Established in 2009, the International Grower of the Year Awards celebrate best practice and recognise the ‘best of the best’ in ornamentals production.
Supported by Headline Sponsor Royal FloraHolland and Founding Partner FloraCulture International, the 13th edition of the AIPH IGOTY Awards recognise best practice in horticulture by the top ornamental production nurseries from around the globe and celebrates the expertise and energy they give to the industry.
Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd (BTN), a Canadian ornamentals grower, was awarded the title of International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) 2023 on Tuesday 24 January 2023 at IPM Essen, Germany. The coveted ‘Gold Rose’ award was presented to BTN by Royal FloraHolland CEO, Steven van Schilfgaarde.
Entry for IGOTY 2024 is now open! Find more information and begin your entry here.
Young International Grower of the Year – Eliot Barden
Gold: Morel Diffusion, France
Silver: SB Talee de Colombia SAS, Colombia
Bronze: Xiamen Ican Seed Co., Ltd., China
Finished Plants & Trees
Gold: Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd, Canada
Silver: Giorgio Tesi Group, Italy
Bronze: Fructoplant SP. Z O.O., Poland
Cut Flowers & bulbs
Gold: Royal Base Corporation, Chinese Taipei
Silver: Zhejiang Toyoshima Co., LTD., China
Bronze: Zentoo, the Netherlands
Gold: Allensmore Nurseries, UK
Silver: Xiamen Ican Seed Co., Ltd., China
Bronze: Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd, Canada
For more information about each of the winners, take a look at the digital Winners Brochure.
Ten ornamentals growers from around the world have reached the finals for the AIPH IGOTY Awards 2023.
The IGOTY 2023 Finalists are (in alphabetical order):
Allensmore Nurseries is a family-owned grower supplier and trader of ornamental plants to supermarkets, DIY/Box stores, garden centre chains and independent garden centres in the UK. With over 50 years of trading experience the business operates on 140 acres of Herefordshire land and has built an enviable reputation for exceptional product and service quality across a broad product range supplied to a diverse customer base. Business strategy is aligned to four Pillars of Growth, for environment, people, community and customers.
Sustainable production is at the heart of the everything the business undertakes. Not only reducing environmental impact but having a positive impact on the local environment and support for the local community is key to how the business operates.
Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited (BTN) is one of the largest and most respected growers of garden plants in Canada. They are proud to service garden retailers, landscape contractors, municipalities, and golf courses throughout Canada and the United States.
They service their customers from four farms in Ontario and one in British Columbia with a total land base of over 800 acres. BTN specializes in building full-service programs in the following categories: Flowering Shrubs, Evergreens, Broadleaf Evergreens, Holiday Greens, Vines, Perennials, Trees, Small Fruits and Tropicals. BTN is not limited to supplying only these programs to our customers; Using a wide network of over 300 growers, they are able to bring products from around the world, keeping up to date with trends and consumer demands to build programs for their retail and wholesale partners.
Established in 2007, Fructoplant is a dynamically growing Polish producer of garden plants. It supplies its products to the largest supermarket chains and garden centres in Europe. The company’s offer is built on five basic groups of plants, i.e. fruit trees, fruit bushes, ornamental trees, shrubs and roses. A distinctive feature of Fructoplant’s products is the well-thought-out marketing and sales concepts, thanks to which the company is also successful in popularising horticulture.
Fructoplant is continuously developing its production facilities. The foil tunnel, which was built in 2019, combines modernity and functionality. This allows the company to produce and deliver nearly 5 million plants every year.
Not being indifferent to situations that endanger the environment, Fructoplant, with its actions, tries to counteract the problem. Zero-waste products, the abandonment of black plastic or the internal programme Let’s Take Care of Our Planet are all expressions of the company’s aspirations for a greener tomorrow.
MOREL DIFFUSION family company specializes since 102 years in breeding Cyclamen Persicum. They operate 3.5 Ha of glass and plastic greenhouses, in Fréjus, on the Mediterranean coast of France. Seeds are exported to 40 countries, genetics are sold by our customers, seeds distributors and young plant propagators in 70 countries.
Morel employs 58 passionate staff, and peaks to 100 with seasonal workers from October to June, all local from the area.
Royal Base Cooperation one of the world’s largest Phalaenopsis grower and are specializing in Phalaenopsis variety breeding, production, and sales. Our products include Phalaenopsis tissue culture, young plants, flowering plants and cut flowers. We also do contracted production in tissue culture and young plants. Royal Base Cooperation are the very first company in Asia receiving all these three certificates – MPS-ABC, MPS-GAP, and MPS-Quality. The certifications recognize businesses operate in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
Royal Base Cooperation have invested vastly on state-of-the-art glass greenhouses by Venlo and advanced environmental control system by Priva In order to maintain high quality products and a steady year-round production of 1.8 million stems of cut flowers per year.
SB Talee was founded in 1962 in Italy by Duke Forese Salviati and Mr. Palee Brunn as an enterprise to breed carnation varieties and to produce and commercialize its plants.
In 1988, Mr. Salviati expanded his company in Colombia, a country where the flower industry was successfully developing. The tropical conditions which allow to grow flowers all year round, made possible to transfer the breeding and development program of varieties from Italy to Colombia in 1998. A team of Colombian professionals achieved in some years, an innovative offer of optimum varieties, positioning SB Talee as a leader supplier among local growers.
Giorgio Tesi Group of Pistoia is one of Europe’s leading nursery companies for ornamental-plant production, size, and cultivated area. In addition to its headquarters in Pistoia, the European nursery capital, the company has four other branches located in Grosseto, Orbetello (GR), Piadena (CR), and San Benedetto del Tronto (AP).
The production extends onto more than 500 hectares of surface (of which 362 is for plants that are planted in land, 116 in vases and 22 covered by greenhouses and high tunnels); today the company includes more than 200 permanent employees throughout the production and commercial sector of the 18 nurseries situated in Pistoia and in the company’s 4 branches.
Giorgio Tesi Vivai was the first Italian nursery company to be EMAS-certified, one of Europe’s most important certifications.
Xiamen Ican Seed Co., Ltd., started flower seedling production in 2016 and has built three modern seedling production bases in Chengdu, Xiamen and Kunming, with modern production greenhouse covering an area of about 103,000 square meters. The greenhouse in Chengdu covers an area of about 40,000 square meters, which is the largest flower and seedling production greenhouse in Southwest China. The company’s production facilities are equipped with advanced mechanization and automation equipment. With the use of advanced production seedling technology, we produce more than 100 crops and over 500 varieties. The annual output is 200 million seedlings and annual sales of more than 180 million seedlings, annual sales amount to 78.08 million yuan (about 11.83 million euros). In 2021, the company’s market share of seedling products was about 25% of the Chinese market.
Zentoo is a collaboration where chrysanthemum growers unite. Started in 2007 with 4 growers and 20 hectares, and has now grown into an association of 15 growers with over 100 hectares. This chrysanthemum growers’ collective offers more than 100 innovative varieties, and together they produce more than 360 million stems a year. With ever more far-reaching forms of concentration and upscaling, Zentoo is now a brand and developed into the one-stop shop for chrysanthemums. This form of collaboration is unique within the floriculture sector. The growers each have their own ‘garden’, but share knowledge with one another and sell under a single brand name and trade with a shared wallet. Zentoo is an engaging, ambitious and sustainable business that has given chrysanthemum cultivation a boost over the past 10 years with effective marketing activities. It have shown itself to be a reliable innovator, including through the use of LED lighting, biological crop protection and data-driven cultivation, so that cultivation is being optimised sustainably. The far-reaching collaboration both with the growers in the collective but also with others in the sector is at the heart of Zentoo’s business model.
Zhejiang Toyoshima Co.,Ltd. was founded in 1993, when it began to grow and sell fresh cut flowers – mainly chrysanthemums and carnations.
Toyoshima has introduced 179 chrysanthemum varieties and 66 carnation varieties and has independently developed 22 new varieties of chrysanthemum licensed with PBR. Meanwhile, Toyoshima has obtained 24 national patents in production facilities, standardization of planting procedure, methods for pests and insects prevention and treatment and preservation, the finished products have the characteristics of good resistance, consistent flowering period and long fresh-keeping period, and have won high praise from customers.
Eliot Barden, Production and Education Manager for Majestic Trees, UK, received the Young International Grower of the Year Award.
This award celebrates the best of the best ornamentals production. The Young IGOTY category recognises vibrant individuals, aged 25-40, who will lead the industry into the future. Entrants were participants of Jungle Talks’ Pro Manager Mastercourse.
Winner Eliot Barden had an interest in horticulture from an early age and began his education in the subject via a Royal Horticultural Society evening class at the age of 15. He subsequently studied at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens before joining Majestic Trees in 2018.
Eliot commented: “It means a lot. Thanks to Jungle Talks I’ve seen a lot of production in Holland, in various different sectors, and winning the award is the cherry on the cake. The award is a great recognition.”
Eliot, along with the other finalists, presented his ideas to an international jury of horticultural professionals. The judges were: Leonardo Capitanio, President of AIPH and Vivai Capitanio, Italy; Pablo Bazzani, General Manager for Plazoleta Flowers, Colombia, and Winner of Young International Grower of the Year 2022; Karolien Tesselaar van Tilburg, Tesselaar Alstromeria, the Netherlands; and Wouter Duijvesteijn, Owner of Beyond Chrysant, the Netherlands.
“There are two reasons why we have chosen Eliot Barden the Young IGOTY winner,” said Leonardo Capitanio. “Firstly, he demonstrated accurate technical and professional expertise. Secondly, Eliot continuously invests in the growth and development of his skills in order to reach his highest potential.
“We believe that ‘improving more and more’ is the best solution to be excellent at work as well as in life. We hope that this award will bring Eliot Barden great value and a richly deserved international visibility. Good luck Eliot!”
Six ornamental horticulture experts from around the globe join the jury for the 2023 edition of the AIPH IGOTY Awards.
Growing up in a family of growers, Bernard took over the family business and, together with two other shareholders, expanded it further. At a young age he became involved in various sector organizations such as the flower auction.
For the last ten years, Bernard has been active on the board at AIPH, seven years of which as president.
At the moment he is a board member of two foundations that are active in promoting the trade in outdoor greenery and restructuring of greenhouse horticulture.
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.
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 he held various managerial positions in agribusiness, banking and publishing. His previous positions include CEO of a major Colombian sugar mill; Assistant Vice-President at Banco de Bogotá Trust Company in 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 chairs the Board of Union Fleurs and the Board of the Colombian chapter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); represents 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 completing her studies in commercial sciences, Elien joined her family’s business: Gediflora.
Gediflora is a Belgian business with its headquarters in Oostnieuwkerke, West- Flanders. Gediflora is a b-to-b world player in the field of breeding and propagation of chrysanthemums and supplies young plants to growers all over the world.
By 2013, Elien had taken over as owner of the company with a goal of staying the top chrysanthemum producer in the country with an added focus on marketing and better communication with the customer.
Mr Poul Graff is the CEO of Danish hibiscus breeding and growing company Graff Breeding A/S. Poul and his brother Gert are the third generation of the Graff family to manage the company since its founding in 1930.
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.
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.
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.
From 24 till 27 January 2023, IPM ESSEN – the world’s leading trade fair for horticulture – will be the meeting place for the green sector.
Here, exhibitors from all over the world present their innovative products and services in the fields of plants, technology, floristry and garden features.
No other fair offers so much plant diversity and so many plant innovations. Climate change and sustainability are the defining themes here.
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.
HortWeek has the latest news, analysis, features, data jobs and technical advice for ornamental nurseries, edibles production, garden retail, landscaping, parks, gardens, arboriculture and turf.
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.
Economía & Viveros is a digital monthly magazine focussed on floriculture in Argentina.
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.