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The board of directors of the Flower Promotion Organization (FPO), an alliance of Colombian and U.S. cut flower growers, has donated its assets to two industry groups in an effort to increase the consumption of cut flowers in all retail channels—$600,000 to the American Floral Endowment’s (AFE) Floral Marketing Research Fund (FMRF) and $300,000 to the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Fund for Nationwide Public Relations.

Since its founding in 1999, the FPO has devoted its efforts to direct consumer marketing, funding industry marketing and research efforts, and helping to educate the floral industry on effective ways to reach consumers with the positive benefits messages that cut flowers provide to them. The FPO board consists of 10 floral industry representatives—five from the United States, and five from Colombia.

Augusto Solano, president of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, Asocolflores, and co-chairman of the FPO, says, “Through the efforts of the FPO, the industry has learned a lot about what drives consumer purchases, the benefits of flowers on people’s lives and lifestyles, and effective ways to deliver our messages. However, we’ve also learned that the cut flower industry is not yet ready to work collectively toward achieving a sustainable industry wide funding and marketing effort, so the FPO board has decided to work through other floral organizations to help expand their marketing and research activities.”

Adds Anthony Vollering, president of Sunshine Floral and co-chair of the FPO, “Without a continuing revenue stream and an industry commitment to invest in a broad consumer marketing campaign, the FPO board of directors determined that the dispersion of its financial assets to the Floral Marketing Research Fund and the SAF PR Fund made the most sense at this time.”

Stan Pohmer, FPO executive director, remarks that the board will continue to meet regularly as a “forum to keep the lines of communication open and to focus on industrywide cut flower issues.”

Source: Flower Promotion Organization

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