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AFE On the Road

The AFE team has been busy the past few weeks! From North Carolina, to California, our staff has been busy from coast to coast attending floral industry events, networking, and planning for the future! Staying connected with the industry allows us to see first-hand the impact of our programs and research, and allows us to hear directly from industry members about the challenges they’re facing so we can adapt our programs to help.  Read on to learn more about all of the AFE staff adventures so far in 2024! AFE Board Meeting and NC State Tour Twice a year, the AFE Board meets in person to engage in strategic discussions and review past, present, and upcoming initiatives, charting the course…

Unveiling AFE’s New Website: Tailored for You

We are excited to unveil our newly redesigned website, featuring seamless navigation, enhanced program accessibility, and a modern, vibrant aesthetic! The new website reflects our unwavering commitment to providing easy-to-use, accessible resources and programs supporting research, internships, scholarships, and education for the floral industry. As the Endowment’s initiatives have grown over time, adapting to the industry's ever-changing needs, the website housing all of the resources has been reshaped as well. Industry members can find resources and programs specific to their business segment, including tailored-specific news, research findings, opportunities, and more. With a focus on accessibility, the redesigned platform ensures that visitors can easily access valuable resources and navigate the website effortlessly."We are thrilled to introduce the new website, which embodies our dedication to serving all segments of…

Spring Hiring Campaign Kicks Off to Tackle Labor Challenges

The AFE Career Center provides valuable online career tools, resources, and industry guides tailored to both individuals seeking opportunities in the floral industry and employers looking to expand their staff. The Center provides the most up-to-date job listings, real-time job alerts, networking opportunities, and free tools to help both candidates and employers during the job search. Since its launch in 2020 by AFE, engagement has more than doubled in both job views and active applications.  Calling All Job-Seekers! Explore an array of resources including resume tips, reviews, and a centralized job openings hub at afecareercenter.com. Be entered to win 1 of 3 $50 Amazon gift cards by uploading your resume by April 23rd! Uploading your resume means employers can reach out to you directly with inquiries…

Thank You for a Milestone Year!

We are excited to share the following accomplishments from 2023: Funded over $765,000 to support – research, scholarships, internships, and education. This year we reached over $20 million in funding since founded in 1961.. T & B Research Library – the release of new information and resources addressing Thrips and Botrytis. Results of five years of specialized research which will save the industry tens of thousands of dollars annually... The establishment of our Sustainabloom program– a new initiative providing guides and best practices to help you in your sustainability efforts. The official site will launch in the next few months and will have resources for all segments and sizes of businesses.. Industry collaboration and partnerships with other floral organizations and media partners increasing awareness and…

Longer-Lasting Cut Flowers: The Subzero Solution

Discover how cutting-edge research can help flower growers store flowers for longer durations, ensuring blooms remain fresh and vibrant for extended periods. Hear the direct findings from AFE-funded research along with accessing the full research report. Average vase life visual representation of stored rose ‘Freedom Red’ flowers compared to non-stored control flowers after 4- and 8-week storage durations held at 31°F (-0.6°C) or 39 °F (4°C).Cold storage of cut flowers is often a necessity. On most farms, it is impossible to harvest enough flowers to satisfy the immediate needs of all customers and markets. Storing cut flowers at cold temperatures of 35-39°F reduces respiration and transpiration, allowing them to remain fresh and have a longer vase life.  The duration that flowers…

Care & Handling Resources, Guides, and Research for Cut Flowers

When the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers recently announced their Cut Flowers of the Year, the Endowment asked Dr. John Dole from NC State University to provide information on the handling of each crop. AFE has been supporting the important research at NC State for decades and is funding a new two-year project on long-term storage of cut flowers beginning in July. Care & Handling for Cut FlowersFresh Cut Flower of the Year:  Hellebore Ice N’ Roses series.  Interest in hellebores as cut flowers has steadily increased over the years, fueled by their durability and new genetics that feature outward-facing flowers in many colors and color combinations. Flowers can be harvested over a long period – interestingly, the older flowers last…

Getting Back to the Basics: Cooling, Cleanliness and Care

Back to Basics: Floral customers want beautiful flowers that last. The biological mechanisms governing flower life and quality are complex, but the flower care practices recommended for growers, wholesalers, and retail florists are really quite simple. Get back to basics with the three c’s. AFE-supported research confirms that there are three keys to quality: cold, cleanliness and careful processing. Keep Flowers COLD (33 – 36° F)Temperature is the major factor governing flower life. Cold temperatures conserve the sugars stored in the leaves and stems needed for flowers to open and remain viable. Supplemental sugars provided by flower foods serve as a critical back-up to stored sugars. Cold temperatures also make flowers less sensitive to their archenemy – ethylene. Keeping flowers…

Research Study to Break New Ground in Understanding Consumers

Sales of cut flowers have decreased recently in the U.S. floral market. Some experts posit that this could be correlated with changes in disposable income, causing some consumers to move to the lower-value end of the market. Others contend that this decrease in floral purchasing could also be due to barriers such as price or the availability of alternative gift items. Regardless of the reason, more than half of the retail floral industry revenue is comprised of sales of floral arrangements, so if we are to have any hope in influencing future purchases of flowers it is essential for industry participants to better understand consumer behaviors and opinions regarding purchasing flowers.Enter the new study from Floral Marketing Research Fund, co-sponsored…

New Study Identifies Consumer Preferences in Floral Design

New Study Identifies Consumer Preferences in Floral Design“Using Biometric Technology to Better Understand Floral Consumers”January 29, 2019, Alexandria, VA – Floral designers have long been taught that the most important attributes of a design are its elements: line, color, texture, pattern, form, space, and size. Yet, these attributes have not been proven to be perfect indicators of consumer purchase behavior.In a new study currently being conducted jointly by the American Floral Endowment (AFE) and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), funded through the Floral Marketing Research Fund (FMRF), researchers will determine which of these attributes are truly important to consumers and drive their purchase behavior. The study results can be used by florists, suppliers, retailers, and bouquet makers to increase sales.Using the latest…