South American Floral Trade Show (ProFlora ’15)
My son Larry and I have been attending every floral trade show in Colombia and Ecuador for the past 15 years or more. Every year I say to myself, I do not think there is anything new that I can learn. Then I get down to Colombia or Ecuador and I find that there is still more to learn, still more interesting flowers and new varieties to buy. We met a grower that is now growing lavender, purple and green garden roses. We saw some beautiful new varieties of sunflowers. We saw the most beautiful open cut mini carnations. We met and saw a great number of bouquet makers with some great looking bouquets; one of our fellow IFD members helped us locate this bouquet maker at the flower show in South America. We met a grower of ours that has a standard alstromeria at a very good price. We saw and will now get some new hybrid lilies, far better then the starfighter that we all know about. We saw some Asiatic lilies that are almost the size of Orientals. We met a tropical grower that has his own freight shipment into JFK airport that can ship many unusual varieties of greens. Many different sizes of heleconia and ginger, tropical bouquets which we only have to buy one or two boxes, no requirement to buy a huge quantity of boxes like in the past. We traveled to Grupo Andes farm and very impressed with their open cut roses and their alstromeria. We formulated a plan of sample roses to show our salespeople to start selling some of their product. We are still looking for a larkspur grower, did not find one at the show. Met many growers of hydrangeas, right now there are 1,000 hectares of hydrangeas grown in Medillin. 1,000 hectares equals 2,200 acres. All of Bogota is now using GPS. Last year nobody was using GPS to get around. We always hear how Europe is ahead of the US in trends. It seems the US is at least ahead of South America in some trends like the use of GPS. Saw a new shape of snapdragon; we will be getting some of soon. There were only two other NJ wholesalers at the show besides Hillcrest Garden. How are these non-attending wholesalers ever going to be exposed to new stuff?
-Leonard E. Levy
November 11, 2015