California Cut Flower Commission: Monthly Newsletter

June 20th, 2011


Bullet Secretary Ross Brings Energy, Passion and Advocacy for California Agriculture

Bullet CCFC Launches the New Annual Farm & Flower Guide


Bullet USC Provides Preliminary Analysis on Transportation

Bullet California Grown Flowers Fan Page Passes the 2,500 Fan Mark & Offers Fresh Flower Fridays

Bullet The California Grown Experience: Take Two!

Bullet Another Success! Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House

Bullet Fun 'N Sun Weekend, “California Floral Convention


Secretary Ross Brings Energy, Passion and Advocacy for California Agriculture

A crowd of over ninty local flower farmers and dignitaries gathered for the Commission’s Mid-Year Dinner Meeting in Carpinteria on Tuesday May 17 to hear from California’s newly appointed Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.  Ross was recently confirmed as the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture in March by the Legislature.  The former President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, Secretary Ross left her most recent post as the Chief of Staff to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, a job that she said she really enjoyed.
After a friendly introduction by Congresswoman Lois Capps, the Secretary’s remarks focused on the job at hand in California, which is solving California's budget crisis.  The Secretary highlighted her appreciation for the Governor’s “laserbeam” focus on California’s budget issues and reported that she is working with the Governor directly to help resolve them.

“Governor Brown has provided his cabinet with a direct line of communication with him on all matters,” explained Secretary Ross.  “I really appreciate this direct approach of working together as a cabinet to break down the silos and work together on solving California’s budget crisis.”
Attendees had a chance to direct questions to the Secretary, which provided for some good discussion on the budget, the threat of invasive pests and quarantines and labor needs.
“This was one of the best industry events in a long time,” said District 4 Commissioner Mike A. Mellano, PhD of Mellano & Co.  “Reminded me of the good old days.”

















CCFC Launches the New Annual Farm & Flower Guide

How do you communicate the importance of "know your flower, know your farmer" to your customer?  Send them a California Farm and Flower Guide!

Florists, wholesalers and mass market retailers all received their copy of the new CCFC California Farm & Flower Guide in their June issues of Florists Review and SuperFloral Retailing respectively.  This first of its kind guide has been creatively designed to focus not only on the beautiful Flowers grown in California, but also the passionate farmers who are responsible for growing them.  Focusing on our farmers is an important link to a growing trend by consumers who are seeking to understand where their food is coming from and those consumers who are conscientious advocates for buying local and locally grown products.

This California Farm & Flower Guide is meant to inspire our retailers to "Lead with Local" and "Focus on the Farmer" as a fresh way of selling the kind of passion and care that goes into growing every stem of California Grown Flowers and foliages.

The California Farm & Flower Guide is also a promotional complement to the Commission's newly redesigned website ( and the highly successful California Grown Experience online video series with J Schwanke.  Readers will take note that the flowers are really a reflection of the people that grow them and will recognize and appreciate that are flowers are grown with the same passion as the people who design with them.

"Featuring our farms and farmers is the best way for California to tell its story," explained CCFC CEO/Ambassador Kasey Cronquist.  "This new farm guide helps to tell that story and has already begun inspiring retailers to do the same.  It was the right project at the right time."

The initial distribution of the guides went to over 30,000 subscribers of Florists Review and SuperFloral Retailing.  In addition these guides will be distributed at the major conventions and trade shows of our industry, starting with the International Floriculture Expo in Miami Beach, Florida.  

The appreciation of the new guide has already been seen and heard on Facebook:


High demand, empty coolers, good prices and last minute shipping indicated that this year’s Mother’s Day had a lot of positive momentum.  The results will speak for themselves, but California’s farms are reporting higher than expected results following this year’s Mother’s Day.
Reasons for the improved market conditions vary from grower to grower and retailer-to-retailer, but there was a consistent theme of appreciation for the extra business.
“I don’t know that you can point to any one reason for the surge in sales this Mother’s Day,” explains CCFC CEO Kasey Cronquist.  “I do know that our farms continue to benefit from an increasing demand from retailers who recognize the benefits of selling locally grown flowers and leading with local.”
Mother’s Day continues to be the biggest single holiday for California Grown Flowers.  However, this year growers faced some unusual holiday production pressure.  Within just a two-week period, California farms were supplying for Easter, Administrative Professional’s Day and Mother’s Day, which may have also played a factor with retailing and resupply.  In addition to the increased demand for California Grown flowers, the supply of South American flowers to the U.S. market was being affected by severe weather and flooding.  Concerns of supply out of South America may have also been a factor in increased demand for California flowers during these holidays.
“If we would have known the demand was going to be so high,” shared Rene Van Wingerden of Ocean Breeze Farms in Carpinteria.  “I would have certainly had more flowers in the ground.  I just hope this is just the beginning of a renaissance for California’s flower farms and that more and more people start caring about where their flowers come from.”

USC Provides Preliminary Analysis on Transportation

The CCFC’s Transportation Committee got a peak into the initial analysis being done by the USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering Department.  Led by Dr. Maged Dessouky, the team from USC reported that there appears to be significant savings to be realized by a cooperative effort of California’s flower farms consolidating their freight.
The study, which is looking at current transportation practices and comparing the current practices against a consolidation plan, will be finalized in August.  The USC team has been working with 20 farms on collecting data for the study and will continue to collect data through June.
“The more data we can have,” explained Dr. Dessouky.  “The more specific and accurate we can be with our findings.  So, we encourage more participation.
The initial results appear to confirm the work of The Supply Chain Coach, which also found savings in how farms could cooperate their freight for increased cost savings on transportation and include a variety of additional benefits for the farms and their customers alike.
“There is no doubt that a solid and reliable transportation model for California’s flower farms is vital for future economic development for our industry and our farms,” shared CCFC’s Transportation Committee Chairman Rene Van Wingerden.  “I have learned a lot about our dependency on transportation through this process and I’m really counting on workable solution here.”
The final report will include a complete economic impact study that shows how implementation would affect California’s marketshare and recommendations for implementation of a consolidation plan for California’s flower farms.

California Grown Flowers Fan Page Passes the 2,500 Fan Mark & Offers Fresh Flower Fridays

The Commission's California Grown Flowers Facebook Fan page surpassed the 2,500 fan milestone in May.  The CCFC now has plans to double that figure in the next 6 months.  A presentation by the Commission’s PR firm EvansHardy+Young to the CCFC's Promotion Committee outlined a focused plan that outlined goals and objectives using the social media platform of Facebook to promote California Grown Flowers.

“We clearly have a growing fan base,” shared Promotion Committee Chairman Rodi Groot.  “And Facebook provides a cost-effective method of telling our story to consumers that are looking for something local in floral.”

In addition to leveraging the page's 2,500 fans, the CCFC will be increasing its fan base through a semi-weekly campaign called "Fresh Flower Friday's."  This campaign will allow fans to enter for a chance to win a fresh bouquet of California Grown flowers every other Friday, with the expectation that winners will post photos of the California flowers they receive and highlight their appreciation and passion for the flowers grown in California. 

Would you like a bouqet of your California flowers featured on "Fresh Flower Friday?" 

The Commission is working with one farm each month to send winners their fresh bouquet of California Grown Flowers.  If you would like to be a part of this campaign, please contact Janice Wills at to get more information.

The California Grown Experience: Take Two!

The second series of the California Grown Experience with J Schwanke and kicked off in June with a farm visit at Resendiz Brothers Protea.  The webisodes are scheduled to premier weekly through November this year and include California farms from Acrata to Oceanside. 

"The results of this two year campaign speak for themselves," explains CCFC CEO/Ambassador Kasey Cronquist.  "Not only have these websides been a great way for thousands of people to learn about our farms, but the farms that participated really enjoyed their time and experience filing them.  It has been a true win-win."

The Commission has also been able to feature these webisodes on its YouTube channel GrowTube:

The California Grown Expereince can be viewed at or in HD at 

Another Success! Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House

The Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House was another great success this year! 

Working with the local farms in the Salinas and Watsonville area, the California Cut Flower Commission administrated the event planning, marketing and coordination of the seven participating farms.  The highest estimation of attendance was around 600 people who came through one of the seven farms to see what was "growing on" inside these local greenhouses.

Inspired by the Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association Open House in Nipomo, the CCFC has worked with local farms throughout California to help open the greenhouse doors of California flower farms and help the local communities see the magic growing inside.

"We know that 85% of people do not know where their flowers come from," stated CCFC's CEO/Ambassador Kasey Cronquist.  "Then the easiest thing we can do is to show them first hand and explain to them why California Grown Flowers are America's Flowers."

Like the Carpinteria Open House in March, the Monterey Bay Open House event lead with a Media Day and Preview Tour hosted by the CCFC, the Monterey County Visitor and Convention Bureau with Congressman Sam Farr as the special guest.  Congressman Farr spoke to the value of these farms in the community and praised their effort in opening the doors to the public for all to see.  Later that afternoon the Congressman posted a photo inviting the community to attend the local event in support of "the beautiful flowers grown in our backyard."

Fun 'N Sun Weekend, “California Floral Convention

Start making your plans today to attend this special event. California flowers offer unparalleled freshness, quality and variety.  Help support the California industry by strengthening your customer relationships and the economy.  The Fun 'N Sun Weekend, California Floral Convention only happens every other year, so do not let it pass you by!

Fun 'N Sun Weekend®, "California Floral Convention"
July 20-23
Carlsbad, CA


AIFD Symposium organizers have told CCFC that they want to "highlight California flowers as much as possible" during the 5-day convention in the City by The Bay.

In addition to hosting a round-table discussion on "Buying Local," CCFC will be sending product to support the Leadership Gala sponsored by CCFC as well as some of the other programs.  Please note that CCFC is not the sole supplier of fresh cut flowers for AIFD; the request list was split amongst several organizations.

Please find the CCFC request list HERE.  Please indicate what you are able to send as well as the wholesale value of the products.  This can be returned to Janice via fax (925-905-4489) or via email ( Shipping will take place on June 29 and we are currently finalizing those details. 

District Map


District 1

Lane DeVries
The Sun Valley Group

District 2

Jennifer Everett
California Floral Greens
Chad Nelson
Eufloria Flowers

District 3

Wilja Happé
Farmers' West Flowers & Bouquets
David Van Wingerden
Westland Floral Company
June Van Wingerden
Ocean Breeze International

District 4

Michael A. Mellano
Mellano & Co.
Diana Roy
Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers

Public Member

Sam Frye
Santa Barbara

Industry News Find local florists for Mother's Day; Rep. Thompson says support California flower growers

Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) is encouraging residents of California’s First Congressional District to support California’s flower growers this Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 8. AGRICULTURE: Reps want to protect flower industry

Forty members of the California Congressional delegation asked the president to "keep California cut flower growers in mind," while the administration negotiates a free trade agreement with Colombia, a release from Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, said Friday. California Flower Farmers Seek Consumer & Congressional Support

Mother’s Day is the number one holiday for California’s flower farmers. Yet, due to the impact of long term federal trade policy, the majority of flowers purchased in the U.S. this Mother’s Day will have been imported from South America (most notably Colombia and Ecuador). That’s why consumer and Congressional campaigns are underway to promote California Grown Flowers as America’s Flowers, which account for approximately 80 percent of domestic grown flowers. VILSACK TOUTS TRADE DEALS TO CONGRESS

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talked trade and pending trade agreements Rising water costs lead to uncertain future for farmers

Standing in a field of flowers seems like the perfect place for Mike Mellano to be. The San Diego County flower grower comes from a family that has produced blooms and stems for several generations and he understands what ornamental plants need to thrive—suitable climate, good soil and affordable, dependable water supplies. Floriculture A Big Part Of Oregon's Nursery Industry

April showers bring May flowers. The old saying is true again this year even though a cool and wetter than normal spring has caused some late blooming. From tulips to irises, Oregon owes much of its color to floriculture. Sunny days have been limited, yet there have been the usual blossoms and blooming sales of flowering plants from Oregon growers. Cut flowers, potted flowering plants, and bedding plants are visible elements of Oregon's $667 million nursery industry. All it takes is a drive down I-5 to see the splendor. Fresh Dirt - Meet coastal growers

On Saturday, June 18, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at a group of growers in the Monterey Bay region—including dreamy Succulent Gardens, pictured above—that will open their doors to the public during the Annual Monterey Bay Greenhouse Open House from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You'll meet the people behind the blooms, edibles, and other plants that are grown in the area, and there will be tours and activities for the whole family.

Calendar of Events




If you have an event that you would like to add to the CCFC Events Calendar, please contact Janice Wills Curtis at or 916-441-1701

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