Hawaiian Floriculture Groups Unite
As international competition intensifies, floriculture associations in Hilo, Hawaii, are seeking the formation of an industry-wide umbrella organization to help Hawaiian nursery products compete in a global market. The Hawaii Florists and Shippers Association (HFSA) has invited more than a dozen organizations to a charter meeting Feb. 27 in Hilo. Coming to the table will be professionals representing floral and plant nurserymen, floriculture farmers, plant wholesalers, landscapers, interioscapers, florists, packaging suppliers and shippers.
“Our industry needs to join forces so we can market our Hawaii brand aggressively and professionally,” states Eric Tanouye, new HFSA president, in a press release. “With competition from Asia, South America and Europe growing, we need to strengthen our reach to not only the U.S. mainland, but also abroad.”
Tanouye, vice-president of Green Point Nurseries on the Big Island of Hawaii, formally introduced the umbrella group initiative at HFSA’s recent diamond anniversary celebration at the University of Hawaii’s Imiloa Astronomy Center.
By forming an umbrella organization, representatives of the different segments of floriculture in Hawaii hope to build stronger ties, helping them stay afloat amid increased competition from foreign markets.
“Our whole industry needs to work together in this spirit of partnership,” Tanouye says. “We need to bring many small whispers into one loud roar.”