Horticulture Provides Resilience and Positivity
Earlier this week, the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) brought together an impressive line-up of expert international industry speakers.
They shared their experiences of the impact of COVID-19 on the horticultural industry and the prospective outlook for the future.
Inaugural Virtual Format
The 200 plus delegates at ‘Recovery from Crisis – the future for ornamentals’, held in a virtual format for the first time, heard about the key challenges faced by the industry over the last six months, the lessons learned, and plans for the future.
In the Face of Adversity
The horticulture industry has demonstrated its resilience by bucking the international downturn in market consolidation. Mr Frank de Hek from Oaklins in the Netherlands outlined how April saw a substantial dip for the sector in terms of mergers and acquisitions with May matching 2019 figures and June and July exceeding 2019. This trend is set to continue.
Flower Supply Chain
A panel session on creating a more resilient supply chain for flowers provided great insight into the experiences of trading through the pandemic from three continents. It appears that there were common issues caused by the pandemic in Colombia, Kenya, and Japan – most notably around freight and logistics.
Closing the conference AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe said “With the very real prospect of businesses facing disaster as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic it was reassuring to hear how many are emerging from this difficult period positively."
"Whilst there is a recognition that this is not the case for all, and there are challenges ahead, it is truly inspiring to see how the global horticulture industry is responding to face a bright and positive future."
"Innovation and best practice have come to the fore with some operational changes made resulting in lasting efficiencies for the future. With people spending more time in their gardens and green spaces during lockdown there is a new consumer group to nurture and understand to grow the future market.”
The conference videos and PowerPoint slides are available on the AIPH website: http://aiph.org/conference-2020/