Money Will Fund Retail Promotional Campaign
The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) now has yet one more way to promote California Grown Flowers, thanks to a Specialty Crop Block Grant valued at $176,730 from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
This is huge news (received just this week)! The funding will supercharge the Commission’s efforts to promote hardworking California flower farmers and tout the “origin matters” message.
Specifically, the grant will fund a retailer-specific California Grown Flowers promotional campaign in the month of June, also known as California Grown Flower Month, thanks to a declaration from the Legislature.
The campaign will launch in stores statewide in June 2019 and include custom marketing materials for each retailer, videos featuring California flower farmers for use during in-store promotions and a social media program touting the overall retail campaign and sharing the farmer videos.
In other words, we’ll be telling our farmers’ stories and sharing the bounty of flowers and greens they grow right here in California.
The goal of the campaign is to increase sales of California Grown Flowers in retail stores statewide and bring consumer attention to the origin of the flowers they purchase.
“This funding to promote California Grown Flowers and California Grown Flower Month could not be more timely,” shared Kasey Cronquist, CEO and Ambassador of CCFC. “We’ve seen how this celebration of California Grown Flowers really drives sales for our retailers during the month of June. It also helps raise awareness among consumers about the quality and value of buying California Grown and supporting our farms. It really does make a difference.”
After all, consumers continue to tell us that origin plays a huge part in their purchasing decisions, trumping terms like “organic” and “sustainable.” So it makes sense to drive home that message in hundreds of stores at the height of growing season.
We can’t wait to get this promotion underway! Your stories, your blooms, your efforts are worth sharing!
For 17 days this summer, California Grown Flowers were center stage at the California State Floral Association’s (CSFA) booth at the California State Fair. This year’s theme was “Back to the Floral Future.”
The fair’s run was kicked off at the California State Fair Gala on June 21 that featured flowers and foliage donated by California Pajarosa, Dramm & Echter, Glad-A-Way, Holland America Flowers, Joseph & Sons, Mellano & Company, Myriad Flowers International, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers and Sun Valley Floral Farms.
For more than two weeks, fair visitors learned about the value of buying California Grown Flowers and visiting local florists as they viewed floral arrangements at the CSFA booth. Visitors were also provided with post cards and other information about California Grown Flowers that was provided by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC).
California flower farmers Robert Kitayama of Kitayama Brothers, Janet Louie of Green Valley Floral and Hannah Muller of Full Belly Farm also made appearances at the booth each weekend of the fair.
And flowers were the focus of the fair on July 22 which was declared Flower Day at the State Fair for the fourth year in a row.
In a love tribute, extra donated floral product was given to The Petal Connection, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect beautiful floral bouquets with local hospice patients and seniors in need of a little joy.
On Monday, the California Senate officially declared June to be “California Grown Flowers Month.” The resolution was put forth by Sen. Mike McGuire who represents the state’s 2nd Senate District.
In honor of the declaration and accompanying resolution, senators, flower farmers and California Cut Flower Commission CEO and Ambassador Kasey Cronquist gathered on the Senate floor – California Grown Flowers in hand.
The resolution notes that the designation is designed “to recognize and honor the men and women of the California grown flower industry for their dedication and productivity,” and describes that statewide, flowers are grown across 701 million square feet, spanning the distance from San Diego through the Inland Empire to Carpinteria and north all the way to Oregon.
The resolution also recognizes 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.
It was a proud day, and we’re thrilled to celebrate California Grown Flowers Month throughout June. Join us!
Carlos Cardoza has an enviable problem. He can hardly keep up with demand for the novelty flowers grown at CamFlor in Watsonville where he’s the sales manager.
Since 2012, CamFlor has been growing at a steady rate of 10 to 12 percent a year. Some months it’s closer to 30 percent.
Something had to give.
In addition to recently renewing a 50-acre lease for flower-growing land, CamFlor is adding another (more…)
Take Inspiration From Them, Then Promote Women’s Day March 8!
Neighbors used to call Diana Roy “Flower Girl.”
“I never seemed to have quite enough flowers in my own yard, so I was always asking neighbors if I could cut some of theirs,” she says.
Now the business manager of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, Roy has all the blooms she could possibly want. She’s combined her passion for flowers with her background in public relations to help make the farm one of California’s largest suppliers of (more…)
Rene Van Rems, Debi Lilly to Design Tablescapes at California Dinners
We’re always excited when things really start coming together for each of the American Grown Field to Vase dinners, but this year, the excitement is through the roof as we announce that two renowned floral designers have joined the tour.
Meet Rene Van Rems and Debi Lilly!
Rene Van Rems
Designing tablescapes at the April 7 Field to Vase Dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, California, is Rene Van Rems, a renowned ambassador to the floral industry. Van Rems is a leading speaker, educator and demonstrator who has led workshops and design shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He’s also frequently featured at art museum events, including “Art Alive” in San Diego. (more…)
It’s not just floats that glide down Colorado Boulevard during the annual Rose Parade. There’s also an incredible group of vintage and contemporary cars – and for the last 5 years, all were adorned in California Grown flowers.
The floral designs for the VIP parade vehicles are the handiwork of Keith White, AIFD, lead designer for FTD, and breathtaking doesn’t begin to describe them.
Since 2006, White has arrived in Pasadena on Christmas Day; he begins working on the cars on Dec. 26, using “trade secrets” to be sure the vintage cars are protected as the flowers and foliage are added. Each car takes a full day to adorn, and this year there were two Honda pace cars and five vintage cars, each receiving unique floral designs.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s FTD California Grown car fleet: (more…)
Check out the 2018-19 American Floral Trends Forecast
Wrapped inside the pages of the January 2018 issue of Florist’s Review is the 2018-19 American Floral Trends Forecast.
And it’s glorious!
5 Breathtaking Stops Announced for the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour
The fourth season of the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is underway, and Certified American Grown wants you to grab all of your flower-loving friends and head to a flower farm for an award-winning experience you’ll never forget.
Click the video above and imagine yourself at one of this year’s American Grown Field to Vase Dinners.
They have an exciting lineup of farms involved with this year’s floral-infused dinner tour. Known for stopping at America’s most beautiful flower farms, this year’s tour includes amazing destinations, and they’ve also made some notable tweaks to (more…)
Kelly Shore’s Doing Her Homework
A week spent in Alaska with flower farmers was the tipping point for Kelly Shore, owner and lead designer at Petals by the Shore in Maryland.
Shore was in Alaska to design the tablescapes for an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner being held at Scenic Peonies last summer. She went there with a job to do, but when she left Alaska 10 days later, her gut told her that her next job would be to consider an awesome possibility: Sourcing 100 percent of the flowers and foliage she uses in her designs from American flower farms.
“When I went to Alaska and I saw what the farmers there face, it sparked something in me. I had some really good conversations with the flower farmers on the host farm and with other farmers in attendance, and I thought (more…)
Co-Owner of Ocean Breeze Farms Has Long History of Service, Advocacy
June Van Wingerden has been a constant force in the ag community, advocating for California cut flowers and water and labor issues for decades. The California State Senate recognized her dedication when they named her California’s Woman of the Year in 2005. Now, she’s bringing her heart for (more…)
Customers who visit The Bouqs Company website might be surprised to see some smiling faces posted alongside the flowers and custom bouquets sold on the site.
Just who are they? They’re the American flower farmers who grow a variety of blooms sold at the popular site. And in addition to getting a glimpse of the farmers and their locations, customers can also click to see a one- to two-minute documentary video about the farmer and their flower operation and read a brief bio of each farmer. (more…)
It’s a year-end tradition that helps us both remember where we’ve been and chart a successful path into the new year – the top 10 list, that is.
And so as 2017 winds down, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) is pleased to share our top 10 blog posts of the year. As you’ll see, the past year brought the flower industry growth, optimism, consumer awareness and a bit of anxiety toward to the end thanks to a round of wildfires.
Here’s a look at our most-read posts of 2017 (more…)
Andrea Grist, business manager for Florasource KC in Overland Park, Kansas, was preparing for a customer open house when she had a bright idea. Why not have some issues of Florists’ Review available to hand out at the event?
When the magazines arrived, Grist was happy to find the publication included copies of the new Certified American Grown Farm & Flower Guide as an added bonus. What she didn’t foresee was how that bonus publication would (more…)
The motorcycles used during the Tournament of Roses parade by the Pasadena Police Department will be joining Cal Poly Universities and FTD as another certified CA Grown parade entry in 2018.
Certification requires that over 85 percent of the flowers and foliage used in the parade entries are grown in California.
“Each year these special motorcycles kick off this iconic parade leading the pack of floats, cars, bands and equestrian entries,” says CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “It just seems fitting that those motorcycles, ridden by Pasadena’s finest, be decorated in all-California Grown Flowers.”
The last stop on the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour was not only the perfect finale, it was among the tour’s most unique destinations.
After all, how many people can say they’ve dined on a fern and foliage farm in the middle of the “Fern Capital of the World?” A sold-out crowd did just that Nov. 18 when the Field to Vase Dinner Tour came to FernTrust Inc. in Seville, Florida.
FernTrust, a farm cooperative, is one of the most trusted foliage producers in the country. Guests learned all about the 126 varieties of best-in-class foliage and ferns grown by FernTrust during a tour with farmer David Register. Jana Register provided a tour of FernTrust’s packing house where she shared FernTrust’s many product lines including their patented ColorFresh program that extends vase life of foliage and greens through a unique color sealing process.
Following the farm tour, guests then dined at tables adorned with hundreds of feet of lush fern garland and topiaries created by floral designer J Schwanke. Tour sponsor Syndicate Sales provided all of the hard goods and vases that were incorporated into J’s beautiful tablescape design. Nearby, an all-foliage American Flag added to the evening’s wow factor, as did old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and vistas that provided views of the beautiful ferns and an incredible sunset over the lake.
Chef Justin Timineri of Fresh From Florida created a wonderful Floridian themed menu and Joe Hearn and his team from Joe Hearn Events did an outstanding job managing all of the event’s special touches for this floral filled event.
“This Field to Vase dinner was such a fun event. Getting to meet the farmers and families that have worked the land and listen to the stories was a great experience,” shared former chef Dennis Littley of AskChefDennis.com. “The setting at the farm was picture perfect and the tables were magazine worthy, looking like something out of Martha Stewart.”
Microbrewery Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. shared its craft beers, Geyser Peak Winery served up wine varietals and Copper Bottom Craft Distillery provided signature citrus cocktails featuring names with a nod to local ferns.
Find out where the tour is going in 2018, and then plan to attend one of these one-in-a-lifetime dinners at americangrownflowers.com/fieldtovase
Each year, a delegation of America’s flower farmers head to Washington, D.C. and join together to advocate, share the #originmatters message, connect with members of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus and do a whole lot of storytelling to elected officials.
The trip, which has grown in scale and momentum, is coming up in February.
Once again, farmers and representatives from the Certified American Grown program and the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) will meet with lawmakers and the administration about how to remedy the competitive challenges America’s flower farming families face in today’s market.
It’s a big trip.
It involves so many people leaving their families and businesses to passionately share the importance, value and sheer joy of growing their flowers here in the United States.
But it’s worth it. Every time. And every time more flower farmers sign on to make the trip and share their stories.
Because origin really does matter. And lawmakers and consumers are getting it. And they’re starting to ask about the origin of the flowers they bring into their homes and give as gifts. And that makes all the difference.
If you’d like more information about this year’s trip, contact Andrea Philpot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) recently sponsored the California State Floral Association’s 12th annual student design competition at CaliFlora 2017 held at the International Floral Trade Center in Carlsbad, California.
Fifteen students representing California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo; City College of San Francisco and Mission College participated in the timed competition.
Armando de Loer Mejia of City College San Francisco won the competition, with Alyssa Snow of Cal Poly coming in second and Isabel Sarellano of Mission College taking third place. The People’s Choice Award went to Paula Knapp of Mission College.
CCFC Chair Diana Roy attended the two-day CaliFlora event known for its certified florist exam, hands-on design workshops, Top Design Competition, student design competition and feature show.
The CCFC is proud to support the next generation of floral designers by sponsoring the student competition at CaliFlora.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Jan. 8, 2018— Crystal Hedgpeth, floral sales manager for Safeway’s Northern California Division, was named 2017 Flower Farm Champion by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) at its annual meeting January 4 in Santa Barbara.
Hedgpeth earned the award for the creation of Safeway’s Blue Bucket Campaign that showcases California Grown Flowers in the company’s 280 Northern California Stores.
“Crystal’s campaign really highlights what can be accomplished when retailers make the effort to connect their customers with the story and source of their flowers,” explains CCFC CEO and Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “Double digit growth by utilizing the California Grown campaign is exciting to see and something we want to celebrate.”
Hedgpeth designed the Blue Bucket Campaign in response to customer surveys that gave the store low ratings for the availability of locally sourced items. Knowing Safeway stores were chock-full of local products, including the California Grown Flowers that made up more than half of the flowers sold in the stores, Hedgpeth created an attention-getting sales and marketing campaign focused on flowers sourced from farmers in the Golden State.
She attached the misperception about the “lack of local” by grouping all California blooms and foliage in a single display in the floral department. After several brainstorming sessions with her team, a broader vision emerged for bringing a California Grown Flowers campaign to life. The team added a large “iron man” sign atop the display that included the CA Grown license plate logo and with a message declaring Nor Cal Safeway as the “largest buyer of CA Grown Flowers.” And Hedgpeth implemented her division president’s idea that all the buckets the flowers were displayed in be just as blue as the CA Grown logo.
“Once we had the merchandising done, it really made an impactful statement. The colors of the flowers were more vivid against the blue buckets,” Hedgpeth explained.
Safeway stores that implemented the Blue Bucket Campaign saw double-digit increases in sales of California Grown Flowers – think 12 to 16 percent. And what started in October 2016 in fewer than 50 stores spread to all 280 Nor Cal stores by Valentine’s Day 2017. California Grown Flower sales are up 14 percent.
In addition to individual flower varieties showcased in the blue buckets, Hedgpeth has since added California Grown mixed bouquets. And in stores where customers are particularly local-focused, she gets “hyper local” and sets up displays and signage for nearby flower farms.
“In our minds, this should be part of our permanent thinking. We’ll continue to support California’s flower farmers and even incorporate the Certified American Grown Flower program. We want to continue to grow this. We have new stores coming in 2018 and 2019 and we’ll continue the campaign in those stores. As long as it’s relevant to customers, it’s relevant to us!”
Farmers Send Flowers to Honor, Thank First Responders at Wildfire Benefit Feast
In early October, wildfires ripped through California’s renowned wine country, displacing more than 10,000 in Napa and Sonoma Counties alone, and wiping out entire neighborhoods and businesses.
Today, we know it was the most devastating wildfire event in California’s history.
But on Nov. 21, just days before Thanksgiving, California flower farmers, a team of volunteer floral designers led by Venn Floral of Sebastopol and the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) joined forces with industry partners Visit California and California Grown to support a farm-to-fork style feast for over 500 guests to benefit wine country wildfire recovery efforts.
Hosted by Visit California, The Grateful Table featured celebrity Chef Tyler Florence in partnership with farm dinner event company Outstanding in the Field. The CCFC, with its experience managing the national American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, was tapped by Visit California to assist with the design and execution of the floral tablescape for the event.
Working with Heather Frye and Camille Rowan of Venn Floral, a tablescape was created based on thousands of flowers donated by California’s flower farmers. Resendiz Brothers Protea, Sun Valley Floral Farms, Holland America Flowers, Green Valley Floral, Joseph & Sons, Ocean View Flowers, Camflor Inc., Mellano & Company, CallaCo, Westland Floral, Pajarosa Floral and Kitayama Brothers all responded to the call for donations amidst a busy Thanksgiving holiday rush on flowers.
Additional floral designers who donated their time to the project include:
- Haleigh Frye, Devon Hobaugh and Käthe Smalanskas of Venn Floral
- Lennie Larkin of Side Farm + Floral
- Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Flower Farm + Floral Design
- Olivia Rivas of Papillon Floral
- Daniele Allion-Strawn of JoLee Blooms + Design
- Andrea Frenkel-Paul of Lily + Mint
- Auna Lorin of Beijaflor Botanicals
- Amanda O’Doul of Mandalion Designs
- Sylvia Bennett, independent farmer/florist
- Keren Ram, independent farmer/florist
One hundred percent of proceeds raised from sales tickets to the feast will support nonprofits that are helping those affected by the wildfires in California’s iconic wine country. And among the guests at the event were people who had lost their homes as well as first responders.
The event was touted as “the best way to show them your California love and help them rebuild the region is to come celebrate: sip, savor, dine and unwind.”
It was also a way for flower farmers and designers to lend their resources and talents to a worthy cause.
“This was a wonderful way for our farms to support the recovery effort of the communities that have been impacted by these fires” shared CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “As the flower donations rolled in, we learned about the many connections our farmers have with people who were affected by these fires. They were very happy to give their blooms to the cause.”