AIPH debates key issues for growers at Congress in Italy

Grower associations from around the world met in Stresa, Italy last month for the 67th Annual Congress of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), sponsored by Dashun International Flower Co.

Members and guests heard presentations on the Italian ornamental horticulture industry and welcomed into membership the Italian Nursery Exporters Association (ANVE). President of ANVE, Marco Cappellini, along with Dr. Alberto Manzo from the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Forestry and Italian nursery expert Dr. Arturo Croci welcomed delegates to Italy.

During the Congress the various Committees of the Association debated key issues facing the ornamental plant and flower sector. The AIPH Green City Committee, chaired by Karen Tambayong from Indonesia, heard reports from members regarding Green City initiatives in their own countries. AIPH provides an international network for grower associations to share information and ideas on how to promote the use of plants in urban areas. AIPH is considering the development of new international green city guidelines and ways to further promote city greening. Grower associations around the world now recognise this as essential activity for promoting the industry and the importance of plants in line with the purpose of AIPH which is to be ‘the world’s champion for the power of plants’.

The AIPH Environment & Plant Health Committee discussed approaches by the industry to managing plant health threats. Nursery Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) reported on how it developed industry guidelines for ‘Managing Biosecurity in Nursery Production’ through a HACCP-based model. Nederlandse Tuinbouwraad (NTR) reported on its work to protect the industry and ANVE reported on the impact of the Xyllela outbreak in Italy and actions being taken.

The AIPH Novelty Protection Committee heard from intellectual property expert Thomas Leideretter on the importance of IP in the ornamentals industry and where this is going in the future with discussion on patents and other factors impacting on plant breeders rights. Tim Edwards from the UK was elected as the new Chairman for this Committee during the Congress.

The AIPH Marketing & Exhibitions Committee, chaired by Kevin Chung from Chinese Taipei, plays an important global role in approving and monitoring International Horticultural Exhibitions. During 2016 there will be two AIPH approved exhibitions. One will be in Antalya (A1), Turkey and the other in Tangshan (A2/B1), China. Preparations for these are progressing well and AIPH looks forward to celebrating the horticultural industry and seeing it shared with millions of visitors through these exhibitions next year. Progress reports were also received from Taichung, Chinese Taipei (2018/19), Beijing, China (2019) and Almere, Netherlands (2022). The AIPH Guide for Organiser’s of International Horticultural Exhibitions was launched in March this year and this had been well received by members. A new publication on ticketing systems for exhibitions should be available soon.

Members shared thoughts on the future of the industry and enjoyed tours to the World Expo in Milan, with VIP visits to the Turkey, China, UAE and UK pavilions, as well as horticultural visits to Isola Bella, Villa Taranto, Campagnia Del Lago Maggiore, Minorpio Horticultural School and Vivai Nord nursery.

During the Congress members elected Bernard Oosterom (Netherlands) as the new AIPH President, succeeding Vic Krahn (Canada) and Tim Edwards (UK) as Vice-President. Also the AIPH Gold medal was presented to Jaap Kras from the Netherlands for his years of support to AIPH and the global ornamentals industry and AIPH Bronze Medals were presented to Arturo Croci and Paulo Zacchera in recognition of their assistance in making the Congress so successful.

Commenting after the Congress, AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe said: “This was a really great Congress. Members all went away with so much to take back to the horticultural industry’s in their own countries. This is becoming an extremely valuable network for the industry worldwide and enjoying great Italian hospitality was an added benefit and we are grateful to Dashun International Flowers from China for their sponsorship support. Members are already looking forward to the next meeting in Vancouver in March 2016.”