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Augusto Solano elected President of Union Fleurs


Above: Augusto Solano (left) and Richard Fox

Members of Union Fleurs, the International Flower Trade Association, have elected a new President and Board of Directors at their General Assembly last month as Augusto Solano succeeds outgoing President Richard Fox (Kenya Flower Council, Kenya), who has served on the Union Fleurs Board of Directors since 2008, held the position of Vice-President from 2014 to 2018 and President since 2018.


The first representative of a non-European member country to hold the presidency in the 60 years of existence of Union Fleurs, the Board of Directors and members paid tribute to Richard for his outstanding service and highly valuable contribution to Union Fleurs over the past 14 years.


In addition they praised his achievements in promoting the collective mission of Union Fleurs, as well as his relentless efforts over the years to secure the continuation of the free trade of floricultural products, particularly between Kenya, the EU and the UK.


They also acknowledge his long-standing dedication in promoting socially and environmentally sustainable business practises both in Kenya and globally as representative of the trade on behalf of Union Fleurs on the Board of Directors of FSI, the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative from its inception in 2013 to 2022.


The new President Augusto Solano brings a wealth of international experience and a well-established network in the international flower industry. An industrial engineer by education, Augusto Solano has been President of Asocolflores, the association of Colombian exporters of cut flowers since 2000 and has become a prominent ambassador of Colombian flowers and of cross-cutting cooperation within the international flower industry.


He is the current chairman of the Board of the Colombian chapter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and represents since 2014 floriculture growers from the Southern Hemisphere in the Board of FSI, the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative. Augusto Solano has represented Asocolflores in Union Fleurs since 2000 and has served on the Union Fleurs Board of Directors since 2014.


Reflecting the global reach of Union Fleurs and its unique position as the representative organisation for the international floricultural trade, the new Board is truly international with the following representatives:

Augusto Solano, President (Asocolflores, Colombia)

Frank Zeiler, Vice-President (BGI, Germany)

Matthijs Mesken, Chairman of the EU section (VGB, the Netherlands)

Clement Tulezi, Chairman World Trade Committee (Kenya Flower Council, Kenya), who succeeds Richard Fox in representing Kenya

Peter Larsen-Ledet, Chairman Pot Plants Committee (Flora Dania, Denmark)

Paolo di Massa, Relationship Manager (ANCEF, Italy)


They will be supported in their role by Sylvie Mamias, Secretary General of Union Fleurs, who runs the daily operations of the association from its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.


Union Fleurs and its members extend their congratulations to the new President and new Board of Directors and look forward to their continued contribution in promoting international cooperation in strategic areas of relevance for the international floricultural trade and in addressing ongoing and future challenges for the benefit of the association’s members and of the international floriculture supply-chain at large.


What is Union Fleurs?

As the representative organisation of the floricultural trade at the EU and international levels, Union Fleurs engages on a regular basis in various advocacy activities to make sure that the common interests of its members, and of the floricultural trade in general, are promoted and protected.


One of the key focuses of Union Fleurs is to ensure the free flow of floricultural products from supplying countries to consumption markets. Another fundamental objective of Union Fleurs is to provide sound, fair and sustainable pre-competitive conditions for the worldwide floricultural trade.


To achieve this, Union Fleurs keeps a close eye on regulatory developments in the field of international trade, phytosanitary policies and customs issues at EU and international levels that might have an impact on the floricultural trade and maintains an active dialogue with the EU authorities and other international regulatory bodies to give adequate visibility to the needs and specificities of the sector.


Whenever the interests of the floricultural trade need to be further promoted, Union Fleurs coordinates advocacy & lobbying activities, in cooperation with its members and other representative organisations of the floricultural and agricultural sectors.

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