Gediflora wins AIPH International Grower of the Year 2019

Gediflora, the Belgian breeding and propagation company of ball shaped potted chrysantemum, won the ‘Gold Rose’ award at the AIPH IGOTY Awards on Tuesday 22nd January 2019 at IPM Essen, Germany. General manager Elien Pieters dedicates the price to her parents and the team of Gediflora. „It shows that we run a respected breeding company with vigor.”

Gediflora also won godld in the category young plants. Elien Pieters hoped and expected to win that price, she says the day after. Winning the Gold Rose, which was awarded by Royal FloraHolland CEO Steven van Schulfgaarde, was a complete surprise to her.

The AIPH IGOTY Jury, comprised of six internationally horticulture experts chaired by AIPH Vice-President Tim Edwards, said “Gediflora excels in its field and is true to its motto: ‘Dream, dare, do and do better’. As a worldwide leading specialist in Chrysanthemums this business demonstrates outstanding innovation and production and is a reliable and inspiring partner for growers.”

For Elien Pieters the Gold Rose is a recognition for the vision and focus of the company. “It shows that we run a respected breeding company with vigor.” Pieters dedicate the price to her parents and the Gediflora team. “My parents put Gediflora on the map and we continue the path they embarked.”

The foundations of Gediflora’s strong position in the ball shaped potted chrysanthemum market were laid by Dirk Pieters, father of current director Elien Pieters. “He quickly moved from grower to entrepreneur”, sayd Pieters two years ago in an interview with Floribusiness. Her grandfather Georges had been growing lettuce, tomatoes and ball shaped potted chrysanthemums since 1952. When Dirk took over in 1982, he no longer bothered with the vegetables and started focusing entirely on the chrysanthemums.

“My father took the first steps towards breeding our own varieties and selling cuttings. At that time, it was mostly French varieties that were available before the 1st of November. That’s what we grew, too. My father wanted varieties that could be cultivated in other periods than the days before All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day”, recalled Elien.

Gediflora’s core activities are not limited to breeding, they include propagation as well. The Belgian company has partnerships in Kenya and Brazil, where they produce cuttings using parent plants. These cuttings are subsequently sent to the parent company in Oostnieuwkerke, where they are checked and sent on to growers or developed into a rooted cutting. Gediflora has parent plants in the United States as well, because the quarantine laws prevent them from exporting to the US.

And they also have their own production, at a 14-ha nursery in the south of Belgium. “The main idea behind our own production is that we want to keep our green fingers. We want to understand what it’s like being a grower, so that we can interact better with our customers”, explained Elien Pieters.

Gediflora services more than 30 countries and has over 50% market share in Europe, 30% in the US and 40% worldwide. The company’s mission is to make growers successful with their ‘golden genetics’ which produce a wide and innovative variety of easy-to-grow ball-shaped mums.

Other IGOTY 2019 category winners are:

Young Plants

Gold: Gediflora, Belgium

Silver: Clematis The Source of Good Climbers, Poland

Bronze: Sichuan Colorlink Co. Ltd. China

Finished Plants & Trees

Gold: Clematis The Source of Good Climbers, Poland

Silver: OK Plant, the Netherlands

Bronze: Fujian Hongzhan Landscape Engineering Co. Ltd. China

Cut Flowers

Gold: Oserian Development Company Limited, Kenya

Silver: Jiangsu Zhonghe Flowers Co. Ltd. China


Gold: Inner Mongolia M*Grass Ecological Environment (Group) Co. Ltd. China

Silver: Butterfly Garden, Denmark.

Bernard Oosterom, President of AIPH commented: “The 2019 IGOTY Awards provide an opportunity to put a spotlight on the best in our industry, showing the world the quality businesses that exist. This year’s event was another extremely enjoyable occassion!” The awards are held alongside IPM Essen, each year, and attract a list of global industry players.

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