Presented on April 9th at the European Parliament in Bruxelles, the European Manifesto on Floriculture by the Copa Cogeca Flower and Plant Group

22 May 2024

The European Committee of Professional Agricultural Organizations aims, in light of the upcoming European elections, to “raise public awareness and inform policymakers about the economic, environmental, and social importance of flowers and plants, highlighting the priorities, challenges, and opportunities of the European floriculture sector.”

Among the requests in the document: recognizing the strategic role of European floriculture in relation to the Green Deal objectives; ensuring fair income for producers by supporting them with solid insurance tools to cope with climate changes, and investing in research, technological and innovative infrastructures, as well as dedicated promotional activities.

Present at the meeting were Tom Vandenkendelaere and Jean Aerts, President of the Copa-Cogeca Flower and Plant Working Group; Aldo Alberto, Vice President of the Group; Josep M. Pagès, Secretary General of the European Nursery Association (ENA); Sylvie Mamias, Secretary General of Union Fleurs; and Veronica Manfredi, Director of Zero Pollution at the European Commission DG ENVI.

The event also included a round table discussion on “The Role of Flowers and Plants in Building a Sustainable Europe” featuring Robbert Snep from Wageningen University and Research; Kayleigh Ammerlaan from Ammerlaan The Green Innovator, specializing in tropical green plants; Nada Forbici, Coordinator of the National Floriculture Council of Coldiretti and President of Assofloro; and Henk Raaijmakers, President of ENA.

In her speech, Nada Forbici emphasized the necessity of introducing the principle of reciprocity in floriculture to ensure that plants and flowers entering Europe meet the same environmental, health, and labor standards required within the market. This would prevent unfair competition against European floriculturists and ensure that plants and flowers in homes do not contain substances banned in Europe for decades due to their danger. A clear labeling of product origin is also crucial in this regard.

In his policy recommendations, Aldo Alberto, Vice President of the Copa-Cogeca Group and President of the Italian Floriculturists-Cia, stated that “greenery is strategic for the future, and as we have demonstrated in this forum, with studies and expert contributions, there is a need for new planning in the sector. Clear and specific goals are essential to best guide the work of producers. Only this approach will make a difference in the outcome. Without a sector that reproduces all the plants and flowers necessary for the planet and its inhabitants, parks, forests, and even the food we eat every day, which originates in nurseries, are destined to disappear.”