Metrolina Greenhouses, a USA-based ornamentals grower, was awarded the title of International Grower of the Year 2022 by AIPH.
The coveted ‘Gold Rose’ award was presented to Metrolina Greenhouses by Royal FloraHolland CEO, Steven van Schilfgaarde, at the AIPH IGOTY Awards 2022 on Tuesday 14 June 2022 at GreenTech Amsterdam.
Supported by our Headline Sponsor Royal FloraHolland, the 12th edition of the AIPH IGOTY Awards celebrates the achievements in ornamental production.
The International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) Awards were launched by AIPH and FCI in 2009. The awards recognise best practice in horticultural production by ornamental production nurseries around the globe.
Established in 1972 by Tom and Vickie Van Wingerden, Metrolina Greenhouses has grown to employ over 1,500 people. Their two locations in the USA comprise 20MM square feet of growing space. They grow and deliver live plants to over 1,400 retail outlets on the east coast of the United States, maintaining a focus on quality, innovation, and sustainability.
“It’s a great testament to our whole team, all 3,000 of our employees, everybody back in America, who made this possible. This Gold Rose is indicative of all the work everybody put in,” said Abe van Wingerden, co-CEO of Metrolina Greenhouses.
Gold: Wagagai Ltd, Uganda
Silver: Jens Meyer Jungpflanzen, Germany
Gold: Metrolina Greenhouses, USA
Silver: Bunnik Group Bv., Netherlands
Bronze: Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited, Canada
Gold: Matina Flowers S.A.S, Colombia
Silver: Prim’rose (SCA Clementine), Morocco
Bronze: Luxaflor Roses, Zimbabwe
Gold: Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited, Canada
Silver: Wagagai Limited, Uganda
Bronze: Sitio Kolibri, Brazil
After working on nurseries in the UK and Europe and studying horticulture at Writtle College, Mr Edwards took over the running of the family business in 1986. The business now employs a staff of around 100 and is one of the country’s leading hardy nursery stock nurseries turning over more than £9m. It consists of two production nurseries, several trading operations and a very small domestic landscaping operation. Boningale Nurseries makes up the largest part of the business, producing plants for the amenity market as well as trading stock grown by supplier nurseries in the UK and Europe. Worfield Plants produces mainly alpine and herbaceous plants for the independent garden centre market and operates from a site at nearby Worfield. Viridis is a specialist division, tailoring it’s offering to garden designers and domestic garden contractors and pulling on the production and supply chains of the Boningale and Worfield operations. Boningale Garden Creations is a domestic landscaping operation working locally.
Tim has been involved in Trade matters for many years, representing nursery stock growers and suppliers in both HTA and NFU. In the HTA Tim Chairs the Amenity Suppliers Group and sits on the HTA’s Ornamentals Committee. In NFU he sits on the Board for Horticulture, representing Nursery Stock. For both HTA and NFU, Tim represents the UK at the European Nursery Stock Association (ENA) and at the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH). He became President of ENA in 2014 and was re-elected to that position in 2016, finally retiring from that position in June 2018. He is currently Vice President of the AIPH.
His involvement in Trade issues and his understanding of the structure of the Trade has pushed him towards plant health matters and he represents nursery producers at the Scottish Government’s ‘Scottish Tree Health Advisory Group’. He also sits on the UK’s ‘Plant Health Advisory Forum’ and represents growers in the joint HTA / NFU approach to devising a biosecurity strategy for the Trade.
Mr Jan-Dieter Bruns is the President of ENA – European Nurserystock Association. Since 2018, he is in charge and was awarded ‘Niedersächsischer Staatspreis’ Lower Saxony State Award by Prime Minister Stephan Weil.
He studied horticulture at the Hochschule Osnabrück – University of Applied Sciences – after a two-year apprenticeship in a nursery in Schleswig-Holstein. His professional career was very much influenced by a three-year working and studying experience in different countries –USA, France, England, Denmark, Norway and The Netherland.
Since 1990 Jan-Dieter Bruns is the managing director of Bruns-Pflanzen in Germany, one of the largest leading nurseries in Europe. It has 350 employees and is known for a wide and high-quality production of specimen plants for the European market.
Mr André van Kruijssen studied at the University of Agronomy from Wageningen from 1983 to 1988, where he studied Horticulture with an emphasis on Economics and Marketing. From 1996 to 1998 he did a postgraduation course in Business Administration at the IBO Business School in Zeist.
From 1988 to 1991 he worked as a Commercial Manager at the company Moolenaar & Zonen, which specialises in exporting bulbs in Europe.
From 1991 to 2002 he worked at Veiling Aalsmeer (VBA) from 1991 to 2000 as Klok Manager and from 2000 to 2002 as Commercial Manager.
From 2002 he worked as General Manager of Veiling Vleuten where he coordinated the merger with Veiling Bemmel. After the merger, he took over the General Management at the new company VeilingPlantion until 2012, then took on the role of General Director at Cooperativa Veiling Holambra.
In January 2021, he was appointed CEO of Plantion, the Netherlands.
Augusto Solano has been the Executive President of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters (Asocolflores) in Bogotá, Colombia, since 2000. In this role he is responsible for leading the process of making Colombia’s flower industry more competitive, with a focus on sustainable development and social responsibility. Asocolflores was established in 1973 to promote the flower sector internationally and seek the comprehensive development of Colombian floriculture. Augusto Solano has supported many initiatives to increase flower consumption worldwide.
An Industrial Engineer from Los Andes University in Bogotá, Mr. Solano also holds an MBA degree from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Before joining Asocolflores in 2000, he held various managerial positions in agribusiness, banking and publishing. His previous positions include CEO of Riopaila, a major Colombian sugar mill; Assistant Vice-President at Banco de Bogotá Trust Company, New York; and General Manager of a publishing company, Canal Ediciones (Mondadori). Mr Solano has also worked in the public sector as an economic and financial advisor to Colombia’s Minister of Economic Development.
Mr Solano currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Colombia Chapter; represents America at the Board of Directors of Union Fleurs and the flower growers from the southern hemisphere at the Board of Directors of Floriculture Sustainability Initiative, (FSI). He also belongs to the Boards of a prestigious business school and the largest pension fund in Colombia as well as to the private sector Industry Council.
After working for Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Ltd. for 7 years, Mr. Sakata joined T. Sakata & Company (Sakata Seed Corporation) in 1981. He achieved success in the start-up Sakata Seed Europe B.V. (European Sakata Holding S.A.S) in the Netherlands from 1990 to 1994. After returning to Japan he led a number of departments as a general manager, director and managing director. In June 2007 he assumed the position of President of Sakata Seed Corporation.
In public life, Mr. Sakata has been president of the Japan Seed Trade Association. Currently he is president of the Japan Home Gardening Association. In 2022 the Japanese government awarded him ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette’ in recognition of his untiring dedication to agricultural and horticultural development.
Horticultural professional Pablo Bazzani won the inaugural Young International Grower of the Year Award.
This award is new to the IGOTY Awards. Looking after the future of the ornamental horticulture industry is vital, which is why AIPH partnered with Jungle Talks to introduce the new award category to recognise the ambition of young entrepreneurial professionals.
Winner Pablo Bazzani is General Manager of Plazoleta Flowers, Colombia, where he is responsible for leading and supervising financial, production, sales, and logistics procedures and results. Prior to this role, he gained experience as a Marketing Assistant and Marketing Manager for Perfection® Group, Colombia.
Jury member Leonardo Capitanio, who presented Pablo with the award, commented: “Pablo is a young leader in our industry who shows focus and vision to achieve great things. He works hard to develop the potential in others in his company and the wider industry. He is exceptionally knowledgeable and an outstanding ambassador for our industry.”
Royal FloraHolland is a cooperative of growers and we have brought together growers and buyers for over 100 years. We strive for sustainable success for our members by working together with all parties in the floriculture industry, so that the industry continues to grow. We believe that we are smarter and better together, and can do more at less cost than if we each operate on our own. Together, we are becoming increasingly efficient and sustainable and are working towards a future-proof floriculture industry.
We are the biggest marketplace for floriculture in the world and one of the most important export sectors in the Netherlands.
We are developing our marketplace into a digital B2B platform for the floriculture industry with the broadest, deepest and most sustainable range of flowers and plants available worldwide. Ordering, payment, delivery, we ensure that everything is possible through our platform. We connect growers and buyers with all parties in the industry. We are committed to long-term sustainable development. This is how we not only become smarter, more sustainable and more efficient, but also build a future-proof sector. Come join us – Connect to grow.
Royal FloraHolland’s mission is ‘Growing opportunities together’, we connect parties in the floriculture industry and create opportunities for sustainable growth and success on the global market.
Garden of Civilization
Expo 2021 Hatay will be hosted across two sites in Antakya and Iskenderun and the organisers expect to attract over two million visitors. Hatay Metropolitan Municipality will continue its hard work organising the event to stimulate city greening and sustainable development for the Hatay region and the local economy.
The expo is due to take place from 10 December 2021 to 30 May 2022. As an AIPH approved International Horticulture Exhibition (B Category), it will enable cooperation and information sharing to address essential issues such as healthy lifestyles, green cities, sustainable living, education, and innovation.
GreenTech is the global meeting place for all professionals involved in horticulture technology. GreenTech focuses on the early stages of the horticulture chain and production issues relevant to growers. GreenTech offers two yearly exhibitions.
GLOBALG.A.P. is a brand of smart farm assurance solutions developed by FoodPLUS GmbH in Cologne, Germany, with cooperation from producers, retailers, and other stakeholders from across the food industry. These solutions include a range of standards for safe, socially and environmentally responsible farming practices. The most widely used GLOBALG.A.P. standard is Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA), applicable for fruit and vegetables, aquaculture, floriculture, livestock, and more. This standard also forms the basis for the GGN label: The consumer label for certified, responsible farming and transparency.
The GLOBALG.A.P. brand began its journey as EUREPGAP in 1997. Two decades later, over 200,000 producers are under GLOBALG.A.P. certification in 134 countries. Nearly 150 team members around the world are dedicated to the mission of spreading responsible farming practices to ensure safe food for future generations.
About the GGN Label
The GGN label is the consumer label from GLOBALG.A.P. c/o FoodPLUS GmbH. It stands for certified, responsible farming and transparency.
Found on both packed and loose products, the GGN label exists to offer consumers consistent, relevant assurance and orientation throughout the store. It does so by confirming that the products were farmed in line with certified, responsible farming practices that cover food safety, environmental protection, animal welfare, social responsibility, and supply chain transparency.
Freddie’s Flowers is a fast-growing direct-to-consumer flower delivery service, based in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. It all started with Freddie Garland delivering weekly flowers to his Mum & Dad’s neighbours in 2015 in a knackered old milk float. Our wonderful team is now delivering thousands of boxes every day, but Freddie’s original idea hasn’t changed – to change people’s relationship with flowers in a sustainable way. We want to bring the happiness and joy of arranging and experiencing your own flowers bloom into everyone’s home.
Regarding our sustainability, it is important to be open and transparent with our claims and where possible receive third-party verification. We are proud to have been certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust, have set ambitious Science-based Targets to reduce our carbon emissions and are members of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative, aligned to their 2025 targets. We are excited for the future as floral changemakers, redefining what it means to be a responsible, modern-day florist.
Dutch Flower Group is a unique family of over 30 specialised companies, which work together to serve the whole international floriculture supply chain. Thanks to the customers of Dutch Flower Group, an average of 75 million flowers, 10 million bouquets and 10 million plants find their way to consumers throughout the world every week.
The Dutch Flower Group companies supply fresh cut flowers, mixed bouquets, house and garden plants, and decorative ornaments to all imaginable sales channels: from major multiple retailers (supermarket chains, DIY stores, garden centres) and online stores/e-tailers to floral importing wholesalers (who supply to florists). Just like a real family, the individual companies within Dutch Flower Group use their personal character and culture to offer their customers the best possible service.
CIOPORA is the International Association of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Horticultural Varieties.
Breeders of such varieties account for two-thirds of all Plant Variety Right (PVR) titles in the world. For more than 50 years, CIOPORA has been representing these breeders in all matters of Intellectual Property (IP) Protection, aiming to foster an environment in which the innovation of these breeders can flourish. The main priority of CIOPORA is the constant development and enhancement of systems of Intellectual Property Protection for plant innovation. CIOPORA enjoys the observer status at the Administrative Council of CPVO and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). CIOPORA unites breeders of all asexually reproduced horticultural plants with a broad portfolio of species and varieties on the market. CIOPORA is a member-based, non-profit organisation with currently 125 members from over 20 countries on five continents.
Founded in 1990 and first published by Ball Publishing, FCI is the horticulture industry’s leading B2B digital publication with a global readership of over 125,000 readers through our network of partner associations and organisations. It serves producers of cut flowers, flowering and green potted plants, bedding plants, perennials, trees, shrubs, seeds, young plants and bulbs.
World Horti Center is the horticultural hub for The Netherlands, where research, business, education and government meet each other to share knowledge, ideas and innovations. It aims to stimulate the development of sustainable high tech indoor and greenhouse growing all over the world. You can find more information and a virtual tour on worldhorticenter.nl.
Gabot.de is a horticultural portal for entrepreneurs and decision makers from production, trade and services to find news, jobs, contacts, dates and more.
GrowerTalks/Green Profit is the combined grower and retailer magazine produced by Ball Horticultural Company in West Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1937 by George J. Ball, GrowerTalks is one of the global horticulture industry’s longest-standing and most-respected publications, serving growers throughout North America with timely production and marketing information. Ball Publishing also produces nine e-newsletters, including the widely read Acres Online by Chris Beytes, which are available for free around the world.
Horticulture Week is the leading information service for professionals working in horticulture including garden retail, ornamentals production, edibles production, landscape design & build, parks management, professional gardening, turf care and arboriculture.
More and more specialisation in horticulture was one of the reasons for the creation of Pod Osłonami PL. It is devoted to the cultivation of vegetables and ornamental plants in greenhouses and foil tunnels, as well as issues related to the growing production of berry plants undercover.
Vegetable and floriculture specialities have a lot in common and they often interpenetrate in practice – for example in traditional farms growing in tunnels, where tomatoes or cucumbers are grown in the spring cycle and chrysanthemums in autumn. Also in modern farming, for example, vegetable and decorative novelties are promoted – such as pot tomatoes or mini-peppers with ornamental fruit intended for sale in garden centres. With the changing economic situation in horticulture, it is worth being open to any new products that allow you to exist and stay on the market.
I hope you will be interested in the articles presented on the Pod Osłonami PL website. Over time, they will be expanded with new sections, I will be grateful for your suggestions on the topics presented. Feel free to jointly create the content of the portal.
AIPH offers business a range of excellent sponsorship packages for the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards 2022. Download the brochure and watch the video to find out more about how you can champion the best in the global ornamental horticulture industry.