We’re canvassing the country, checking out locations and looking to shine the spotlight on America’s best flower farms, floral designers and communities that exemplify the growing support and movement for American Grown Flowers.
Kasey Cronquist, CEO and ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC), will be a panelist for a session at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in New Orleans Oct. 19-21.
Cronquist will be speaking about trends in flower farming.
The summit draws 19,500 attendees from 60 countries who meet with experts, leaders and decision-makers from every link in the produce and floral supply chain. The event is also a professional learning opportunity where attendees hear about today’s bright ideas that will reshape tomorrow’s produce and floral landscape.
Representatives from Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, California, recently traveled to South Africa to participate in the International Protea Association’s Conference (IPA) and pre-conference tour.
Diana Roy, business manager for Resendiz Brothers and chair of the California Cut Flower Commission, was one of five protea farmers representing the United States and California at the event. During the IPA Grower’s Day, both Diana and Ismael Resendiz presented a report on growing protea in the Golden State, covering the number of stems grown, varieties, the state of protea farming and the increasing demand for the flowers.
She also submitted findings and data for an USA Area Report covering industry trends, demand and sales of protea, issues with labor and wages and drought conditions. This report will become part of the conference proceedings published by the International Society for Horticulture Science (ISHS) in ACTA Horticulturae after the conference.
Roy was asked to take on a new role with IPA leading its member communications. She plans to create a community of protea growers on social media and start a new quarterly newsletter that will include coverage of news items, research grant findings and details on IPA’s future conferences.
“The conference is an amazing chance for protea growers to come together, gather ideas and get inspired,” Roy explained. “There’s a lot of opportunity for these flowers in California, so it was essential for us to be there and share our experience and the positive news about demand from wholesalers, retailers and farmers.”
Also during the course of the conference, Resendiz Brothers owner Mel Resendiz was elected president of IPA.
All big leadership wins for California flower farmers.
We’re beyond thrilled to share that the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour has earned the 2017 Marketer of the Year Award from the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Floral Management magazine.
The prestigious award recognizes original, highly successful marketing campaigns that increase awareness and the overall sales of cut flowers.
What made for the winning entry? We’ve since heard that Marketer of the Year judges were impressed with the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner campaign on several fronts: its professional execution, its distinct branding and its impressive media pick up.
But what the judges really liked was the dinner tour’s smart and effective use of experiential marketing that immerses the consumer in a floral experience in such a unique way – they’re on the farm with the farmers and the designers, and then they’re surrounded by the beautifully designed flowers during the dinner, and then they leave with their own bouquet.
As one of the judges commented, “When a consumer experiences flowers in this way, it’s a win for the industry.”
For the uninitiated and the yet-to-attend, the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is a cross-country series of elegant, intimate pop-up gatherings located on flower and foliage farms from coast to coast. Seasonal, homegrown and sustainable blooming flowers dazzle on beautiful tablescapes elegantly dressed by top U.S. floral designers, while scrumptious meals are prepared by local farm-to-table chefs.
At each unique meal and through the accompanying farm tour and design demonstrations, guests make a personal connection between flowers and agriculture as part of America’s floral landscape. Along the way, they experience the age-old art and science of flower farming while being served platters of delicious, seasonal and locally grown fare through four courses, including specialty desserts accompanied by vintage wines, micro-brewed beers and floral-inspired cocktails.
Each event includes a tour of the host farm by the resident farmer and a floral design demonstration with one of the nation’s premier floral designers.
As the Marketer of the Year Award winner, the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is the cover story on the September 2017 issue of Floral Management. [See the full story here.]
The recognition is truly an honor. And what it means for flower farmers – now that’s the big news!
California’s Legislature Declares June California Grown Flowers Month
Today, California Sen. Mike McGuire took to the floor of the Senate to urge his colleagues to support California’s flower-farming families by passing Senate Concurrent Resolution 58 declaring June “California Grown Flowers Month.”
In presenting the resolution, McGuire acknowledged California’s hardworking flower farmers for the beauty, variety and economic value their flowers bring the Golden State.
“Today, we are recognizing California as America’s best source for high-quality cut flowers,”Senator Mike McGuire said. “The industry has blossomed since its inception back in the late1870s. California flower farmers, distributors and florists generate thousands of jobs and drive$12.2 billion in economic activity every year. Our own Humboldt County is one of the largestflower producers in America, growing more fresh tulips than anywhere else in the nation.”
As part of the announcement, each senator received a bouquet of California Grown Flowers from McGuire to help commemorate the occasion.
“The month of June is the perfect time to celebrate the beauty and bounty of what our farms grow in California,” explained California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “The resolution helps to remind people that the origin of your flowers does matter and buying California Grown Flowers does make a difference – not only in the quality of the flowers, but also by helping the state’s economy.”
In addition to the resolution, the CCFC is recognizing California Grown Flowers Month with a social media contest on Facebook and Instagram where consumers can enter to win a bouquet of California Grown Flowers each week through the month of June.
The CCFC will also feature retailers like Safeway and its “Blue Bucket Campaign” that highlights the company’s support for and commitment to providing customers with California Grown Flowers. The CCFC recently debuted a video highlighting Safeway’s California Grown Flowers campaign, a promotion that has been wildly successful in spotlighting California Grown Flowers in its stores.
The video explains that 74 percent of consumers don’t know where flowers come from, and yet 58 percent would prefer to buy California Grown Flowers. Consumers are in awe of the freshness and variety of California Grown Flowers, explains Crystal Hedgpeth, floral sales manager for Safeway’s NorCal division.
In Northern California Safeway stores, Hedgpeth reports that California Grown Flowers are outselling non-California grown flowers. She says Safeway is proud to support California’s flower farmers and hopes the trend of promoting CA Grown Flowers continues to inspire others to feature the beauty and bounty of California.
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About the California Cut Flower Commission
The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org.
This year’s First Lady’s Luncheon, hosted annually by the Congressional Club, was an all American Grown Flowers affair. In support of Certified American Grown Flowers’ sponsorship of the event, flower farmers shipped over 18,000 stems of beautiful domestic flowers to a team of over 20 volunteer professional floral designers led by Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore, Christy Hulsey of The Colonial House of Flowers and Margaret Lloyd of Margret Joan Florals.
The word “magical” comes to mind as the best description of the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour. It’s a word we’ve heard over and over from guests who have attended the first three of seven dinners on this year’s tour.
The magic continued on the third stop of the tour at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad last month where a sold-out crowd enjoyed a wonderful dinner by Chef John Miller of Bistro West while overlooking a sea of ranunculus that seemed to trail off into the Pacific Ocean.
The flower farmers of Carpinteria held their 9th annual Greenhouse & Nursery Tour on April 1st. The tour is annual effort to welcome the public into greenhouses and learn about the process of growing cut flowers for the market.
The countdown to the largest flower-giving holiday is upon us. Mother’s Day is May 14 – but there’s no need to panic!
Turn to these tips to prepare for success:
Hire extra help now. This might include designers, drivers and support staff. Also, let current employees know if their schedules will change leading up to Mother’s Day.
Double-check your flower orders. Be sure you have enough flowers and foliage coming, and increase your order if the season is looking particularly promising. Also, be sure you have enough of the most popular flowers for moms, and remember that this holiday isn’t about a single day – it tends to expand to a week.
In 2017, the California Senate declared June to be California Grown Flower Month.
When announced, the resolution noted the designation was designed to recognize and honor the men and women of the California flower industry for their dedication and productivity. The resolution also recognized the flower industry’s impact on the state’s economy: creating 145,665 jobs, generating $12.2 billion in business activity and creating $1.1 billion in additional taxes.
With June fast approaching, what do you have planned to celebrate or recognize California Grown Flowers Month?
CCFC has several promotions in the works in conjunction with retailers. We’ll also be spreading the word through various Commission communication channels and on social media.
Tell us what you have planned and we’ll help spread the word!