70th Annual Congress, Padova

The AIPH 70th Annual Congress took place in Padova, Italy from 17th – 22nd September 2018. The event was organised with the support of ANVE, our member in Italy, and hosted by the Flormart Trade Fair which ran alongside the event.

Included within the programme was an International Expo Conference and a Green City Conference, to bring together experts on these issues from around the world. Delegates also attended the AIPH-approved Flormart Trade Fair and visited premier Italian growers in the world-famous growing region of Pistoia. And of course, a trip to Venice and the world’s oldest university Botanical Gardens in Padova were a must, whilst visiting this fabulous area of Italy.

Most crucially, the Congress provided an opportunity for our members to gather together to share knowledge, news and information from their countries and contribute to the ever-strengthening bonds of AIPH with our member associations.

Congress Media Partner

City decision makers, planners, landscape architects, horticulturalists and others interested or involved in greening cities were invited to attend the AIPH International Green City Conference that took place on Wednesday 19th September, 2018. The conference, held in Padova, Italy, focused in particular on how to make old cities green.

The AIPH Expo Conference, held on Tuesday 18th September 2018, was open to anyone involved or interested in organising an International Horticultural Expo.  During the morning, speakers addressed important topics including how an Expo benefits a city, how to make it a commercial success and how to ensure a planted landscape is maintained to the highest possible standards. In the afternoon, progress updates were presented on a number of forthcoming International Expos and trade exhibitions.

The 70th Annual Congress of AIPH was a significant milestone for the association. It was one of our biggest ever meetings with delegates attending from around the world. The unique programme of events is outlined below:

View on Basilica of Saint Giustina from Prato della Valle square in the evening, Padova, Italy

Monday 17th September
Board meeting (Board members only), arrival of delegates and welcome dinner.

Tuesday 18th September
AIPH International Horticultural Expo Conference
This conference will include sessions that will benefit all those involved in the organisation of International Horticultural Exhibitions.
It will include progress reports from all upcoming Expos approved by AIPH including Taichung (Chinese Taipei 2018/19), Beijing (China 2019), Sydney (Australia 2020), Yangzhou (China 2021), Hatay (Turkey 2021), Qatar (2021), Almere (Netherlands 2022) and Łódź (Poland 2024).  It will also include a report from Floralies Internationales Nantes (2019).
Dinner will take place in the magnificent Caffe Pedrocchi in the centre of Padova.

Wednesday 19th September
AM: AIPH International Green City Conference
This conference, supported by Flormart, will include speakers from Italy and around the world on the latest research and practice on urban greening and how this benefits health, society and the environment.
PM: AIPH Members Meetings
This session will include opportunities for members to share latest developments and will include the General Meeting for committee reports and decision making.
The afternoon will be followed by a tour of Padova Botanic Gardens.
Dinner will be hosted by Flormart at Padova Fiera.

Thursday 20th September
During the morning delegates will have time to visit the Flormart trade fair and meet the exhibitors from Italy and around the world.
In the afternoon we will visit the magical city of Venice for a guided tour and some free time.  This will be followed by dinner at San Trovaso restaurant in Venice before returning to Padova.

Friday 21st September
In association with ANVE delegates are invited to visit nurseries in Pistoia.  This region is world-famous for its nursery production.
Delegates will take an overnight bag and we will stay at the Montecatini Palace Hotel near Pistoia after dinner hosted by ANVE.

Saturday 22nd September
After further professional visits in the Pistoia region delegates will return to Padova to prepare for departure.

Sunday 23rd September
Delegates depart
AIPH Flower Auction Market Group meeting at NH Hotel (group members only)

Accompanying Persons
Tours will be arranged to enjoy this beautiful region of Italy on 18th and 19th September.

VIVAI CINELLI LUCA – Friday 21st September

The Cinelli nursery was founded during the early 1950’s, when founder, Lido Cinelli, together with his wife Maria, decided to abandon the production of vegetables  and devote himself to the cultivation of cut flowers, in particular carnations. In 1982 his son Luca joined his father in the management of the company and began the direct production of olive trees, from seed to specimens of ten years, in addition to the production of outdoor ornamental plants including citrus, mimosa and roses.

Recently, in cooperation with Vivai Attilio Sonnoli, Luca, together with his son Federico, expanded the production of olive trees, introducing certified virus-free olive trees and studying new solutions for modern, avant-garde olive growing. Thanks to the production of nanoscale cloning rootstocks and developing minor varieties typical of Italian germplasm, they can now allow olive growers to find the best solutions for the production of excellence.


GIORGIO TESI GROUP  – Friday 21st September

The Giorgio Tesi Group is one of the leading plant nurseries in Europe for the production of cultivated ornamental plants. As well as their Headquarters in Pistoia, the European capital of plant nurseries, the company possesses a further 4 branches situated in Grosseto, Orbetello (GR), Piadena (CR), and San Benedetto del Tronto (AP).

The production extends over more than 500 hectares of land (of which 362 are for plants that are planted in the ground, 116 for vases and 22 are covered by greenhouses and high tunnels); today the company has more than 200 permanent employees throughout the production and commercial sector of the 23 nurseries in Pistoia and in the company’s 4 branches. Piadena specialises in trees in the open field and in vases of broad leaf plants. In the new branches of Grosseto and Orbetello and San Benedetto del Tronto, the company produces Mediterranean plants that are more adapted to the moderate climate.

The Tesi Group produces all species and varieties of plants that the European and international markets request, from young plants to specimens of large dimensions, from geometric forms to trees for cities and boulevards, plants for garden centres and wide distribution, for all of the climatic zones, and for the various typologies of public and private terrain. It cultivates over 1,500 varieties of plants, with 2.7 million plants in production for 2,500 customers worldwide.

Over 2 million plants are sold each every year in 60 countries, with 85% of their sales abroad.


BUOGIOVANNI VIVAI PIANTE – Saturday 22nd September

The nursery is located in the heart of the Pistoia countryside, in the medieval village of Badia a Pacciana which has always been an ideal place for growing plants. It was founded in the early 1970’s by Sestilio, who had a passion for cultivating plants and later passed his knowledge and experience onto his children, but today only Gabriele takes care of the activity, together with partners and collaborators.

The resourcefulness in this sector, together with the passion for greenery, has allowed the company to expand over the years. The products are well-known and sold throughout Italy, from the north to the major islands.

Since its foundation, Buongiovanni Vivai Piante has focused on the production and cultivation of the largest species of plants required by the Italian market and, in particular, tall trees, conifers, olive trees, fruit plants in clods and in containers, ornamental plants, hedge plants, evergreen and deciduous plants.

In 2016, driven by the desire to expand the business, they opened another nursery in Bedizzole, in the Brescia countryside. The area manager is Emilio Cocchi, an expert in the sector, and a professional gardener has assisted in the successful collaboration with gardeners, architects and surveyors for the construction of parks and gardens in the city of Brescia.

To raise awareness of the company, to keep up with the times and to stay up-to-date on all the news concerning the green sector, in 2015 Buongiovanni Vivai Piante joined the Associazione Nazionale Vivaisti Esportatori (ANVE), which promotes company leaders in nurseries and makes them known outside of the country.  ANVE gathers, represents and assists the agricultural nursery entrepreneurs who carry out production and import-export activities of ornamental plants and seeks, in European and extra-European countries, new and further potential for the development of the market, promoting our nursery varieties and the Italian style.


VIVAI ROMITI GIAMPAOLO  – Saturday 22nd September

This nursery was founded by Roberto, the of the father of the current owner, Giampaolo, at the end of the 1950’s, and is situated on the outskirts of Pistoia, defined as the ‘city of the plants’.

The company has developed the innovative growing techniques available today and is, therefore, able to guarantee products of excellent quality for its customers.

It produces a wide variety of plants, including conifers, shrubs and many others, grown both in pots and in beds, paying great attention to nutrients, climate and hydration. The end products are sold both in Italy and internationally.