The road to recovery after the ‘great shutdown’

FloraCulture International (FCI) invited ornamentals growers from around the world to join a free webinar on 30 June 2020. The response from more 300 registering from 48 countries was overwhelming with over half of them attending the live event at 4pm (CEST).

As this coronavirus pandemic has developed, the news consistently spotlights upon the decision-makers, politicians, financiers, and retailer institutions. What about the producers? The ornamental producers, that create products that make people happy and boost wellbeing?

The Coronavirus pandemic began with so many flowers grown for the Chinese New Year celebrations becoming waste. By mid-March, the disease hit the shores of Europe, resulting in the heart-breaking actions of stock being thrown away at the flower auctions.

All countries rarely face the same crisis at the same time, but with Covid-19, the business had to stop and listen. In the markets, we have all adapted to the ‘new normal’ now lockdown policies are easing, and social distancing is the norm. Yet the hardest hit is the entrepreneurs that are producing the ornamental horticulture. Some governments recognise the need for a support mechanism, other governments have not understood the wellbeing effects our products bring to mankind. Anxiously we are all figuring out ways to avoid recession and stimulate the economy.

Our webinar was devised to help growers learn from the experience of others and define the right path for their own business as they recover from the business effects of Covid-19.

It was facilitated by experienced webinar organiser, Jungle Talks, and supported by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH). The webinar had presentations from Dr Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, Texas A&M University, USA. He outlines the approach that growers need to take in reviewing their businesses and determining next steps. Grower presentations came from Arie van den Berg of Van den Berg Roses, the Netherlands, and Toine Overgaag of Westerlay Orchids, California, the USA. They shared their experiences in handling the crisis and their plans for the future.

Watch the webinar on-demand.

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