In 1948, amid strained relationships following the end of the Second World War, a group of representatives from the national grower associations of Western Europe came together in Zurich. They were united by an ambition to mend relations between European horticulturists, to rebuild burnt bridges. That vision inspired them to form the Association Internationale des Producteurs de l’Horticulture (AIPH), laying the foundations for an international community that exists to this day.
Since then, things have changed. The world seemed to start spinning faster. We moved from the countryside into the city. We flew to places we never knew existed. We went to the Moon. We started dreaming bigger but sleeping less. We invented the web, the smartphone, and social networks. Slowly, sadly, we detached ourselves from the natural world. Our intimate bond with nature, so pivotal to our health and wellbeing, was weakened. We found ourselves living unnatural lives.
That is why AIPH lives and breathes today: to rekindle and maintain an enduring relationship with plants. Serving the diverse needs of growers in a globalised world. Pushing the boundaries of science and sharing cutting edge research. To make clear the value of plants in the urban setting, and to advance the essential role they play in sustaining our planet. To help all of us rediscover an affinity with our surroundings as old as humanity.
Our mission is clearer than ever: to reignite and uphold an appreciation of plants that we believe is a basic human instinct. As an organisation, we strive for a world in which humanity, technology, and nature exist in a healthy and stable equilibrium. By achieving this we will build a balanced and prosperous future for all, sustaining the planet for this generation and the next.
We support and promote the work of our members – the grower organisations around the world who together form our proud AIPH community. Through the expertise and energy they give to horticulture, they embody everything that we stand for.
In 2017, the UK horticultural tourism sector accounted for £2.2 billion tourist spend, £2.9 billion GDP impact and 60,500 jobs.
Globally we act as the central source of industry information. Our statistical yearbook gives an unrivalled view of industry trends and developments, valued by our community and all who take interest in our rapidly moving sector. We bring members together both physically and digitally and encourage the sharing of new ideas and techniques so that horticulture never stands still.
We advocate fair and robust plant breeders’ rights, encouraging innovation and rewarding quality so that growers too can reap the benefits of their work. We promote the most sustainable, ethical, and advanced practices in ornamental plant production, celebrating the most progressive growers and sharing pioneering new approaches. This strengthens the ornamental horticulture industry and is an affirmation of our determination to build a more balanced future from the ground up.
We lead global thinking on the successful integration of nature into the built environment. Our Green City initiative promotes the essential role of plants in creating vibrant urban areas in which people and businesses can thrive. Our environment, human wellbeing, social cohesion, and economies are all improved by intelligently designed green space.
Finally, AIPH is responsible for the world’s finest horticultural expositions. Upholding the very highest standards, we ensure that approved exhibitions benefit growers and visitors alike by inspiring a greater appreciation of ornamental plants. Drawing on experience acquired over generations, we provide organisers with expert guidance to create world-class spectacles that live long in the memory.
“Our great hope is for a world where the essential value of plants is recognised and reflected in every step forward for humanity. AIPH is, and will always be, the world’s champion for the power of plants. Our relationship with nature was pivotal in our past. It is fundamental to our future.”
Tim Briercliffe, Secretary General, AIPH