The 13th edition of the IFTF is a wrap. This year, there were more growers with a stand than ever, and the attendance was, as always, very international. The official visitor figures have not been published yet, but during the fair, the exhibitors seemed to be very satisfied, and so did the organization. For the second time in the history of the fair, the second parking lot opened, and the organizers noticed that people stayed inside for a long time.
Positive vibes, slow market
Despite the currently slow market, the atmosphere was good. Usually, it is quieter this time of year, but many mentioned that it is too quiet at the moment in the market. The reason for this slow market? No one had a conclusive explanation for that. Is it inflation? Are there no more weddings? Are people spending the money more on other things again? Or are there just too many flowers in the market? What we hear is that during the pandemic, many South American growers expanded their acreage. Now that the pandemic is over, the demand has stabilized again. However, whether demand is back to pre-corona levels remains to be seen.
Hot or not
On the show floor, we also heard that spray roses were booming during the pandemic but that the sales of this product are more of a challenge nowadays. The South American carnation, on the other hand, seems to be doing very well, mainly in the UK and Poland. The terra colors in carnations are hot, and people are looking for novelties. We also saw a lot of colored roses and gypsophilas again, and these are mainly popular in China. Preserved flowers have also grown considerably in popularity in recent years, mainly in the US. In Europe, growth seems to have stabilized somewhat again.
Holidays are around the corner
Fortunately, the holidays are approaching. Preparations at many rose growers are in full swing, and some are already preparing for Women's Day, which falls on March 8 and is a large flower holiday in Russia and Eastern Europe.
We spoke to the organizer, Dick van Raamsdonk of HPP Exhibitions, on the last day of the fair, and he was very pleased with this edition. Expectations were already high due to the high number of pre-registrations, which was 15% higher than the previous year. The first day already registered more unique visitors than in 2022, and on the second day, the second parking lot even had to be opened. Van Raamsdonk was also very pleased with the number and quality of visitors. The turnout was again very international this year, with a lot of visitors from Asia, and people also stayed inside for a longer time. In addition, the fair had a pavilion from Ethiopia for the first time. And speaking of exhibitors, van Raamsdonk was happy with the number of international growers. "It is a real grower-buyer fair and a cut flower fair pur sang."
Improvement for next year? Van Raamsdonk: "We are very satisfied with this edition, but of course, there are always points to improve. In short, we want 'more and better'. To attract more international growers and buyers from even more countries. We have room to expand."