On June 23, Mel and I were part of an American delegation that was formed to travel to China and host seminars on American Grown Flowers in both Beijing and Shanghai. This trip was developed out of a USDA Foreign Ag Services grant program. Certified American Grown received a Market Access Program (MAP) grant and a Quality Samples Program (QSP) grant to go to China and develop market opportunities on behalf of their farms.
The China delegation included:
- Jim Omoto, Kendall Farms
- Robert Kitayama, Kitayama Brothers
- Mel Resendiz, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers
- FJ Trzuskowski, Continental Floral Greens
- Lane DeVries, Sun Valley Floral Group
- Kasey Cronquist, Certified American Grown
- Diana Roy, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers
- Christy Hulsey, Colonial House of Flowers
- Cathy McClintock, Kendall Farms
- Fiona and Sylvain from PR Consultants, our Guides & Interpreters
- Teng shu qing, General Manager of the Yunnan United Floral Transport & Marketing Co. (next to Lane)
The seminars in Beijing and Shanghai were attended by wholesalers, importers, retailers and floral designers. Over 40 people attended each of the seminars, providing the opportunity for each farm to showcase their flowers and discuss business opportunities within China's floral industry. Christy Hulsey, from the Colonial House of Flowers, dazzled attendees during her design presentations that served as the finale to both seminars. In addition, we had the opportunity to visited wholesale flower markets in both cities.
Our last stop was Kunming, where we went to learn more about China’s growing regions. China boasts over 1.3 million hectares of fresh cut flowers and foliage, growing over 12 billion stems per year and generating over $22 billion. More than 180,000 farms grow for the floral industry, with the average farm being less than half a hectare and the larger farms over 20 hectares. In Kunming, we met with the general manager of the Yunnan United Floral Transport & Marketing Co. The company was established in 2002 and represents approximately 80 percent of the production sold within the industry. They manage the floral auction, which operates similar to the Holland auction of the past. We also visited two farms while in Kunming (more on that in our next blog).
Our thanks to the USDA Foreign Ag Services grant program for making this trip possible.