In This Issue
Blue Diamond buy 6 more centres from Wyevale
Blue Diamond East Bridgford and Fairways pick up top honours in GCA Midlands region
Three times a charm for GARDENA at the GIMA awards
Stewarts Christchurch and Squires Hersham pick up GCA awards in South Thames region
Blue Diamond chief reveals dramatic July trading uplift at former Wyevales
Rising Stars 2019 - From Twenty to Ten for Conference
Increased footfall drives garden centre sales
Groves Nurseries to launch 'Mr Groves Violet Gin' distilled on site
Nursery hopes label service link-up will reduce single-use plastic in garden centres
Benary hosts Fleuroselect seed breeders convention
Haddonstone applauded for garden scheme support
Plantarium theme is: Think Small...and Green
Schoolgirl's winning design planted up at Teddington Lock
Kids win free passes to Bradford garden centre's new indoor play area
Groves says goodbye to Annette after 25 years
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Apta appoint new sales manager for East Anglia
Bugs and seed sowing shine light on sales
Growing activity continues to grow
Wildlife projects for school holidays
Christmas spuds make a showing
Colour and heat shines through in plant sales
Weather stimulates June online sales - but garden had poor second quarter overall
Public asked to help raise £4.8m towards completion of RHS garden at Salford
The best of last week's
Perrywood and Squires Shepperton triumph in GCA North Thames region
Tong and Cowell's take GCA awards in North East while Barton Grange and Fron Goch triumph in North West
Profit up 52.5% at Notcutts in year to February 2019
SOLEX exhibition fuels Summer optimism
Garden Centre Photo Tour - RHS Wisley New Plant Centre
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Benary hosts Fleuroselect seed breeders convention

“A family reunion!” is how the Fleuroselect Annual Member Convention is described by many of the participants. This year, about 100 delegates from 16 countries gathered in Kassel, Germany, for the AGM and to catch up with friends and colleagues from across the world. The German seed breeder Benary hosted the event following its 175th anniversary celebrations.


Matthias Redlefsen, MD of Benary, provided delegates with valuable insights into the German flower industry. The German pro-capita consumption of flowers is the highest in the world, probably thanks to cultural traditions such as balcony flower and flower beds instead of concrete memorials in cemeteries. But, Redlefsen warned, breeders will need courage and creativity to successfully tackle the future.


Klaudia Benary-Redlefsen, sixth generation and current owner of Benary together with her uncle Ernst-Günter Benary, gave an overview of the company's rich history. The story of her grandfather Fritz Benary, who left East Germany to build a company in the west, is a striking example of perseverance. Today, Benary sells more than 10 billion flower seeds a year –90% of them exported – and its turnover has doubled in the past 13 years.


During the AGM, Clover Seed from Hong Kong was welcomed as a new member. As well as importing and exporting seed, Clover supplies contract production of vegetable and flower bulk seeds for overseas companies in China. The Clover laboratory focuses on plant pathology and marker development.


A full day was spent at Benary, where delegates were able to to view the extensive trials field with its spectacular beds. Benary also planted a full gold medal and novelty trial.



The event culminated at the Alte Brüderkirche in Kassel for the gala dinner, where traditionally the Gold Medals are handed out. Three varieties were honoured for 2020.


Jean-François Ignasse, sales manager (Europe) at PanAmerican Seed together with Anne Leventry, President PanAmerican Seed and Ruud Brinkkemper, general manager Kieft Seed Europe, stepped forward to accept the medal for Leucanthemum superbum ‘Madonna’. Irma Jansen, account and product manager home gardening at Takii Europe received the Medal for Tropaeolum minus ‘Baby Rose’. Fleuroselect president Karol Pawlak and marketing & communications manager Ann Jennen accepted the Medal for Silene pendula ‘Sibella Carmine’ on behalf of Rob van der Voort of Van Hemert & Co. who was unable to attend.


The final highlight of the evening was the announcement of two new honorary members – Jacques de Vroomen, former owner of Muller Seeds, was treasurer in 2007 when he re-structured the finances to create the vibrant organisation we see today. Jean-François Ignasse of PanAmerican has entered numerous new varieties for the trials over the years and served as interim president.


Next year's convention  (30 June-2 July) will be in Amsterdam, where the central theme will be Fleuroselect's 50th anniversary.


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