International Grower of the Year Awards 2017


preview-aiph-2017-002Flores El Capiro S.A., Colombia, is the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) 2017.

The coveted Gold Rose winner is one of the largest chrysanthemum growers and container exporters in Colombia and indeed the world. Delivering flowers to customers using pioneering sea freight and innovative packaging, its container packed cut flowers reach the most distant markets, including Australia, with a transit time that exceeds thirty days. Today Capiro’s planted area covers 75 hectares, with plans to both reach 100 hectares and increase productivity to meet with customer demand.

The jury praised the company for “not only being a good example for the Colombian ornamental industry, but with its sea freight program, a worldwide example.”

Celebrating the world’s best in ornamental horticultural production, the awards, sponsored by Headline Partner, Royal Flora Holland, took place on Tuesday 24 January 2017 at the Colosseum Theatre in Essen, Germany; during the week of IPM Essen.

The winners of each category were:

Flores El Capiro S.A.
Graff Kristensen A/S
Gui Zhou Miaofu Urban Horticulture Co. Ltd
Van den Berg RoseS
The Netherlands
Beijing Nabobay Horticulture Co. Ltd
The Bransford Webbs Plant Co
LLC TK-Podosinki
Boomkwekerij Ebben B.V.
The Netherlands
Boterdaele Erik bvba

Bernard Oosterom, AIPH President, says: “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Flores El Capiro and all our winners after what has been a fabulous awards ceremony and celebration of the very best in our industry. The ornamental horticulture industry can be proud of the many amazing businesses that it contains which are world leaders in innovation, sustainability and technological development.”


 Founding Partner   Headline Partner Headline Category Sponsor
FCI_logo_250px Floraholland logo-01_web beijingexpo_logo_vuelio
  Young Plants Bronze Sponsor  Wifi Sponsor 
greentech dummen-orange-logo royal-brinkman 
Entertainment Sponsor    Flower Sponsor
rosso v-d-berg-roses dutchflowergroup


Nine Ornamental growers, from Belgium, China, Colombia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Russia and UK, have reached the finals of  the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards 2017.


Flores El Capiro S.A. – Colombia

IGOTY 2017 WINNER – Flores El Capiro S.A. – ColombiaFlores El Capiro is one of the largest chrysanthemum growers and container exporters in Colombia and indeed the world. Delivering flowers to customers via the best sea freight transport solution and the best packing alternative, its container packed cut flowers reach the most distant markets, including Australia, with a transit time that exceeds thirty days. Today Capiro’s planted area covers 75 hectares, with plans to both reach 100 hectares and increase productivity to meet with customer demand.

To achieve customer satisfaction, Capiro assures the best quality, freshness, vase life and value for its customers at an affordable price, and seeks constant product innovation looking for the most beautiful and best performing varieties. It also provides its customers with added value products such as bouquets and flower enhancements like tinting. The company has several research programmes including biological products, new variety development, growing improvements, pest and disease control, all working toward customer satisfaction.

Capiro is socially and environmentally responsible. Not only assuring the welfare of its employees, but also the community, the company runs several social programmes with a focus on management, agriculture, logistics and human resource management. Sustainability and climate change is a key part of the business demonstrated through its environmental certificates: Florverde®,Rain Forest Alliance and Global GAP. Capiro’s departments continually take steps to optimise processes with specific efforts in recycling waste separation, implementing the latest illumination technology and irrigation system.


Van den Berg RoseS – The Netherlands

Cut Flowers SILVER – Van den Berg RoseS – The NetherlandsVan den Berg RoseS has a long 41-year history of being in the rose business and great experience in growing. It is one of the main large-scale international rose growers from the Netherlands where it grows large-bloom roses on 120,000 square meters. It has additional production locations in Kenya and China where it grows medium-blossom roses, in Kenya on 700,000 square meters and in China on 275,000 square meters.

Van den Berg RoseS is a name and a brand that stands for quality, reliability and innovation (exclusive varieties) with an eye for people and the environment. Its quality roses find their way to wholesalers, florists and end consumers all over the world. Its Dutch roses target the flower specialist and the high service retail, most Kenyan roses find their way to supermarkets, with the Fairtrade label, and the Chinese roses are sold by wholesale in cooperation with florists. The company recognises the need of branding its roses and has a strong focus on marketing and sales.

Van den Berg RoseS grows with great knowledge and modern techniques such as illuminating, cooling, sorting and using pests to avoid diseases and damages in a natural way. The company’s innovative nature is characterised through its use of geothermal to heat the nurseries. Its ISO-certificate for its Dutch production location assures high level quality management, while with regards to sustainability and climate change its famous MPS-A label indicates the highest ranking registration crop protection equipment, fertiliser, energy and waste. Its MPS-Socially Qualified label supports the importance of working under the ethical behavioural norms. In Kenya Van den Berg RoseS supports several projects to give opportunities to employees, family and locals by sponsoring schools, collecting clothes, providing clean drinking water and by making available an own clinic. The Fairtrade label for Kenyan roses confirms their aim for sustainable development of developing countries.


LLC TK-Podosinki – Russia

Cut Flowers BRONZE – LLC TK-Podosinki – RussiaLLC TK-Podosinki is a leader in the production of roses, as cut flowers in Russia, with a mission to bring beauty and harmony to each home. It has a stable production of high quality flowers which comes as a result of using innovations in agro-technology. By investing in the business it plans to expand production even further.

LLC TK-Podosinki has strong control over all of its technological processes and regularly seeks innovation. It follows a permanent monitoring system for new rose varieties, choosing only high production and disease resistant varieties. It also uses highly qualitative materials in planting through direct cooperation with Dutch and German breeding companies.

The company has a good view of the market and invests in the most effective methods of advertising to offer varying bonuses and discounts to customers, including using the flower packaging for direct sale promotion.

The company is very attentive to the environment and its protection, its customers and employees. It utilises production waste (incl. plants for replanting) by specialist companies. It manages customers claims through its quality control department keeping an eye on its flowers from the greenhouse to customer. It is also offers career progression by providing an opportunity for personnel to take part in different practical workshops.



Graff Kristensen A/S – Denmark

Young Plants GOLD – Graff Kristensen A/S – DenmarkGraff Kristensen A/S was founded in 1931 on the basis of a wide horticultural assortment for the local market. The nursery is one of the world’s leading hibiscus growers in terms of breeding, quality, innovation and in evolving partnership with other growers all over the world. Since the millennium, breeding has been an important part of the global activities of the company, which today is owned and managed by the third generation of the family, with the fourth generation working in the nursery.

The nursery supplies its customers and partners from its facilities in Denmark and Vietnam.               It has a solid history and, at the same time, a very modern and unique business strategy. A strategy that, not only includes new innovative products, but also a very close collaboration with its customers. In fact, when the nursery is dealing with cuttings, it talks about its close partners and not ‘only’ customers. At the same time it is able to make a profit, and an increasing profit looking back.

Graff Kristensen A/S is thinking and working with a green agenda. It is a staple MPS A grower, and has a specific agenda on implementing IPM techniques in its production and breeding departments. To be an employed in the nursery is attractive as the nursery fulfils all demand for salary and workers’ safety.

In summary the Graff Kristensen A/S has a history, and at the same time fulfils the demand of the modern society on all parameters. The nursery achieved the ‘Innovation Award 2016’ from the branch organisation Danish Horticulture. and


Beijing Nabobay Horticulture Co. Ltd – China

Young Plants SILVER – Beijing Nabobay Horticulture Co. Ltd – ChinaNabobay is developing with a strong momentum in the rose industry. Its finished plants are welcomed by markets across more than 20 provinces in China and internationally, its products find their way into markets in Europe, Asia and Africa. It has established production bases covering a total area of 6.59 hectares and cultivates mover 32 million plants each year. 18.2% of its total annual trade value is from export trade.

The company has built mechanised and intelligent greenhouse of 10,000 square meters and propagation greenhouse of 80,000 square meters. Moreover, it also established a complete set of China Rose Cultivation Technical Specification, bringing about standard cultivation, technical innovation and environmental protection production, as the reference standard in rose industry of China. Nabobay has raised 2,100 new-superior rose varieties introduced for domestic and international markets up to now, including 100 members of genus Rosa and ancient roses which are particularly native to China, and 0.33 hectares rose germplasm nursery. It launches about two to five new varieties of products each year.

Nabobay assumes social responsibility positively, motivating farmers around the area to plant China Roses in the farmland that covers an area of over 200 hectares. It has also created job opportunities for nearly 800 people; rose planting has become the main source of income, and drives the local economic development. The company focus is on brand building and marketing. Based on commissioned sales, it has formed an operation model that features “company + base + grower” by declaring production base of green products and green product certification as well as creating brand products. Through holding all kinds of China Rose exhibition and cultural exchange activities, China Rose seedlings and related products are exported to Europe, Asia, Africa and other countries and regions.


Gui Zhou Miaofu Urban Horticulture Co.,Ltd – China

Finished Plants and Trees GOLD – Gui Zhou Miaofu Urban Horticulture Co. Ltd – ChinaGui Zhou Miaofu Urban Horticulture is a pioneer in nursery stocks production and landscape construction in China. It has 350 full-time employees and runs ‘Academic and Expert Workshops’, it also has close cooperation with a number of domestic and foreign talents.

As a subsidiary of Miaofu Shareholding Group, the company mainly targets middle and high-end market. In 2015 its sales volume accounted for 15% of the total sales volume of the Group while the annual growth rate was over 36%.

As part of its research development centre, the company has constructed an experimental building covering 3,000 square meters. Furthermore, it has applied for 30 invention patents, reserved 105 know-hows and 3,280 plant germplasm resources. In addition, it has set up a high-standard production base covering an area of 1,500 hectares and an intelligent greenhouse with an area of 70,000 square meters.

Every year Gui Zhou Miaofu Urban Horticulture has about five million nursery stocks of different types and sizes in its nurseries for the market, including 56 species and 42,000 modelling plants. The aim is to provide the market with products of multi-varieties, fast shaping, large-sized, high cost/efficiency, and easy to survive, etc. The company sticks to the idea of environmental friendliness, extensively applies drip irrigation, rain water reuse system and other advanced equipment. In particular, our originally-created micro-climate maintenance system reaches international advanced level.


The Bransford Webbs Plant Co – UK

Finished Plants and Trees SILVER – The Bransford Webbs Plant Co – UKBransford Nurseries was formed by John Tooby in 1961 as a pioneering producer of roses, trees and shrubs in pots. Focussing exclusively on the production and sale of ornamental plants to retailers the nursery became an important and respected supplier. In 1990 Hebe Rosie was launched, named after the founder’s granddaughter and being one of the first plants to be sold with a coloured pot, bespoke label and weather proof poster. The success of Hebe Rosie resulted in the business focussing on new plants and innovative marketing.

By 1993 the name of the business had been changed to Bransford Garden Plants and was one of the first nurseries to offer a year round promotional calendar of new and sort after plants with full point of sale material. An on-going research and development program dealing with plant finders, breeder’s agents and young plant suppliers was established resulting in frequent new plant introductions focused on impulse sales for garden retailers.

Since 1996 the business has been recognised as an Investor in People, an externally audited quality standard for the management and training of people. Investing in new and improved production facilities has been central to enabling the company to increase production and sales, reduce wastage and improve profitability. Propagation, potting, sub irrigated glasshouses and open roof tunnels are all areas that have been developed to enable the increased production of a broad range of shrubs, climbers, trees and herbaceous perennials.

Consistently good plant quality, innovative marketing and an exciting program of new plant introductions has helped the business to develop strong relationships with a range of independent garden centres, garden centre groups, DIY stores and super markets. Ensuring a broad customer mix in a changing market has enabled the business to effectively manage risk whilst profitably growing sales.


Boomkwekerij Ebben B.V. – The Netherlands

Finished Plants and Trees BRONZE – Boomkwekerij Ebben B.V. – The NetherlandsEbben Nurseries is a real Dutch family tree business that has grown from generation to generation into the company it is now. Since 1862 successive generations have perfected the art of growing trees. Today, Ebben Nurseries is an innovative company in the horticultural sector presenting a healthy and wide range of plants and with more than 154 years of knowledge and experience.

Its main focus lies in the quality of not only its products, but also its services. With the best experts, the company has grown into one of Europe’s biggest tree nurseries, conveying a clear vision on the experience of greenery. Its innovation lies in the colour, shape, texture and application of its plants with a focus on the species’ natural growth habit. Its sustainable cultivation has the minimum possible impact on the environment, meaning its trees are strong and resilient.

As the winner of the prestigious Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize 2016, Ebben Nurseries looks and thinks beyond simple cultivation and supply of trees. With a team of highly trained and skilled employees, the company advises customers on choice of species and assists with the plan to make their green project a success. Thorough knowledge of plants and insight into possible applications of green is central in Ebben Nurseries’ vision. The surroundings in which Ebben Nurseries is located also form an important source of inspiration; Its Headquarters is unique with several roof gardens in different styles. By continuously looking closely at nature – how it develops and maintains itself – the company seeks to build on its know-how to grow.


Boterdaele Erik bvba – Belgium

Finished Plants and Trees Honorary Award – Boterdaele Erik bvba – Belgium.Boterdaele Erik bvba is a family business situated near Ghent in Belgium. Under the instincts of its owners, Erik and Isabelle, the company has grown considerably and today produces and sells 500,000 plants a year out of its cultivation area of 4,2 hectares. By creating partnerships, with the likes of Addenda and BE-plants, Erik and Isabelle have proven that smaller family firms can gain a very strong market position. This was undoubtedly one of the firms’ assets in winning the Belgian competition, Ornamental Grower of the Year, along with its very strong approach in the field of sustainability and quality. Throughout the competition Erik showed to be a dynamic manager and a worthy representative of the Belgian ornamental sector. It also earned him the title of ‘Verdienstelijke Oost-Vlaming’, which is given once a year to five Flemish entrepreneurs who distinguish themselves from their colleagues.

Thanks to recent investments and cooperation with other family firms, the company has demonstrated that it is very much future-oriented. It specialises in outside cultures and provides a wide range of species and pot sizes adapted to the market trends. Most are available all year long, with sales focused on the autumn season. Clients are found in the Benelux with European branches. The target group is composed of export companies, cash and carries, large commercial businesses or garden centre groups. Sales take place via specialised fairs, networking and internet platforms (FloraXchange).

The company produces various plants based on their own cuttings and via the purchase of young plants. It is the company’s mission and ambition to be a reliable and flexible partner for its clients. It focuses on labelling, short delivery terms and high-quality production and works with attention to the environment, quality, and sustainability.



Floraholland logo-01_webThe Royal FloraHolland Flower Auction Cooperative is a cooperative with 4,500 members from the Netherlands and abroad. Royal FloraHolland facilitates growers doing business with their customers with its combination of marketplaces and sales-supporting service provision. As the world’s largest auction organisation, Royal FloraHolland processes approximately 12.4 billion flowers and plants each year, with an annual turnover of €4.5 billion and 3500 employees.

It’s perhaps hard to imagine how the world looks like in 2020. One thing we’re sure of though is that flowers and plants remain important to people. Flowers express what cannot be said in words, in all times and across all cultures. Plants ensure you can be in touch with nature wherever you are. Indispensable in an environment that for more and more people will be urban in nature.

To continue to supply the world with high-quality sustainable flowers and plants all over the world, FloraHolland puts together the FloraHolland 2020 strategy. It describes how our cooperative will make the floriculture industry bloom, right now and in the future.

‘Flowering the World Together, Planting Seeds of Opportunity for our Members’, is to encourage the horticultural sector to flourish, now and in 2020.

Together with the whole industry we are facing up to the challenges and seizing the opportunities now, so that come 2020, we can make the world even healthier and more beautiful with all those gorgeous flowers and plants that we already do today.

Royal FloraHolland is to be Headline Partner of the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards Event 2017. The cooperative also supports the Horticultural Entrepreneur Award where the most innovative and enterprising company from the horticultural sector is awarded. Winners of this competition are also recommended for the International Grower of the Year Award. We feel strongly about promoting innovation and successful entrepreneurship in this sector and warmly support both awards.


FCI_logo_250pxFloraCulture International is a trade magazine for producers of cut flowers, flowering and green potted plants, bedding plants, perennials, trees, shrubs and bulbs all over the world.

To date (April 2016) it has a circulation of 133,404 subscribers (4,573 print issues, 6801 direct digital magazines and 122000 indirect digital magazines) in 142 countries. The magazine’s FCI BloomBrief newsletter has a circulation of 6,783 subscribers worldwide. In its monthly columns (Miami, Dutch Comfort, Happy Gardening, Certifiable in California and Buon Giorno) FloraCulture International invites knowledgeable outside contributors to discuss events and other key issues affecting the horticultural industry.


beijingexpo_logo_vuelioYanqing County to the north west of Beijing contains the 960 hectare site to be used for The International Horticultural Exhibition 2019, Beijing, China.

Already an important tourist destination within China the area has beautiful scenery, clean air and one of the best places to view the Great Wall of China (Badaling). The expo hopes to welcome over 16 million visitors and over 100 exhibiting participants. The setting for the expo lies within a carefully protected environmental conservation area with the wide Gui River running through the middle of it. Planning for the site is giving careful consideration to continuing to preserve the environment in the area whilst also becoming a large horticultural show piece. This means considerable effort is going into planning for restoring the site after the expo. A new high-speed rail link is being constructed to the site and planning/design work has commenced.


dummen-orange-logoDümmen Orange is a leading company in breeding and cutting production of pot plants, bedding plants, perennials, succulents and cut flowers.

Dümmen Orange has worldwide network of production, marketing and sales. The key to success is a wide and deep product range supported by a global supply chain. The company embraces its social responsibility and invests in the health, safety and personal development of its employees.


greentechThe GreenTech community and events is the global meeting place for all professionals involved in horticulture technology.

It facilitates the latest news and provide members the possibility to actively participate, connect, inspire, share & be helpful year round. Stay in the know at


rossoAlessandro Rosso Marketing and Expo is part of Alessandro Rosso Group.

With more than 35 years of experience the company is fully committed to expos which collaborates with other companies within the Group and with external partners to provide any service or product required for International or Universal Expositions. One of its missions is to provide a country, an organisation or a company with the construction of a pavilion or a booth, its management, the organisation of special events and any kind of tourism services.


royal-brinkmanRoyal Brinkman is a supplier, consultant and installer for the professional horticulture industry.

In view of its global specialisation in seven disciplines, Royal Brinkman is capable of providing the best possible services for customers in the field of crop rotation, crop care, crop protection & disinfection, packaging & design, mechanisation, technical projects and service-related articles.






Bronze, Silver and Gold will be awarded, where applicable, to each category. Each category winner will go on to be judged for the final and most prestigious award – the coveted global status of AIPH International Grower of the Year.

An international jury will look for excellence in five key areas: economic performance, level of innovation, market orientation, environmental standards and human resource policy. Crucially they will also look for the stand out features that elevate the business to be the best grower in its field and the world.



Growers of plants and trees that are ready for final sale.





Growers of cuttings, plugs, liners, seedlings, etc, which are sold for growing on.





Growers of flowers and foliage which are cut for indoor decorative use.


Brought to you by AIPH in partnership with Founding Partner, FloraCulture International (FCI), the awards have been championing outstanding achievement in the sector since 2010. They recognise best practice in horticultural production by the top ornamental production nurseries from around the globe, celebrating the expertise and energy they give to horticulture.

We invite all those linked to the ornamental horticulture industry to join us at the awards ceremony when the winners are announced in January 2017.

The event commences with a drinks reception followed by a gala dinner and ceremony. After the awards there will be an evening of celebration with live entertainment and international networking.



Chris Beytes is editor of GrowerTalks and Green Profit magazines, contributing editor of FloraCulture International and the author of the widely read weekly e-newsletter Acres Online, which reaches 28,000 people in 68 countries. A graduate of the University of Florida, he is a former greenhouse owner who has been with Ball Publishing since 1993. He has more than 30 years experience in the industry, and today travels the US and the world to stay current on the latest horticultural production, marketing and retailing technologies and trends.




As a presenter Alexandra Schroeder has worked on commercials for MATTEL, Schwarzkopf and the Deutsche Telekom as well as presenting events for MIELE, Thyssen Krupp and other clients from the industries and the cultural sector. During her time, she has also worked with Ronan Keating, Kool & the Gang, Cliff Richard, Stefan Raab, and also had a No.1 Hit in the UK-Dance Charts.


“It’s exciting to see how the award has increased our team’s drive to continue to grow, improve, and be the very best we can be. It was an amazing way to kick off the 2016 season!”

Jose Costa, Executive Vice President of Costa Farms foliage division – IGOTY winner 2016 and Finished Plants and Trees Gold winner

2016 – Essen, Germany – Costa Farms (USA)

2015 – no awards (because we moved the ceremony from the congress to IPM which was in the next year)

2014 – Qingdao, China – Schoneveld Nurseries (NL)

2013 – Niagara Falls, Canada – Sheridan Nurseries (Canada)

2012 – Venlo, Netherlands – Sheridan Nurseries (Canada)

2011 – Xi-an, China – Bylands (Canada)

2010 – Suncheon, South Korea – Hillier Nurseries (UK)

2009 – Zaragoza, Spain – Sylva van Hulle (Belgium)


We are passionate about ensuring the AIPH International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) Awards are robust and fair to entrants whilst remaining straightforward to enter. Enter the competition by submitting your application by 14 August  2016 (extended deadline) and gain global recognition!

Each finalist will receive:

  • One free entrance ticket to IPM Essen 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for horticulture.
  • One free ticket to attend the awards ceremony and gala dinner.
  • One year’s free advertising*


May/June 2016

Express interest.

Send your company details to

14 August 2016

Extended deadline to submit entries

Send to

August/September 2016

Additional information

You will be asked to provide any additional information (if necessary)

October 2016


Final judging will take place at the AIPH Congress

26 January 2016

Awards ceremony and gala dinner Taking place in Essen Germany, alongside IPM Essen 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for horticulture



The company entering must be primarily operating as a wholesale grower of plants.

The Entry Form (Form A) must be completed by a person working for the business. You may have help from people outside the business (for example your accountant might provide your financial information), but the form should be compiled and checked by a member of staff.

All materials submitted must be in ENGLISH*. If you submit any other documents in another language (e.g. press cuttings) then the jury may not be able to read this. We offer a translation service if English is not your native language and would advise the use of this to ensure the sentiment of what is written will come across clearly to the jury.

All materials and information submitted (with the exception of client names and locations and budgets) must be free of restrictions of reproduction so it can be used in the promotion of your work and of the Awards, should you win.

*Language Entries can be in English or in your native language. Each entry must be sent in a MS Word document by email to with any supporting documents in a MS Word document or PDF file. If English is not your native language and you are not fluent, we would advise completing your entry in your native language and paying a fee for a translation service. This will ensure your entry remains accurate and that the information provided comes across clearly to the judges. You can also receive all documents such as the instructions on how to enter and the full rules in your language. If you wish to enter and receive documents in your native language please contact



The procedure is designed to be simple and not time consuming.

All you need to do is fill in:

1. The Entry Form ( A )

This is your application form.
Please restrict your answer to each question to a maximum of 300 words.

2. The Trade Reference Form ( B )

You can apply directly or be nominated.

3. Supporting Documents ( C )

You may provide supporting documentation, such as photographs or advertisements. Please mark these as Document C.

Full explanation of the procedure

A completed Entry Form (Form A) in ENGLISH* (Although arrangements can be made to allow you to fill in the form in your native language. The application will then need to be translated to English by a professional translations company. The applicant will carry this cost.)

The Trade Reference Form (Form B) must be completed and submitted with your application. Without Form B, Form A becomes void.

Supporting Documents (Marked as C), are not compulsory to submit along with your application. These are mere suggestions on how you can strengthen your application. For example: Photographs, videos, press cuttings, promotional materials, procedural documents, certificates for environmental or working standards etc., in ENGLISH*

A high resolution copy of the company logo in PDF and JPG formats.

Photographs: A maximum of 10 high resolution photographs may be submitted. We encourage you to submit photographs of:

  •  The company workforce and any key personnel
  •  The headquarters of the company and the working environment
  •  Photos that demonstrate your high standards
  •  Any other photos you feel would strengthen your entry

Videos: A maximum of five high quality videos may be submitted.

To submit any large files, please send using or share by using



STEP 1: (Question: 1.1-1.3) Choose which category you wish to enter

Categories: The three categories cover different types of grower businesses. These have been introduced so the awards can better represent the wide range of growers operating around the world and give them a better opportunity to win an award. The categories are as follows:

  •  Finished Plants & Trees Growers of plants and trees that are ready for final sale.
  •  Young Plants Growers of cuttings, plugs, liners, seedlings etc., which are sold for growing on.
  •  Cut Flowers Growers of flowers and foliage which are cut for indoor decorative use.

Each company may enter more than one category.

You will be required to fill in one ‘Entry Forms (A)’ per entry. For example if you enter two categories you will need to enter two ‘Entry Forms (A)’.

STEP 2: (Question: 2.1-2.5) Providing financial information

The financial information you provide must be approved by either your financial auditor or your management accountant.

The budget for the current year (must be approved by the Company Board).

The Jury must respect the confidentiality of all information submitted by the entrant, whether oral or in writing. A jury member will not enter into discussion, comment or correspondence should the jury decision be challenged by a nominee. This must be sought directly from the AIPH secretariat. To protect and respect the confidential nature of the applications, each jury members is expected to sign a legal ‘Confidentiality Agreement’.

STEP 3: (Questions: 3.1 – 6.5)

Please complete sections on:

  •  Level of innovation
  •  Market orientation
  •  Environmental standards
  •  Human Resource policy



Obtaining your Nomination/Reference There are two routes for entering the AIPH IGOTY Awards.

1. Nomination by an AIPH member or a national trade organisation

AIPH members are organisations that represent the interests of ornamentals growers in their countries and regions. AIPH members are entitled to nominate entrants; visit to view the current AIPH member list. Each AIPH member can nominate a maximum of three entrants per category, either from the results of a national competition or by acting as a trade reference where there is no national competition. Where there is no AIPH member in their home country, entrants should be nominated by a national trade body based in their home country. National trade bodies can nominate a maximum of three entrants per category either through a national competition or by acting as a trade reference.

Conditions for nominations by National Trade Bodies:

Where an entrant is nominated through the results of a national competition, a copy of the original report or comments from the national competition’s judging panel or jury, must be provided in ENGLISH, giving the reasons for selecting the candidate (max two pages).

Where an entrant is nominated by a national trade body, but there is no national competition, a trade reference must be provided within Entry Form (A).

2. Direct application

Where there is no national trade body, or if a grower has no links to a national trade body in their home country, they can nominate themselves but will be expected to provide a minimum of two trade references.

Conditions for Trade References:

Companies acting as a trade reference must comply with the following rules:

The reference must be active in and with a focus on the horticulture industry.

The company must have been in business for a minimum of two years prior to 1 January 2015.

The reference must not be related or affiliated with your business in any way.

The reference must give a reference for your business of their own free will and must not accept anything in return for acting as a reference.

Each trade reference must complete Trade Reference Form (B). The company providing the reference will be asked to answer the following questions:

1. How long have you known the business applying for AIPH IGOTY?

2. What is the nature of your business with them?

3. Please explain why this business should be considered as IGOTY?

AIPH may contact the organisation(s) that have nominated or acted as trade references for each entrant to verify the information given.




The judging panel comprises of seven people (one chairman, three category chairmen, three judges) and are selected and approved by the AIPH Executive Committee for a period of three years. The AIPH Executive Committee select specialists to chair each category to ensure a robust and fair process and an overall chairman to ensure the category chairmen are following the guidance and to ensure the overall winner is selected in a fair manner.

All judges must meet the following criteria:

  • Their day-to-day role must be active in and with a focus on the horticulture industry.
  • They must be knowledgeable on the ornamental horticulture production sector and will not have any conflict of interest in relation to entrants.
  • They must commit to reading and understanding the regulations of the International Grower of the Year Awards and to following them closely.
  • They must personally read and scrutinise the information sent to them about each entrant and give a reasoned review of each entrant through the Judging Form, giving a mark for each of the criteria.
  • They must take part in judging discussions (if needed these will be done by phone or video call) plus the final judging at the AIPH Congress in October 2016.
  • They must respect the confidentiality of all information submitted by the entrant, whether oral or in writing.
  • A jury member will not enter into discussion, comment or correspondence should the jury decision be challenged by a nominee. This must be sought directly from the AIPH secretariat.
  • To protect and respect the confidential nature of the applications, each jury members is expected to sign a legal ‘Confidentiality Agreement’.
  • General comment from the judges on the standard of individual entrants can be requested after the awards are revealed in January 2017 and is intended as direction to entrants for future years.


A Gold, Silver and Bronze will be awarded to each category, plus possibly one further honorary plaque. The three Gold winners of each category will then automatically be entered as a candidate for the prestigious overall IGOTY Award.

*Free Advertising, marketing and PR:

One year’s FREE advertising: Awards logos will be issued to all winning and shortlisted companies within two weeks of the awards for use on their websites, press releases, headed paper etc. Mention on Twitter and Facebook. Inclusion in all promotional material including email, website and event PR. Your company name and logo on AIPH website and event page. Free promotion of your company in the Winners brochure which is a gift to all guests (300 – 500) attending the awards ceremony.



Please do not hesitate to contact Maria Wallin, AIPH Business and Events Manager

Address: 19 High Street, Theale, Berkshire, RG7 5AH


Tel: +44 (0) 118 930 8956

Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 816 266


Ornamental growers from Canada, China, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, UK and USA were finalists in the AIPH IGOTY Awards 2016.               

Chairman of the international jury and AIPH Past-President, Vic Krahn, commented on the entries, “The jury was very impressed with the exceptionally high standard of the entries received this year. It was a huge task with so many more entries than previous years. The high standards of the entrants meant the jury had to work exceptionally hard. However, in every judge’s case, they found it extremely thrilling to assess such high quality businesses. They know with certainty that this industry will be truly inspired by these world acclaimed businesses.”

AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe added, “We have been so pleased with the response from growers around the world to the call for entries in this expanded global contest. There are winners this year than ever before.”







Costa Farms, USA 

Costa Farms is one of North America’s largest growers of ornamental plants regularly bringing new products to retailers on an international scale. It grows a wide range of plants, including houseplants, orchids, indoor and outdoor cacti and succulents, tropical shrubs, annual bedding plants, and perennial bedding plants. Costa Farms actively tests hundreds of new varieties in its Trial Gardens every year to find best-in-class products to offer to customers. It invests heavily in research and development and is continually trialling new growing techniques to improve product quality, company efficiency, and give a better experience to end consumers. The Costa Farms family also takes sustainability to heart, seeking to make the business more sustainable and reduce its climate change impact. Founded in 1961 by Jose Costa, Costa Farms is a third-generation, family-owned business with more than 60 years of experience in growing quality finished plants. Today Costa Farms employs more than 3,400 people in the United States, Dominican Republic, and China, and has some 4,200 acres of production globally. Along with thriving indoor and bedding plant divisions, Costa Farms operates merchandising and young-plant production divisions as part of its infrastructure, with operations domestically in South Florida and North and South Carolina, and abroad in the Dominican Republic and the Far East.








Majestic Trees, UK  

Majestic Trees grows finished plants and trees and has had resounding success in unlocking the market potential for direct supply of mature trees. With trees from 12/14 up to 1.1 meter girth, 3 to 13 meters tall and 50 to 5,000 litres AirPots, the company grows, supplies and plants nationwide with its own fleet of heavy transport and custom equipment to ensure total customer satisfaction. Majestic Trees strives to provide excellent quality, exceptional service and exemplary professionalism. From the painstaking efforts made to select only the finest tree stock to grow on; the pruning of the trees, potting and growing on in AirPot containers till they reach their full potential; and the marketing and thereafter devotion to customer service both at the nursery and at the point of delivery, overcoming any obstacles, however large the tree, Majestic Trees is renowned across Europe as a team of passionate and dedicated horticulturists. Key components of its innovative strategy have included: early adoption of the AirPot container growing production system, cultivation of a uniquely wide range of varieties and sizes, a nursery conceived and developed to be entirely visitor friendly, provision of a high level of customer advisory support, provision of a complete, in-house supply-and-plant package, and the promotion of a team-spirited working culture to encourage professional pride and high staff retention. Majestic Trees, an independently owned company now in its fourteenth year, has grown rapidly and operates today solely from a 20-acre nursery site in Hertfordshire, England.







Dashun International Flower, China

Dashun International Flower Co. Ltd. is the largest pot plant grower in China supplying 10,000,000 finished plants to the market. Dashun focuses on the production of plants with colourful flowers, leaves and fruits for the home and office. Its award winning product range, recognised for its best new varieties and high quality, includes Anthurium, Medinilla magnifica, Bromeliaceae, Marantaceae, Rieger Begonia and Kalanchoe. Dashun International Flower Co. boasts 300,000m2 greenhouses which are built and equipped with modern technology, such as geothermal, sub-irrigation, automatic environment control and automatic spraying systems. The company established a quality control system for all aspects of its production, is certified to ISO9001 quality management system and uses an electronic grading system for its finished products. Innovation is a key focus for Dashun International Flower Co. which has introduced new equipment and facilities from manufacturers including Priva and Stolze, new varieties from Anthura, Exotic Plants, Queen and Greenex, and production techniques more widely used in developed western countries. It has also adapted the new technology to its environmental and production conditions. The company has set itself high standard for sustainable production. It collects all rainwater and reuses all of its irrigation water, uses a comprehensive pest management system, and minimises chemical use.







Dutchmaster Nurseries, Canada

Dutchmaster Nurseries is one of the leading wholesale nurseries in Ontario producing trees, shrubs, and perennials for wholesale purposes and shipping throughout Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States. It prides itself in being the best it can be at growing and supplying its products, and knowing that there are many excellent growers in Canada and beyond, the company looks for ways to set itself apart. Aside from providing quality plant material and good customer service, as most customers have come to expect, Dutchmaster Nurseries also focuses on other key competencies. One such competency is constant availability. Understanding that deadlines are important and that landscape construction projects do not always go as planned, Dutchmaster Nurseries aims to have on-hand availability of plant material. Another competency is very fast turnaround time even for last minute orders. At Dutchmaster Nurseries, crop selection is very important and it is an avid purveyor of disease resistant cultivars. Innovation is also very important. Improvements in areas such as crop selection and production, automation techniques, waste minimisation, research and development as well as others are essential to the company. In addition, Dutchmaster Nurseries engages in a number of practices in order to be a leader in environmentally friendly initiatives.








Arcadia Chrysanten, Netherlands

Arcadia Chrysanten, Netherlands, specialises in the cultivation and marketing of bunched and disbudded chrysanthemums, producing 50 million high quality branches a year for sale in both Eastern and Western Europe. Constantly looking for innovative shapes and colours, the company produces 20 varieties of chrysanthemum which are market and customer-oriented. It has expanded its range with disbudded chrysanthemums in particular, as well as through new species and by adapting to the season. Arcadia is socially responsible, making sustainability a top priority. It regularly reviews its cultivation processes to identify ways to become more energy efficient and as a result, is a leader in The New Cultivation (Het Nieuwe Telen) in which it seeks to optimise both technique and cultivation. It is also closely involved in a number of new innovative developments, such as “Next Generation Cultivation” which includes a 25% reduction in energy use. For example, Arcadia’s new location utilises a new type of glass that allows 7% more light to pass through, improving light distribution and removing shadows. Another innovation improves the maintenance of plant quality during transportation by using vacuum cooling. For each of these innovations Arcadia is either a pioneer or working in partnership to implement them. Arcadia boasts four cultivation sites with a total area of 20 hectares. In the Westland, it has two branches with one in De Lier and the other in Kwintsheul. The fourth branch is in De Kwakel, near Aalsmeer.  







Flash Tarim Urunleri (Flash Flowers), Turkey 

Founded in 1992, Flash Tarim is one of Turkey’s leading producers and exporters of cut flowers packing more than 1.5 million stems per week to export to more than 20 countries. It produces 16 different kinds of flowers with over 160 varieties, including greens, foliage and carnations. Growing fast, the company’s production area has increased from five hectares in 1992 to 70 hectares in 2015. Starting small, today Flash Tarim has eight different production sites in and around Antalya using high-tech growing standards along with the 23 years of staff experience. By delivering high quality, competitive price and limitless service, Flash Tarim leads the Turkish flower sector with its experience, modern facilities, innovation and competitive structure. Its flowers are packed in boxes that were specially designed according to market demand with all packaging material being 100% recycled and environmentally friendly. The company is proud to supply Turkish flowers all over the world with consignments transported via land, air and sea. Sharing the pleasure of growing and introducing flowers to the world, Flash Tarim harmonises the beauty of the flowers with people to ‘Make a difference’ for an enjoyable life.








Florensis, Germany/Netherlands

Florensis is an innovative, second-generation family business that has proven its success over the years. Since 1941 it has provided professional growers with new varieties and plant propagation material. More than 2,000 devoted and skilled employees in Europe (with its head office in the Netherlands) and throughout the world produce more than 900 million young plants from seed and cuttings each year. The company specialises in annuals, perennials, pot plants, primroses, pansies and cut flowers. It supplies growers with an unrivalled assortment of more than 4,000 different varieties of plants and flowers of the very highest quality, grown using the most innovative and sustainable technologies. Florensis is also skilled in marketing these products successfully. Florensis international locations in Kenya, Ethiopia and Portugal contribute through production of unrooted cuttings and seeds. Furthermore, large-scale contract production takes place in different countries. Florensis owns a separate production location in Rijsenhout for its Cut Flowers product group. Here, an independent sales organisation services the top European growers. At various breeding locations, the company develops new varieties and works closely together with the most renowned breeders in the industry to produce a unique product assortment. On sustainability, Florensis takes the lead and plays an active role in the continued development of its employees, the building of communities, as well as supporting the natural environment in and around all of its locations in Europe, Kenya and Ethiopia.


Kunming Hongzhihua Gardening China photo 





Kunming Hongzhihua Gardening, China

Kunming Hongzhihua Gardening Co. Ltd. produces and sells cuttings and cut flowers of chrysanthemum. The company’s chrysanthemum cuttings are mainly exported to Japan. In 2014, the export volume was 140 million pieces, which accounts for over 90% of China’s total export volume of these products and 42% of the total import volume of Japan. Kunming Hongzhihua Gardening Co. attaches great importance to scientific and technological innovations, respects and promotes plant breeders rights and carries out standardised production. It has the largest chrysanthemum germplasm resources center in China and even in Asia with more than 2,500 popular chrysanthemum varieties available. It has developed more than 50 new varieties, of which 15 have been authorised with plant breeder’s rights. The company has also become the largest exporter of Chrysanthemum cuttings targeting the Asian market.  Kunming Hongzhihua Gardening Co. was established in 2005 with a registered capital of RMB five million, registered in Yunnan Flower Demonstration Park of Songming County, Yunnan Province. The company’s production base in Songming covers an area of over 40 ha, of which 28 ha are modernised greenhouses.







Shanghai Yuanyi Seedling, China

Shanghai Yuanyi Seedling Co. Ltd. is a leading and the largest horticultural enterprise which initially worked with plug seedling production in China. Bedding plant seedlings are the main products of the company, which include annual and perennial flowers, hanging plants, potted plants, vegetative plants, ornamental vegetables and fruits and mosaiculture materials. It has set up three wholly-owned subsidiaries, nine modernised production units and owns more than 60 hectares of production area and 30 hectares of modernised intelligent greenhouses. In 2014, the total production and sales volume of various seedlings was around 300 million and the company’s average annual growth rate in the past three years has remained above 20%. Yuanyi attaches great importance to technological innovation, its Seedling Research Institute has undertaken and participated in many state-level and municipal-level projects, and won the First Prize of the Shanghai Scientific and Technological Progress Award in 2008. It strives to continuously improve competitiveness by using the best facilities, system integration, high volume production, technological innovation and industry services, and branding. It has directed and completed many innovative projects; it owns advanced seedling cultivation facilities and consistently drives sustainable and ecological development.


Sponsorship of the awards positions a company as a committed player in the international ornamental horticulture industry, supporting innovation and successful entrepreneurship.


As a sponsor you will benefit from:
• Brand promotion to the international ornamental horticulture industry
• Link with IPM Essen, Germany, the world’s leading horticultural trade fair
• A fabulous showcase to a global audience of hundreds of guests
• Unique networking with leading growers, suppliers trade organisations and media
• Continued awareness via associated PR and advertising
• Fantastic corporate entertainment for key clients
• Drinks reception, dinner and entertainment

“It’s only getting bigger and it’s only getting better and we are very proud to be a part of it.”

Lucas Vos, CEO of Royal FloraHolland, 2016 Headline Sponsor

For information about sponsorship packages
contact AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe:
E:   T: +44 (0) 118 9308956   M: +44 (0) 7885 750324









As a Headline Partner of the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards 2017 your company will be identified as the main partner for the event, receiving the full benefits package as well as several exclusive opportunities.

Exclusive features:

  • Presentation and speech at the awards ceremony
  • Present the Gold Rose award to the overall winner
  • Two gala dinner tables for a total of 20 guests
  • Prominent and large exhibition stand in the drinks welcome reception foyer
  • Full page advert in awards brochure

SILVER – CATEGORY HEADLINE SPONSOR – Only 1 package left for sale
€15,000 + VAT (if applicable)






Silver – Category Headline Sponsor opportunities are available of the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards where your company will receive a valuable benefits package including several unique opportunities:

Unique features:

  • Brief speech with holding slide at the awards ceremony
  • Present the awards to category winners
  • One gala dinner table for a total of 10 guests
  • Exhibition stand in the drinks welcome reception foyer
  • Half page advert in awards brochure

BRONZE – CATEGORY SPONSOR – Only 2 packages left for sale
€7,500 + VAT (if applicable)






Unique features:

  • Four gala dinner seats
  • Quarter page advert in awards brochure
  • Exhibition table in the drinks welcome reception foyer







  • 10% discount on gala dinner seat based on published rates
  • All the benefits as outlined in the ‘Marketing, advertising & PR’ section
  • Gala dinner sponsorship – €3,000
  • Pre-dinner drinks welcome reception – €2,000
  • Table centres – €2,000
  • Wine (red and white) – €2,000
  • Internet provider sponsorship – €2,000
  • Programme sponsorship – €1,000
  • Canapes – €1,000
  • Coffee – €1,000
  • Company advert showcased during pre-dinner drinks welcome reception and during the gala dinner – €1,000
  • Half page advert in the awards brochure – €1,000

For information about sponsorship packages
contact AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe:
E: T: +44 (0) 118 9308956 M: +44 (0) 7885 750324

IGOTY reception_500px