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2022 is coming up, and like any other year, it’s important to have a plan and a budget ready for the new year. But after such a crazy and prolific year and a half, a lot of growers may be struggling with planning for the upcoming year. With such an unexpected 2020 and 2021, how can we know what to expect in 2022?
Luckily, some of the field’s leading economic experts have ideas of what 2022 may look like. Purdue University’s Dr. Ariana Torres, the University of Georgia’s Dr. Ben Campbell, and Texas A&M University’s Dr. Charlie Hall are anticipating a good year ahead of us in 2022, but that doesn’t mean businesses should expect a repeat of the historic, pandemic-induced sales booms of 2020 and 2021.
Our experts anticipate consumer demand for plants to stay strong but admit that demand will eventually return to what we saw in 2019 before the pandemic. However, they agree that it will likely take a while to reach that point, as the drop in demand will be gradual. To prepare for this gradual winding down, Torres and Campbell advise growers to use 2019 sales figures when forecasting revenues for 2022. Similarly, Hall recommends taking an average of the last three years.
Additionally, there’s been a great deal of talk in the industry about raising prices, and Hall recommends that growers raise prices by 11-13%. He anticipates that consumers will be willing to pay that increased price, which is good news for growers.
Strong demand and higher prices paint a pretty good picture, but they will likely be offset by increased production costs, chiefly driven by increased labor costs. It’s no secret that there’s a labor shortage right now, and it’s only going to get worse. That means growers must tackle it head-on by offering higher wages, better benefits, and advancement opportunities to get new employees in the door.
Much like his suggestion that growers base their sales forecasts on 2019 figures, Campbell suggests that growers budget based on how 2019 went. He also worries that growers are planning on seeing their revenues increasing, but not their costs. While revenues will still be strong, thanks to the gardeners who are sticking with their new hobby and thanks to increased prices, increasing costs will eat into some of those profits.
Torres provides a caveat that, while a conservative production budget would be a good plan for growers, they can’t necessarily sacrifice on marketing. Growers still need to conduct market research so they understand what consumers want and how they can attract consumers to their products, and they still need to promote their products and services.
2022 still presents a lot of unknowns. Growers must be prepared for whatever the new year brings their way, and that starts with careful budgeting and planning. With demand likely returning to 2019 levels and both prices and operational costs going up, growers need to think carefully about how they are going to spend their working capital in 2022.
For more on what the year ahead could look like, check out our “Tactical economics: An update” feature from the October 2021 issue (bit.ly/tactical-economics-update).
The American Floral Endowment (AFE) announced a new memorial tribute in memory of Robert “Bob” Williams II. Smithers-Oasis CEO Robin Kilbride, along with Red and Katie Kennicott of Kennicott Brothers Company, established the fund.
Robert “Bob” Williams II, AAF, PFCI, former vice president of North American operations for Smithers-Oasis, passed away with his family by his side on Sept. 27, 2021, at the age of 75. Bob was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in March 2020.
Bob was an industry champion, active volunteer leader and business expert. He graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Vermont in 1969. He completed some graduate-level work at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. While there, he focused on strategic marketing, managing channel conflict and managing critical resources. He completed a Certificate in Management in 1998.
Bob’s early career was at Sherwin Williams, where he became director of sales and marketing, consumer brands division, which he held for 10 years. In 1997, Bob left Sherwin Williams to work for Smithers-Oasis, a global manufacturer and marketer of floral foam, postharvest products, growing media, temperature-controlled packaging and floral accessory products – entering the floral industry where he would devote the rest of his career.
Harrison “Red” Kennicott, chairman of Kennicott Brothers Company notes, “Unlike many of us, Bob joined the flower industry in mid-career. Bob hit the ground running and never stopped. Bob made a difference for his company, for the flower industry and for all of those whom he touched.”
Over the course of 19 years, Bob rose in the ranks from director of sales and marketing to general manager of North American operations to vice president of North American operations and co-owner. “Whether I was Bob’s subordinate, peer or boss, his character was consistent,” says Robin Kilbride, Smithers-Oasis president and CEO. “Bob loved God, his country and his fellow man. Whatever the challenge, Bob always found a way to look at the glass as half full. And he had a heart for making the world a better place by helping others be successful.”
Throughout his career at Smithers-Oasis, Bob became more deeply involved in the floral industry by devoting time to AFE, the Society of American Florists (SAF) and the Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association (WF&FSA). He took on many volunteer leadership roles and became an incredible advocate for our industry.
Bob and the entire Smithers-Oasis team continuously supported the industry through their commitment to AFE, proudly attending their annual dinners and funding their programs. As longtime supporters, they frequently sponsored AFE’s initiatives and mission.
At SAF, Bob served on committees, councils and the executive board, including serving as president and chairman. He was also an enthusiastic participant and advocate of Congressional Action Days.
Additionally, Bob served as treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of the WF&FSA’s Board and also volunteered as a mentor and speaker at their Management Institutes.
Most recently, Bob was awarded the 2021 Paul Ecke Jr. Award by SAF, noting his service to the floral industry and community. He was honored at the 2021 SAF Convention in Orlando on Thursday, Sept. 23; but because Bob was unable to attend the convention in person, the SAF team and other industry leaders surprised him with the award on Aug. 26 in Ohio.
After retirement from Smithers-Oasis, Bob continued to support the industry with consulting work. He worked with Kennicott Brothers Company from 2016 to 2020. Bob’s advice was highly valued, and he shared his deep perception of the dynamics of the floral industry.
Within his own community, Bob exemplified what it means to be a volunteer leader. He served as his church’s deacon and a Sunday school teacher for several years. He also lectured at Kent State University and volunteered with support groups for those facing drug and alcohol addiction. In his free time when he was not volunteering, Bob kept active as a referee for varsity high school football. He also ran in a local running group and completed six marathons between the ages of 61-65.
Bob’s passion for building relationships and connections was shown in every aspect of his very full life. He leaves a legacy of volunteerism and commitment to the industry. Even after retiring, Bob stayed connected and continued to share his expertise.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years Diane Williams, three children and five grandchildren.
American Floral Endowment
c/o Bob Williams Memorial Tribute
625 First Street, PMB 803
Alexandria, VA 22314
You can view Bob Williams’s obituary here.
The family is always notified of donations, and contributions can be made in any amount.
Registration for the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), returning to the Baltimore Convention Center Jan. 5-7, is now open for attendees and exhibitors at www.MANTS.com.
The premier green industry marketplace will bring together close to 1,000 vendors to kick off the new year with in-person opportunities to meet and reconnect with colleagues for meaningful business opportunities, check out the latest industry products, and stock up on inventory for the year ahead. Early bird pricing for attendees is $20 per person through Dec. 1, after which admission is $30 per person. Pricing includes admission for all three show days.
“We continue to plan a full in-person MANTS for January and look forward to welcoming attendees and exhibitors back to Baltimore in 2022, said Vanessa Finney, executive vice president of MANTS. “We know that our participants want to meet in-person and connect on the tradeshow floor, and that remains our top priority.”
Housing demand for MANTS is strong, with 50% of the rooms already booked for January 5-7. Attendees are encouraged to book their hotel rooms through the housing bureau in partnership with Visit Baltimore. Discounted rates are available at nine downtown hotels, all within walking distance of the Baltimore Convention Center through Dec. 29.
MANTS and its attendees and exhibitors are required to abide by any state or local health ordinances related to COVID-19. Show organizers will continue to keep all exhibitors and attendees informed of current ordinances as the show approaches. More information, including details on the Baltimore Convention Center’s cleaning and disinfecting protocols, can be found at www.MANTS.com
Cut chrysanthemum ‘Amor Candy’ exhibited by Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm won the Best in Show title in the 2021 Outstanding Varieties Competition. ‘Amor Candy’ was among 146 entries from 24 growers competing during The Society of American Florists’ (SAF) 136th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Judges scored each entry based on color and commercial appeal, stem and foliage, bloom form and size, and overall presentation. The judging panel, which included three retailers, three growers and three wholesalers, evaluated specific categories of flowers, and the highest scored entry of each won “Best in Class.” From this “Best in Class” group, judges chose their “Best in Show” winner. ‘Amor Candy’ won Best in Class for the cut chrysanthemum category and then went on to win the Best in Show title.
Following is a roundup of the Best in Class recipients:
Rose: ‘Free Spirit,’ presented by Natural Flowers, Inc.
Spray Rose: ‘Babe,’ presented by Equiflor — Rio Roses
Garden Rose: ‘Leonora,’ presented by Rosaprima
Dianthus: ‘Bubblicious,’ presented by Golden Flowers, Inc.
Alstroemeria: ‘Romance,’ presented by Natural Flowers, Inc.
Other Cut Flower: ‘Hanoi’ ranunculus, presented by Equiflor — Rio Roses
Cut Bulb: ‘Maxima’ roselily, presented by Oregon Flowers, Inc.
Decorative (Cut) Foliage: ‘Lysimachia Elizabeth,’ presented by Royal Flowers, Inc.
People’s Choice award winner (voted on by convention attendees): 'Maxima,' presented by Oregon Flowers, Inc.
SAF would like to extend a special thanks to the judges for the 2021 Outstanding Varieties Competition:
- Jodi McShan, McShan Florist, Dallas, TX
- Jordan Prosser, Botanica International Decor & Design Studio, Tampa, FL
- Renee Tucci, Renee Tucci Creative, Chalfont, PA
- Lani Callister, Ensign Wholesale Florist, Salt Lake City, UT
- Tim Dewey, DV Flor, Sewell, NJ
- Miguel Yepez, Orlando Wholesale Florist, Orlando, FL
- James DelPrince, Mississippi State University, Biloxi, MS
- Ben Dobbe, Holland America Arroyo, Grande, CA
- David Register, Ferntrust, Seville, FL
SAF would also like to extend thanks to Chrysal USA for supplying the plant food, to Syndicate Sales for the vases used for the entrants, and to Dave and Megan Mitchell of Mitchell's Flowers & Events in Orland Park, Illinois and their team for coordinating the Outstanding Varieties Competition.