American Flower Industry Suffering Staggering Losses

Flower Farmers Working Hard To Keep Flowers Moving In Time Of Crisis

Media Contact:

Dave Pruitt 
CEO, California Cut Flower Commission 
Administrator, Certified American Grown 
(805) 710-0692
dpruitt@CCFC.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

American Flower Industry Suffering Staggering Losses

Flower Farmers Working Hard To Keep Flowers Moving In Time Of Crisis   

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has American consumers focused on purchasing necessities like toilet paper, hand soap and food. What they’re not purchasing is flowers on their way to check out, and that’s a problem. 

In a conference call on Friday, March 20, over 50 California flower farmers discussed the devastation their farming industry is experiencing due to lack of demand from consumers,  canceled orders from industry outlets and transportation line shutdowns.  

The bottom line, according to American flower farmers: If the general public doesn’t start buying American Grown Flowers immediately, the American flower industry, its farmers, wholesale distributors, retail designers and all the people who work in those businesses cannot survive. 

In fact, several flower farmers on the call said they’re less than a week away from complete ruin. 

“America’s flower farmers, the floral industry and all of their employees are teetering on economic devastation” said Dave Pruitt, CEO for The California Cut Flower Commission and administrator of Certified American Grown Flowers. “These people literally cannot hold on without support from consumers. We urge our fellow Americans to please consider purchasing fresh American Grown Flowers and Greens the next time you’re in the store, and ask for our flowers to be added back into the distribution pipeline as a valued agricultural commodity.”  

While a handful of retailers nationwide continue to carry flowers, many grocery brands and distributors are canceling orders or turning deliveries away. Farmers also express difficulty with getting their blooms and greens transported due to confusion around agricultural products and their exemption from the restrictions. 

“Our Certified American Grown farmers are out in their local communities now assisting the overworked people in the best ways we know – delivering flowers and greens to help alleviate stress and bring moments of joy. We encourage you all to BUY FLOWERS where you can, SHARE THEM and let’s make sure that all farmers are still in business when this crisis is over. Once gone, a farm may be gone forever,” said Rita Jo Shoultz, owner of Alaska Perfect Peony and chair of the Certified American Grown Council.  

“A Rutger’s University Study indicated that flowers bring happiness. In the home, they support self care, provide joy, hope and healing,” Shoultz added. “Flowers help counteract negative messages and darkness prevalent at this very moment. Flowers will assuage troubled minds and bring peace to hearts and souls in this time of anxiety and fear.”  

Today, flower farmers are asking consumers to purchase a bunch of flowers next time they’re in stores to buy essentials. That purchase could make the difference in an entire industry – one we count on to add beauty to life’s celebrations, express love and decorate our homes. 

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About Certified American Grown

Launched on July 1, 2014, Certified American Grown Flowers represents a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms, including small and large entities in multiple states across the country. Certified American grown flower farms participate in an independent, third-party supply-chain audit to verify both origin and assembly of the flowers they grow. When it appears on bouquets, bunches and other packaging or store signage, the Certified American Grown Flowers logo gives consumers confidence in the source of their flowers and assures them that the flowers they purchase come from a domestic American flower farm. For more information about Certified American Grown Flowers, visit americangrownflowers.com. 

About the California Cut Flower Commission

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org. 

Space savers: The flower power advantage for isolation

How many times have you said to yourself, “I could really use a break!” 

Although the timing and circumstances are not most Americans’ choice, this pause is here, courtesy of COVID-19. But unlike a staycation, we aren’t sure just how much time we have to launch DIY remodeling projects or dive into long-term changes in our life. 

Immediate impacts that refresh our space are the goal now, along with keeping our spirits sweet.

Floral arrangements accomplish both. According to a 10-month behavioral study at Rutgers University, flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods. Study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious, and agitated when presented with flowers. Color plays a strong role in this reaction:

Red has a positive effect on the immune system and an energizing influence on fatigue and exhaustion. 

• When you see pink, you often feel joy. Bright hues of this color increase blood pressure, heartbeat and respiration, as well, which leads to energy. 

Violet calms the body and mind and nourishes creativity. 

Yellow, the happy color, encourages communication while it stimulates memory and the nervous system. 

Orange’s psychological profile includes promoting optimism, determination, and success. On the other hand, it also urges viewers to socialization, so be sparing with this color. 

Blue, as you could no doubt guess, promotes a calm, cool, and sedate aura. No wonder it’s America’s favorite color even in normal times. 

Green brings about tranquility.

Photo: The Floral Source Instagram / thefloralsource.com

But the effects don’t end there. If you find working from home is adding undue stress to your daily life, take heart from this study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology: fresh-cut roses in a Tokyo office environment produced measurable degrees of relaxation. “In our stressful, modern societies, the relaxing effect of natural stimuli is considered advantageous compared with other stimuli,” the researchers shared. 

And, finally, don’t overlook the power of scent. Lavender has long been known as a way to relieve anxiety and depression. (It’s also been used as antiseptic) The small, white jasmine flowers enhance mental alertness. Lilac triggers serenity. 

Mother Nature loves you. Be sure to let her into your life in the coming days!

 

The Flower Fields tour stop in Carlsbad, California, originally scheduled for April 16, has been postponed.

The safety of our guests, farmers, chefs and staff is our highest priority. We want everyone coming to an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner on one of our flower farms to do so without worry. 

Therefore, based on the current recommendations of the CDC, we’ve decided to delay the start of our Field to Vase Dinner series until June, with the first dinner taking place at Ocean Breeze Farms in Arroyo Grande, California on June 20.

The Flower Fields tour stop in Carlsbad, California, originally scheduled for April 16, has been postponed. We’ll reach out as soon as a new date is determined. Your ticket will be honored for our future date, and if you’re unable to attend the rescheduled event, we’ll issue a credit that can be used toward another Field to Vase Dinner. This includes changing your tickets to nearest location to Carlsbad, the dinner in Arroyo Grande, CA on June 20.   

The events surrounding the recent COVID-19 pandemic have caused fear, panic and uncertainty, but now, more than ever, we need to rally as a community to take care of each other and spread kindness and joy. 

A Rutgers University study conducted a few years ago indicated that flowers have long-term positive effect on mood. Flowers assuage troubled minds and bring peace to hearts and souls in times of anxiety and fear. So next time you’re picking up essentials, be sure to grab some flowers as well. 

Thank you for your continued support of our American farmers, designers and chefs.

See you soon on a flower farm near you!

We want you to feel confident about your ticket purchase.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is ever-changing, we’ll continue to monitor information and keep you informed. If an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner must be postponed due to circumstances beyond our control, we’ll reschedule and all ticket purchases will be honored for a future date. If a guest is unable to attend the rescheduled dinner, we’ll issue a credit for the original purchase amount to be used toward another Field to Vase Dinner of their choice.

2020 D.C. Fly-in Recap

Certified American Grown

This past week myself and our team hosted one of the most important events CCFC / CAG has each year, the DC Fly In. As your CEO, I was beyond proud of the group that dedicated themselves to join us in Washington DC to perform this critical service on behalf of the entire US Cut Flower Industry. Our group consisted of 15 US farmers, 2 professional designers and 3 CCFC staff; all representing 10 States and including Jumana Madanat Misleh, our DC Legislative Consultant, who set up all of our appointments. During the 2.5 days, we held our annual CAG Council Meeting, then divided ourselves up to conquer the 40 + meetings with Representatives, Senators and 3 different departments.

 

I think I can safely say that this was the 1st ever DC Fly In where we’ve had a Senator actually sign a bill for us right there in his office (pictured below)!
Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska signed the Senate version of the American Grown Act with our group present in his office. Following the signing in Sullivan’s office, the bill was sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein to co-sign the bill.

 

 

Other highlights of the trip were us learning how the National Floriculture Report is created and discussing ways we can give input to improve the report managed by NASS, The National Agricultural Statistics Service. Annually, when you are reporting your cut flower variety production, there is an area called ‘other’. Please take a few minutes and write in the specific top five varieties you are growing, not included in the pre-printed list of varieties on the same page. That way we will get an opportunity to have detailed data on individual varieties we grow to better influence marketing decisions for our future.

 

Meetings last year with the Undersecretary Ted McKinney, in Charge of Foreign AG Trade, initiated conversations with USAID about financial aid given to countries to export flowers into the US market. We discussed with staff from USAID the need to rethink helping Kenya with exporting their flowers into the USA. We also met with the USDA to cover marketing, regulatory programs and fair trade policies for all flowers coming into this country. We presented our stand on ‘Country of Origin’ labeling to numerous people from Department Staff to every Congress person we met. We followed up by getting support to officially designate July as “American Grown Flower Month” and had members of Congress say they would become new members of our Cut Flower Caucus.

 

 

As you can see, our annual DC Fly In is one of the most valuable programs we run, creating real change that will help us all maintain the health of our Cut Flower Farms across the United States. This year was the biggest DC Fly In in recent history and it was all topped off by a packed house reception co- sponsored by our friends of The Wine Institute, CHEERS! We all got a second opportunity to talk with Staff, Representatives and Senators we visited during the day and have them leave the reception with Fresh Certified American Grown Flowers. Anna Kalins, our new Event Director was a big part of making this year’s FlyIn a strong success.

 

 

In closing, 2020 is the 30th birthday of the Cut Flower Commission. That longevity accomplishment is a true benchmark of the value our growers have experienced, as a result of the work our organization takes pride in.

 

Doing what matters,

 

 

 

 

Dave Pruitt,
CEO The California Cut Flower Commission #CAGROWN
Administrator Certified American Grown #OriginMatters

The ULTIMATE Valentine’s Day “Date-Night of a Lifetime” Giveaway

We’re giving away the date-night of a lifetime… admission for 2 at a romantic 2020 ‘Field to Vase Dinner tour’ evening of your choosing!

Our American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, presented by the California Cut Flower Commission, is in full swing… and we are inviting YOU and a date to dine among the exquisite fields of America’s most stunning flower and foliage farms as our guests.

In our sixth season, this cross-country series of elegant pop-up gatherings features seasonal, sustainable blooms on beautifully designed tablescapes elegantly dressed by top U.S. floral designers, while multi-course artisan meals are prepared by well-known farm-to-table chefs. 

At each unique meal and through the accompanying farm tours and design demonstrations, you’ll experience the age-old art and science of flower farming while being served seasonal and locally grown fare accompanied by wine, craft beers and floral-inspired cocktails.

THE RULES:

  1. Share a Valentine’s Day pic of you or a loved one (or both together), showcasing Certified American Grown flowers on social media.
  2. Tag us on Instagram (@americangrownflowers) or share it to our Facebook page.
  3. We’ll randomly choose a one very lucky winner.
  4. All photos must be shared by midnight on Sunday (2/16 for consideration).

For more info on our American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, presented by the California Cut Flower Commission, visit fieldtovasedinner.com.

*Field to Vase Dinner Events based on availability.

Here We Go! Our 2020 Certified American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is NOW LIVE.

4 Breathtaking Destinations Announced, with surprises still to come!

Our American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, presented by the California Cut Flower Commission, announces the 2020 season, and we invite YOU to dine among the exquisite fields of America’s most stunning flower and foliage farms.

In our sixth season, this cross-country series of elegant pop-up gatherings features seasonal, sustainable blooms on beautifully designed tablescapes elegantly dressed by top U.S. floral designers, while multi-course artisan meals are prepared by well-known farm-to-table chefs. 

At each unique meal and through the accompanying farm tours and design demonstrations, you’ll experience the age-old art and science of flower farming while being served seasonal and locally grown fare accompanied by wine, craft beers and floral-inspired cocktails.

Grab your calendar and check out these destinations!

You ‘ll be surrounded by flowers with a view of the Pacific Ocean during our dinner at The Flower Fields of Carlsbad. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

We’re thrilled to launch our 2020 tour at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, on April 16th. The American Grown Field To Vase Dinner Tour returns to this postcard of an experience each year. Guests at this dinner get exclusive access and enjoy dining among acres and acres of colorful ranunculus while looking out over the Pacific Ocean. This is a very popular tour stop that sells out faster and faster each year, so don’t wait to get your tickets.

We want to see your name on the guest list during this year’s tour. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Next, we’ll head North along the California coastline to Arroyo Grande and one of the Golden State’s crown jewels, Ocean Breeze Farm. On June 20th, guests will be introduced to rows and rows of colorful greenhouse-grown Gerberas and will be surrounded by the farm’s avocado tree orchard.

On July 18th, the tour heads East to Virginia where you have a chance to experience the beauty of family-owned and operated Harmony Harvest Farm. As their team is fond of saying, “When in doubt, flowers.” Virginia may be for lovers, but this stunning location tucked just outside Shenandoah National Park in Weyers Cave, Virginia, is for those who love flowers in all of their colors, textures and rich varieties.  

Next, we travel back to the West for two surprise Field to Vase Dinner experiences!

Our first surprise location of 2020 will be one for the record books, and guaranteed to sell out quickly. We can’t reveal too must just yet, but we will say it’s Western Washington in August and truly one of our more adventurous locations yet.

In September we head South to a beautiful farm reaping the benefits of fall in Northern California. Pumpkin spice is everywhere as reds and golds claim the landscape. Far from shedding leaves and heading into dormancy, the seasonal change is vibrant and flourishing – and you’re invited to participate in this tangible burst of happiness.

2020 will be full of surprises… and these are just a few of them!

 

Mark your calendar for October 24, 2020, as we make our final stop in the 2020 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour to join Texas Specialty Cut Flowers farmers Frank and Pamela Arnosky in the great state of Texas among fields of blooming and fragrant marigolds.

Located just outside San Antonio, in late October, these flower fields come alive as Texans celebrate Dia De Los Muertos – Day of the Dead – featuring the ceremony’s traditional marigolds. It’s a reverent yet joyful experience that leaves your soul singing with bright memories.

You will find beautifully designed centerpieces by amazing floral designers at each one of our tour stops in 2020. Photo by Liraz Photography.

There’s so much more we could share and explain, but for now, visit the landing pages we’ve created for each one of these locations; find the complete list here. You’ll discover even more information and details about each stop, but make sure you book your tickets right away. Each year, we have dinners selling out months in advance!

Plus, early birds benefit from special “Tour Launch” pricing. For the first 60 days, with the price for each ticket increasing after this introductory offer!

Seating is limited and every dinner will sell out, so don’t wait to save your seat. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Please consider helping us share this year’s locations and special launch pricing with your flower-loving friends. If you’re planning to attend a dinner, invite them to join you. If you’ve gone before, help us share this magical experience with others on social networks like Instagram and Facebook.

We can’t wait to welcome you to the flower farm. Photo by Liraz Photography.

We look forward to seeing you on a flower farm in 2020!

 

Passionate Floral Pros Hear the Origin Matters Message

Over 300 floral designers gathered for the Team Flower Conference the first week of January in Southern California to learn, grow and build bridges between the various sectors of the floral industry. 

The event, the third of its kind, included a presentation by Certified American Grown’s own Anna Kalins. She took to the stage to share the hundreds of varieties of domestically grown flowers and foliage available 365 days a year from American flower farmers. She also shared the #originmatters message, explaining how florists, wholesalers and others connected to the flower industry can meet consumer demand – and spread the word – about the freshness, diversity and value of buying American Grown flowers. 

 

During the multiple-day event, several educational topics in the areas of design, business and flower farming were also spotlighted by speakers, including floral installations, centerpiece and bouquet design, marketing and testimonials, and growing dahlias and roses.

The annual event is scheduled for March 3-5, 2021 in Albany, New York.

Create Alongside America’s Most Talented Floral Designers

Volunteer for 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon Design Team

Certified American Grown Flowers is seeking volunteer floral designers and support team members for the 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon.

As a volunteer, you’ll work side by side with some of America’s most talented floral designers to create hundreds of arrangements and a floral selfie wall – all from American Grown Flowers and Greens – to wow guests at this historic bipartisan luncheon that’s been an annual tradition since 1912.

This is your chance to give back and make a difference, all while honing your floral design chops for a prestigious audience!

First Lady’s Luncheon 2020 designer Christi Lopez of Bergeron’s Flowers.


This year, the Certified American Grown First Lady’s Luncheon Design Team is being co-led by Christi Lopez AIFD EMC of
Bergerons Flowers and Carrie Wilcox of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design

With over 30 years of experience in the floral industry, Lopez’s Bergerons Flowers specializes in weddings and event design for clients in the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area.

Big on giving back, Lopez also helps florists who are just starting out confidently unleash their design creativity and run a profitable business through professional coaching, floral design intensives and her Business of Flowers Facebook Group.

Carrie Wilcox of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design will serve as co-designer for the 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon.

Carrie Wilcox Floral Design is a full-service floral event studio that works with East Coast clients in Fairfield County, the Hudson Valley, Westchester County, Coastal Connecticut, Massachusetts and beyond. Weddings and special celebrations are Wilcox’s only focus, so she’ll perfectly on task at the luncheon. 

Check out these photos from last year’s effort on our Flickr page. Then let us know that you’d like to volunteer!

It’s the floral design opportunity of a lifetime! 

 

2020 Field to Vase Dinner Tour Launch Coming Soon!

Join Us On a Flower Farm Next Year

Planning for the 2020 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is in the final stages, with stops planned for Certified American Grown Flower farms across the U.S. that grow a gorgeous variety of flowers and foliage. 

Next year’s tour will introduce guests to some never-before-visited farms and some longtime favorites. And the locations will be spread out across the U.S., so be sure to watch for stops near you! 

It all starts in the spring, when this award-winning dinner tour begins crisscrossing the country – all the way through October. 

Join us for one of our 2020 dinners and celebrate an evening of American Grown Flowers and Greens with a table full of flower-loving friends. Photo by Danielle Honea Photography.

You don’t want to miss your chance to meet a passionate flower farmer, dine in a flower field at a community table adorned with American Grown Flowers and connect with fellow flower-lovers. You’ll be treated to a multi-course artisan meal; wine, craft brews and floral-themed cocktails; and live local music. 

Get a glimpse at a genuine Field to Vase Dinner experience in this video from our 2019 dinner in Alaska!

Each dinner also includes the renowned boutonniere bar where guests craft their own floral flair and the popular Field to Vase swag bags packed with flower-related goodies.  

Every guest leaves with armfuls of flowers and swag and smiles on their faces. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the entire 2020 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour map, coming soon! And if you haven’t signed up to be the first to know, make sure you do so here!

 

Join Us In Washington, D.C., For Annual Fly-In

Mark Your Calendar for Feb. 25-27

Year after year, we encourage flower farmers to join us in Washington, D.C., for our annual fly-in. 

Why?

Because meeting face to face with policymakers, telling flower farmers’ stories and sharing pain points works. It impacts policy. It leads to change. It creates understanding. 

American Grown flower farmers in Washington D.C., February 2019. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

That’s why we’re encouraging you to mark your calendar for this year’s fly-in, set for Feb. 25-27. 

This is your opportunity to advocate for the work you do and its impact on the economy. It’s your chance to explain how policies from D.C. affect real farmers and their families. And it’s your opening to help make something big happen for flower farmers. 

Delegate Benno Dobbe pleased to share his passion for American Grown Flowers and Greens. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

Perhaps it will be something related to trade policies, labor requirements, or sustainability or a host of other potential bills on critical topics that require the voices of real flower farmers who are affected. 

Great things happen when farmers are able to share their challenges and concerns with policymakers. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

You don’t have to be an expert. We’ll provide the background you need and tips for speaking to policymakers. But we do need your voice. Your experience. Your time. 

Let us know you’d like to join the delegation signing up today!  Together, we can advocate for the industry we love.