEO Society of American Florists
"Bill: It was terrific of you & Maggie to journey across the "mitten" to join us here in W. MI for the latest edition of "Nature's Creative Edge" hosted by Robert Friese AIFD & the North Central Chapter of AIFD. So pleased to meet Maggie in person, she is indeed Lovely!
Forty designers from MI, IN, IL, WI, SC, OH, MN, & NM created 34 exhibits of "Storybooks & Fairy Tales -Fantastically Floral". They all travel at their own expense, so providing a wonderful array of fresh product for them to choose from is a great plus.
So thanks to Florist Buying Club and California Floral Solutions for their generous donation of Roses, Hydrangea, Hypericum and a fabulous assortment of garden flowers. The design team was so impressed with the product quality, and grateful to have such a wealth of product to create their exhibits.
The viewing public was awed & we continue to receive accolades from those who toured. In addition to raising scholarship & continuing education funds for our Chapter of AIFD, we strive to raise public awareness of flowers and the many ways they provide joy. With sincere gratitude,"
Alice Waterous AIFD,CF,CFD,PFCI
( on behalf of all our Chapter members)
Notables, Part 1
The Mascot Books "Author of the Year" is...
Mascot Books is thrilled to announce the second annual "Author of the Year" Award. This year, Mascot Books published over 100 books—children's picture books, to early-chapter and young adult titles, to cookbooks and current event titles— from authors around the world.
The Mascot Books Author of the Year award was established to recognize an author who shows dedication to producing the highest quality content, a passion for the craft of writing, a commitment to entertaining and educating readers through literature, and the ability to convey a positive message. Above all, we wanted to recognize an important member of the Mascot Books Family.
This year's Mascot Books "Author of the Year" is...Suzie Hearl Canale!
Suzie has close ties to the floral industry being the much better other half of Rick Canale, Exotic Flowers, Boston. She developed the concept of The Beantown Tales, a series of books geared towards educating children to make positive changes within the key concerns of our society. Suzie's books are the recipient of the Green Book of 2011 by the Massachusetts Green Schools Organization as well as three Honorable Mentions in the 2011 New England Book Festival (The Land of Chocolate Cosmos), 2012 New York Book Festival (The Candy Roses of Cape Care) and the 2012 Hollywood Book Festival (The Popcorn Hydrangea of Poppingtom).