Greenhouse Canada

COVID-19 Updates News
Sakata and Syngenta cancel stops at California Spring Trials


March 11, 2020
By Greenhouse Canada

Flower breeders Sakata Seed and Syngenta Flowers have cancelled their stops at the California Spring Trials due to concerns around the new coronavirus.

“We do not take this decision lightly; great effort is put into this event and we look forward to connecting with our industry partners and showcasing our genetics year after year. However, it’s important that we err on the side of caution at this time rather than risk the health of our staff, dependents, customers and their families,” states Joe Cimino, Head of the Sakata Ornamental group.

According to the releases, Santa Clara County has issued a legal order banning all mass gatherings through March, due to increasing cases of COVID-19.

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“Although Monterey County, where our Salinas greenhouses and event site are located, has yet to put such an order in effect, this is a precautionary measure with our guests and their families at the forefront of our minds,” continues Cimino.

“Our North American Flowers headquarters and R&D facility, which is based in the southern part of this county, will remain operational but closed to external visitors until further notice. Syngenta Flowers is also eliminating the access of international employees and visitors at this time, in accordance with the advice of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” says Scott Valentine, head of Syngenta Flowers, North America.

Both companies expect to organize alternatives to physical events for showcasing their new varieties this year.

Other breeders taking part in CAST have declared that they will be open or are continuing to monitor the situation before they make a decision.

Ball’s Santa Paula stop will be open March 28-31. Management is monitoring the situation. Guests not travelling to Santa Paula can access all new introductions by downloading the free app: https://www.ballhort.com/springtrials/CASTmobile/

Dümmen Orange’s stop is still on and they are looking forward to hosting growers. Note that their location has changed this year to a spot west of their previous location, along the coast of Avila Beach. Access to the site is by invitation only.

Green Fuse plans to be open. Final decisions will be expected by the end of the week.

UPDATE: FLOREP @ Windmill Nursery stop (Kientzler, J. Berry Nursery, Dramm Corporation, Smithers Oasis): Withdrawn

Other have not yet released an official statement.