October 23, 2013 -- Terry Ferriss, a horticulture professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, served as one of three invited international judges at Proflora, October 2-4, in Bogota, Colombia. Ascolflores, the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, hosts this event every other year. More than 1,000 floriculture industry representatives from more than 40 countries participated in this exhibition to evaluate and compare products, learn about new products, and arrange sales agreements.
An Outstanding Varieties Competition was held during Proflora where growers and breeders enter cut flowers to be evaluated for quality. A six-member panel of cut flower experts serves as judges. Ferriss was one of three international judges. The other three judges were from Colombia. There were nearly 500 entries across 50 different species in the competition.
Prior to the opening of the exhibition, Ferriss and a colleague from North Carolina State University conducted an afternoon educational session for growers and their staff. Their presentation covered the basic principles of and advances in the post-harvest physiology of cut flowers, information critical to the Colombian floriculture industry that exports the majority of their flowers.
The cut flower industry in Colombia supports approximately 140,000 jobs. The industry is so important to their economy that the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, addressed the attendees at the opening session. Approximately 70 percent of the flower growers in Colombia are certified under the Florverde Sustainable Flowers® designation, which sets standards to protect workers and the environment, not only ensuring that the flowers are of high quality, but that they have been responsibly produced.
For more information, email terry.l.ferriss or call 715-425-3852.
Ferriss at Proflora photo: Left to right, Juan Jose Filgueira, John Dole, and Terry Ferris, judges for the floral competition, in old town Bogota, Colombia. Proflora
Competition photo: Entries at the floral judging competition at Proflora in Bogota, Colombia. UW-River Falls horticulture Professor Terry Ferriss was one of three international judges at this event.