Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Flower Confidential author speaks at TPIE

We were able to attend one of the shortcourses at TPIE. The speaker was Amy Stewart, the author of Flower Confidential. She spoke on an outsider's view of the floral industry and how complicated it really is. Stewart spent much of her time focusing on the sustainability of the industry and the need for more organic products in the floral industry. She mentioned the growing need for certification through programs such as Veriflora. The most interesting thing (to me) that she said was that in 10 years Wal-Mart expects to be selling all green gardening products. I found this amazing. Considering she was talking with a group of horticulture growers, she kept the talk relatively positive when speaking about organics and such.

I was sitting next to my department chair, Terril Nell, for the presentation. Dr. Nell just happens to be a floriculture researcher and a past president for the Society of American Florists. He's pretty involved with all of the certification stuff and knows much more than I do. It was interesting to me to see this keynote speaker, who doesn't have much of a science background, offering recommendations on how to drastically change an industry. It was definitely an interesting talk to see.

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