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Partnering to Cultivate Sustainability Across the Global Floral Industry

The American Floral Endowment Becomes Newest Member of the Floriculture Sustainability InitiativeThe American Floral Endowment (AFE) has become the newest Associate Member of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI). This partnership unites AFE, a prominent US-based floriculture funding nonprofit, with FSI, an esteemed international nonprofit with a focus on sustainability.Through AFE’s membership with FSI, this new partnership will strengthen the floriculture industry through collaboration, sharing experiences, and broadened perspectives. “Sustainability is hugely impactful and affects floriculture globally. By joining forces, we are expanding the impact and effectiveness of both of our initiatives and programs,” stated AFE’s Executive Director Debi Chedester, CAE.AFE is an autonomous organization with a clear vision supporting a strong, unified floriculture community fostering industry innovation and growth to…

Make New Sustainability Practices Your Business Reality

Sustainability isn’t just water conservation or recycling; it can be so much more, such as sustainable investing or creating culture first leadership, says Dr. Melinda Knuth, assistant professor of horticulture at North Carolina State University, speaking at the 2023 Floriexpo convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Knuth is co-leading the American Floral Endowment’s floriculture sustainability project with NC State’s Dr. Brian Jackson.Read more about the project here: https://endowment.org/sustainability/.“Some of these practices may be familiar or have existed for some time but have new products that are reinvigorating the category. Some practices are completely new ideas that have come about in the last year.” Dr. Knuth says.During an education session at the business-to-business floral show, Dr. Knuth shared some of the…

The Driving Forces of Sustainability

Remember when organic labels appeared before an official organic definition? We are at the same moment with sustainability.Sustainability can be thought of as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” as defined by the 1987 United Nations Brundtland Commission, yet details in this space are certainly lacking.The semantic openness of sustainability is not something to be managed or eliminated, and it doesn’t lead to meaninglessness. Instead, this is a moving, living definition. For AFE’s floriculture sustainability project, we offer framings of pre-existing notions of sustainable development and use calls to action to transform theory into practice for stakeholders.At the same time, we have to be careful not to greenwash…

Exploring Sustainability in the Floral Industry

Sustainability. This has been the hot new word not only in the floriculture industry but also in everyday life. “Sustainable Living,” “Sustainable Products,” and “Sustainably Sourced” are common terms that are used in marketing and promotional materials. Yet, what does sustainability mean? How can we, as an industry, become more sustainable? Through a special project led and funded by American Floral Endowment, Dr. Brian Jackson and I (Dr. Melinda Knuth) have set out to discover, compile, and provide best practices for sustainability in floriculture. Our first goal is to collect, analyze, and synthesize all the relevant information related to sustainability that is relevant to floriculture or floriculture-adjacent industries. Once all this information is synthesized and distilled down, it will be…

Floriculture Sustainability – Resources and Education

Floriculture Sustainability – Resources and Education The American Floral Endowment Launches New Collaborative Project The American Floral Endowment (AFE) has announced a new special Floriculture Sustainability Project to provide education and resources to the floral industry. Partnering with like-minded organizations, the Endowment’s new project aims to create usable assets, identify new research needed, and close the gap in making sustainability an accessible initiative for all segments of the industry. The Floriculture Sustainability Project: By identifying and understanding the big picture of what’s already out there, what’s working, and what’s not, the Endowment aims to compile new resources, share success stories, bring together experts in both academia and industry, and provide action plans for businesses large and small. Industry certifications have already provided an incredible amount…

Sustainability – Driving the Future of the Floral Industry

The term “sustainability” is used broadly to describe actions aimed at preserving resources: social, human, economic, and environmental. By acting “sustainably,” we can meet our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Particularly in the floral industry, the focus has been on environmental sustainability– initiatives and actions aimed at conserving natural resources by using materials responsibly. Here are some of the measures you can implement now to make your business more sustainable.Recycle and ReuseDisposing of shipping materials (cardboard, paper, and plastic) properly is one of the critical elements of environmental sustainability. Flowers arrive at wholesale and retail florists in cardboard boxes with flowers or flower bunches wrapped in paper, plastic, and plastic pots. Recycling these…

New Research Inspires Profitability and Sustainability

A research report released by AFE addresses how the floriculture industry can use efficient irrigation practices to increase profitability and sustainability in a time when concerns about water scarcity, runoff regulations and the high cost of fertilizer are commonplace. Researchers Alem Peter, Paul Thomas and Marc van Iersel from the University of Georgia and Stephanie Burnett from the University of Maine examined how fertilizer and water levels affect growth. While the research focuses on petunias, it is translatable to almost any greenhouse plant.“By implementing more efficient irrigation practices, growers can reduce the amount of fertilizer they need to apply, and that is going to help their bottom line as well as the environment,” van Iersel, the lead researcher, said. He…