Greenhouse Canada

AIPH tackles ornamental horticulture challenges

September 24, 2013  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

aiph_congress_2013_largeSept. 24, 2013, Niagara Falls, ON — Global issues facing ornamental horticultural production were the focus of strategic planning sessions, committees and professional tours when more than 90 delegates from around the world gathered for the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) Congress earlier this month.

Sept. 24, 2013, Niagara Falls, ON — Global issues facing ornamental
horticultural production were the focus of strategic planning sessions,
committees and professional tours when more than 90 delegates from
around the world gathered for the International Association of
Horticultural Producers (AIPH) Congress earlier this month.

Hosted by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) and Landscape Ontario (LO), the 65th annual AIPH
Congress was held Sept. 8 to 12 in Niagara Falls, Ont. Delegates were treated to insights into Canadian horticulture while debating the challenges facing growers around the world.


The AIPH Green City Committee heard from many countries on how they are seeking to implement the greening of urban areas.

“It is clear that this forum provides one of the only places where information on green cities around the world can be collated and shared," said Indonesia's Karen Tambayong, committee chair. "We heard from Australia on their 202020 Vision to get 20 per cent more green into the built environment by 2020. We heard from Turkey on their plans for 120 new forest parks. We heard from The Netherlands on their new initiative called ‘iVerde.’ We heard about getting young people involved in Indonesia and that there are 112 municipalities and regions in that country listed to be Green Cities. We also heard reports from Japan, Korea and Canada, amongst others."

"We have formed a small working group to define how AIPH can best facilitate this information sharing to help in the generation of more green cities and its knock-on benefits for growers,” added Tambayong.

The Green City Committee also heard from Raymond Carrier from Canada’s Communities in Bloom and its global equivalent ‘International Challenge.’ He called on countries not already involved to put forward cities in bloom for this international prize.

The 65th annual AIPH Congress brought delegates from around the world to Niagara Falls, Ont., to
discuss the challenges facing ornamental horticulture.

The AIPH Novelty Protection Committee heard from Anthony Parker of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on the agency's plans to move towards compliance with the 1991 International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention, covering plant breeders' rights to increase protection for Canadian plant breeders. 

“It is re-assuring to see a country like Canada taking these issues so seriously," said committee chair Bernard Oosterom of The Netherlands. "We have major concerns that many countries do not take breeders rights as seriously as they should. We are also worried about the potential for misapplication of criteria defining ‘essentially derived varieties’ and will be expressing our concerns at the next UPOV seminar on this issue in Geneva later in October”.

The AIPH Environment & Plant Health Committee included a debate on the environmental challenges facing growers across the world. CNLA chief executive Victor Santacruz talked through the challenges for Canadian growers, including water quality and conservation, pesticide regulations and plant health. CNLA have been successful in gaining government interest in the plight of growers.  Initiatives that have emerged include a Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable, a Clean Plants Certification Programme, the Ontario Green Infrastructure Coalition and a National Plastic Recycling event

“The issues raised by CNLA resonated with many in the room. We can learn from each other. Many members have taken ideas from the CNLA presentation and it was also interesting to hear how Australia and Belgium have tackled invasive plants pressures and how Australia has addressed water shortages," said Belgium's Gery Heungens, committee chair. "European growers are concerned about the effects of the revised EU Plant Health regime and AIPH will continue to put forward these concerns.”

The AIPH Marketing Committee received updates from countries preparing AIPH-approved horticultural exhibitions. AIPH approval is necessary for countries wanting to work through their governments to create truly international garden expositions. 

“It is very satisfying to see a programme of horticultural exhibitions in place well into the 2020’s," said Japan's Shinya Wada, chair of the committee. "The current expo is in Suncheon, Korea. It has attracted millions of visitors, raising the profile of horticulture, gardens and gardening within that region of Asia. It is exciting to see the development of expos in China, Turkey and Chinese Taipei coming up soon. I would encourage anyone to pay a visit to these huge celebrations of horticultural excellence.” 

For a full list of horticultural exhibitions see the AIPH website.

The Committee meetings concluded with the AIPH Council meeting where members confirmed their commitment to the development of a new strategy for the organization.  Members spent a whole day debating this issue and are working towards a new strategy ahead of the AIPH Spring Meeting in April 2014.

The members also agreed to establish AIPH as a non-profit association, based in Brussels, giving it formal international recognition. 

AIPH President, Mr Vic Krahn from Canada commented “This year’s Congress was very important. We have re-focused the organization and with the help of Tim Briercliffe, our new Secretary General based in the UK, we will be upgrading our level of support to the growers of the world," said Canadian Vic Krahn, AIPH president. "I believe we now have in place an organization fit for the future. I would welcome the involvement of even more countries. These are exciting times and I would like everyone to be involved.”

The Congress, which included a gala dinner to present the International Grower of the Year awards, concluded with two days of tours of nurseries in the area and the Vineland Research Station.

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) AIPH is a co-ordinating body representing horticultural producers' organizations all over the world. It was set up in Switzerland in 1948 to stimulate the international marketing of flowers, plants and landscaping services. Current membership consists of 26 organizations from 19 countries. 

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