In a statement, Syngenta Flowers announced that it was no longer participating in the 2020 California Spring Trials. The statement, attributed to Syngenta Flowers head Scott Valentine, reads as follows:
"Syngenta Flowers puts the health and safety of our employees, our customers, and their families above all else. Considering the continued concern surrounding the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Syngenta Flowers North America has decided to cancel its California Spring Trials (CAST) event for 2020. As the Coronavirus continues to spread throughout California, we feel it is in the best interest of our employees, our customers, and their families to limit exposure and reduce overall risk associated with COVID-19. We apologize for any inconvenience this will cause customers and visitors to this annual event.
Santa Clara County has issued a legal order banning mass gatherings through the rest of March. Our North American Flowers headquarters and R& D facility, which is based in the southern part of this county, will remain operational but closed to external visitors until further notice. Syngenta Flowers is also eliminating the access of international employees and visitors at this time, in accordance with the advice of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The health and safety of our people is our priority. As the situation is fast evolving, we also encourage our customers to exercise caution limiting their exposure with travel during this time."
In lieu of a full-scale public event, our marketing and sales teams are hard at work organizing an alternative to the CAST event which will showcase our new varieties and core assortment of innovative genetics. We are continuing to capture photos, videos and will host a series of online events. Thank you for your support of Syngenta Flowers."
Like Sakata Seed America, who also canceled its stop due to the coronavirus, the Syngenta stop was located in Santa Clara County, California, where local officials have advised residents to limit mass gatherings. Floricultura — featuring ABZ Seeds, Beekenkamp and Monrovia — and American Takii also have stops in the county.
Griffin Greenhouse Supplies also withdrew from CAST due to COVID-19 concerns.