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August 21-23, Portland

US (OR): Plant introductions, streamlining business processes, garden retail topics

At the 2019 Farwest Show, Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm will deliver a talk on the dos and don’ts for launching new plants into the horticulture marketplace. Traven’s session will highlight the essential components of plant introductions, giving breeders, growers, and retailers valuable insight that can make the difference between success and failure. The Farwest Show will be held August 21–23 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.

Traven’s address, “Bringing the Next Big Thing to Market,” is scheduled for 8:30–9:30 a.m, Wednesday, August 21. He’ll look at the many facets of plant introduction including trialing, propagation, protocols, supply chain, protection, and marketing. Getting started on the right foot is critical. Traven will also share notable examples of success and failure in plant introductions.

Traven, president of Peace Tree Farm, and his wife, Candy, established the company in 1983. He attended graduate school at Cornell University and was assistant to the president for special projects at Ball Seed before that. Peace Tree has a reputation for innovation, automation, sustainability and certified organic production across a diverse array of genera and was chosen as National Grower of the Year in 2005. They are known for introducing new and unusual plants to the market and creating an amazingly complex ecosystem of biological controls, using almost no chemicals or plant growth regulators. Peace Tree has introduced several world standard plants, including ‘Phenomenal’ lavender.

Streamlining business processes
Elizabeth and Rick Peters of The Peters Company will conduct two seminars focused on their Lean program for businesses. Lean is a way of identifying, reducing and eliminating waste in business processes. Their knowledge and expertise can open the door to dramatic cost savings for producers and retailers in the horticulture industry.

The Peters’ first session, “Lean Shipping: Better All the Time,” is set for 1:30– 2:30 p.m., Thursday, August 22. This case study looks at how Robinson Nursery Inc., a grower of bareroot shade and ornamental trees and shrubs, improved productivity and flow in pulling and preparing trees for shipping. Through a series of improvement activities, the company was able to create standard work that cut their lead time in half, eliminated 30 percent of product touches, reduced the crew size from 11 to five, and engaged and motivated their employees. The time required to process a full truck order (about 3,200 trees) was cut from 3 days to 1.5 days.

The second session, “Receiving Product the Lean Way,” is scheduled for 8:30–9:30 a.m., Friday, August 23. Spotlighting benefits for retail, this presentation looks at how the team at Al’s Garden & Home transformed the company’s receiving processes. Attendees will learn how one of the region’s top garden retailers applied Lean principles to cut days off their time to receive product and slashed their labor cost per unit by 30 percent. The seminar will show ways to improve workflows and teamwork.

The Peters Company is dedicated to helping companies reduce risk and gain tactical advantage over their competitors by building the only appreciating asset: people. Company teams are strengthened by learning how to apply the Lean principles, aka the Toyota Production System, to drive a culture of continuous improvement. Elizabeth Peters has a 20-year background in leadership communications, product development and process improvement. Rick Peters is an Oregon business owner with more than 30 years of investment management experience. The Peters were honored in 2016 with the Distinguished Member of the Horticultural Allied Trades award by the Oregon Association of Nurseries.

Dr. Bridget Behe to cover two key garden retail topics
Dr. Bridget Behe, professor of horticultural marketing at Michigan State University, will deliver two retail-garden-center-focused addresses on merchandising and pricing. The talks will help retailers improve marketing strategies and mix in connecting with consumers at point of sale and relative plant pricing.

Dr. Behe’s first talk, “Build a More Shoppable Space,” sponsored by Green Profit magazine, will be presented from 8:30– 9:30 a.m., Thursday, August 22. From recent eye-tracking research findings in her consumer studies, Dr. Behe will explain how to create a more compelling retail space. The session will help improve retail marketing strategy by incorporating research-based information on consumer preferences.

The second session, “The Art and Science of Plant Pricing,” is scheduled for 12:30–1:30 p.m., Thursday, August 22. Dr. Behe will discuss pricing concepts and share research-based findings on how consumers react to pricing in communications. For retailers, as well as growers and wholesalers, pricing remains an important part of the marketing mix.

Registration is required for all sessions and talks. Convenient registration with discounts is available at Complete details on events, daily schedules, speakers, and education for Farwest can be found at For further questions, contact Zen Landis, event and education manager, at 503-582-2011 and [email protected].

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