As I visit growers around the world I am always amazed at the great ideas and innovation that I see. Our industry is full of entrepreneurs who have created strong businesses that continue to grow despite the fierce competition in this globalised market. New thinking on technology and plant breeding continue to break new ground. Pioneering marketing concepts easily stand alongside the high-cost marketing campaigns of multi-national companies in other sectors. Scientific and technological developments adopted by growers enable them to face the challenges of legislation and to generate new products that will attract the consumer.
I also notice that growers genuinely care; not only about their businesses, but about the impact they have on the world and doing their part to be more sustainable. There are so many growers that have embraced measures that improve their environmental standing, whether it relates to chemicals, water, energy or many others areas; as well as developing industry-leading best practice in terms of worker welfare and social support.
What I also notice is that many of these great achievements go unnoticed and unrecognised by both the industry they work in and by the global market place they serve. I would like to see the whole world celebrating the success and developments in our industry. Growers deserve recognition for the good they do. Such recognition is good for their business but it is also good for the whole industry. By celebrating the best we can promote our sector, drive sales, attract new talent and give ourselves the global status and position we deserve.
AIPH has just announced a call for entries for the 2018 International Grower of the Year Awards and you can see the details at www.aiph.org/groweroftheyear. We are seeking entries from all over the world and this is your opportunity to get the recognition you deserve. The contest is open to all sectors of ornamental horticulture production and you can apply directly, with a reference from your national association.
This year we have also introduced two new categories. One to recognise growers showing outstanding sustainability and one to recognise smaller businesses with great ideas. The deadline for entries is 15 July and past winners will tell you that it is worth taking the time to make the effort to prepare an application and gain the recognition you deserve. The awards will be given out during a spectacular gala dinner, with Headline Partner Royal FloraHolland, on 23 January 2018 at IPM Essen in Germany. Why not use this competition to get the recognition your company deserves and to help all of us in promoting what is great about our industry?