Greenhouse Canada

Many golden memories for UFG during gala

April 2, 2013  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Apr. 2, 2013, Burnaby, B.C. — The United Flower Growers Co-operative Association’s 50th anniversary gala was an occasion to celebrate golden memories for flower growers in British Columbia.

The co-op was formed in 1963 when six original members rented a small
warehouse in East Vancouver. The flower auction began and over the years
has expanded and transformed into the largest live Dutch style flower
auction in North America.

Emcee Brian Minter, at left, and Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan.

For the anniversary, a video was produced that highlighted the history
and changes over the years. It showed what would be considered primitive
technology in comparison to today’s software and Internet-based selling


UFG board chairman John Kerkhoven introduced Brian Minter as emcee for
the evening – who in turn introduced the special guests and a few
notable growers and buyers in attendance.

There were several provincial MLAs in attendance, including Rob Howard
(from Richmond) who brought a congratulatory message from the province.
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan also congratulated the organization on
behalf of the city.

Gerald and Bert Den Haan, two of the partners of Fraser Nurseries, one
of the founding members, attended the festivities, as did Simon
Hogewoning, a grower who shipped in 1963 and is still active today.

One of the more memorable moments of the evening was the introduction of
Vern Havbo, a buyer since 1963. He declared, though, that the Monday
auction after the anniversary would be his last.

The auction gallery was expertly decorated with floral products donated
by UFG grower members. The remarkable design work was done by volunteers
from the Canadian Professional Floral Designer Association.

UFG staff members Darlene Kump, Olive Gonzalez, Dennis Lawson and Bob
Pringle were thanked for their work on the celebration, as was past CEO
Tom Mulleder, who helped put together the video.

The video is a historical look at the flower auction over the decades
and will shortly be posted to the UFG website. The success of UFG is
largely a result of a commitment from its member growers and the
continuous upgrading of facilities and technology over the years.
The current auction system, which was developed in-house over the last
six years, is fully accessible online and UFG boasts several hundred
buyers who access the auction remotely on a regular basis.


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