Dr Bek is a Reader in Sustainable Economies based at the Research Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University (UK), where he co-leads the Sustainable Production and Consumption Cluster. He is the keynote speaker for ‘The Path to Sustainability in Ornamental Horticulture’ Virtual Conference on 30th September, sponsored by Royal FloraHolland and PERA and organised by The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) in partnership with GreenTech Live & Online, Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) and FloraCulture International (FCI).
“Noise around sustainability in horticulture has grown exponentially in the last five years,” Dr Bek adds, “with ‘green’ products and branding exploding within the horticultural marketplace. Now measurable and transparent actions are needed across the industry to make sure that initiatives are truly sustainable and not greenwash.”
Dr Bek will be joined by speakers from around the world, who will evaluate what the industry is doing to become more sustainable, how we can measure progress and what the future holds.
One speaker is Mr Jeroen Oudheusden, Chief Executive of FSI, who will present ‘How FSI is creating a more sustainable industry and how you can be involved.’ He says: “We, the sector as a whole, have the opportunity to leverage an industry narrative to lead and influence the direction of the flower and plant industry.
“Together we make sure that our sector is fully transparent, credible and continuously meeting and exceeding expectations. So that the true benefits of flowers and plants can be communicated. We do that by joining forces and improving practices. Still, there is work to be done. The sector, for example, should focus more on the bigger picture and a data-driven narrative; engage more vividly in sustainability debates to make sure that the consumer always makes the right choice when buying flowers and plants.”
Ms Ximena Franco Villegas heads the Sustainability and Environmental Affairs Department of Asocolflores (Colombia) and is Managing Director of Florverde Sustainable Flowers (FSF). She will join the panel on ‘Plastics and the Circular Economy’ alongside other industry experts.
“Sustainability is a global concept, that is understood in our international market,” she says. “However, it has to be digested in a local context. FSF focus on the social and environmental impacts to Colombian flowers and ornamentals growers, and work with local partners and regional partners for implementation.
“I think everyone must accelerate their sustainability goals and align every single initiative for the sake of the planet and humankind. We ask the whole business, floriculture and flower commerce business to align and work towards the global Sustainable Development Goals.”
Other speakers and panellists at ‘The Path to Sustainability in Ornamental Horticulture’ Virtual Conference include:
- Mr Albert Haasnoot, Royal FloraHolland
- Dr Audrey Timm, AIPH Technical Advisor
- Mr Daan de Vries, CEO, MPS
- Mr Bill Hardy, Canada, Chair of the AIPH Green City Committee
- Ms Cecilia Luetgebrune, Growing Media Europe
- Prof. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, Texas A&M University
- Ms Elise Wieringa, Quality Assurance and Sustainability Manager, Royal Lemkes
- Mr Richard (Kiki) Fernandes, Founder of Kariki Ltd and CEO of Marginpar Group
- Mr Leo Swart, Cresultant
- Mr Maarten Bánki, Sustainable Development Manager, Royal FloraHolland
- Ms Melanie Dürr, Global Product Manager Flowers & Plants, Fairtrade International
- Mr Moritz Böcking, Managing Director of Klasmann-Deilmann
- Ms Nada van Schouwenburg, Programmes Specialist, Women Win
- Ms Susannah Ball, Ball Horticulture
- Mr Steve Harper, from the UK’s Growing Media Responsible Sourcing Scheme
- Mr Sven Hoping, Global Sales Director at Pöppelmann TEKU
- Mr William Gee, Head of Sustainability at Freddie’s Flowers