AIPH Spring Meeting highlights strength in international collaboration
The benefits of international collaboration between industry trade bodies were clear to see at this year’s Spring Meeting of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) held in Paris, France on 18 March. AIPH members from across the world gathered to debate current industry topics and agree collaborative activities.
The meeting was opened with presentations on the ornamentals industry in France from Isabelle Descamps from PromoJardin and Aline Haeringer from Val’hor. According to Ms Descamps, “The French garden market is worth 7.5 billion euro and the market for plants is worth 1.93 billion euro”. 2013 was a poor year for sales and 2014 figures are still only flat against 2011. Ms Haeringer introduced the work undertaken by Val’hor to stimulate the plant market in France. This includes campaigns to promote the purchase of flowers, a school garden week and Plante Bleure certification.
The AIPH Novelty Protection Committee, chaired by Bernard Oosterom from The Netherlands, included a presentation from the President of CPVO (EU Community Plant Variety Office), Martin Ekvad, on how all stakeholders can be included in influencing the EU Plant Variety Rights system. Mr Oosterom commented “AIPH is actively involved in protecting the interests of growers to preserve the important ‘growers exemption’ that gives growers the ability to breed new plants from any plant material. Excessive protection legislation will effectively stifle innovation in plant breeding and working with organisations like CPVO we will ensure that the voice of growers is properly heard”.