With more than 3,000 exhibiting and visiting companies from more than 100 countries, the International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF) has become one of the largest and most important floral trade shows of its kind in the world. The IFTF was held Nov. 7-9 at the Expo Haarlemmermeer in Vijfhuizen, Netherlands, and it occurred at the same time as the Royal FloraHolland trade show, which was held in Aalsmeer, about 30 minutes away.


“Netherlands trade shows offer industry updates and opportunities to increase floral sales.”


The 2018 IFTF show attracted a record number of exhibitors and attendees this year. Buyers from all over the world converged on Vijfhuizen to see new varieties, products and services.

As an American visiting the Amsterdam flower shows, I couldn’t help but notice how far advanced the Dutch are when it comes to the flower business. It’s inspiring to see how passionate they are and how focused they are on quality and logistics. It’s not by accident that the Dutch are the center of the floral universe in Europe.

At the same time, the traditional Aalsmeer auction is not immune to current market dynamics. While Royal FloraHolland and Dutch Flower Group jockey for position to service the needs of all levels in the floral supply chain, buyers are, more and more, going direct, bypassing the auction and cutting deals with growers everywher

The IFTF show is geared more toward flower retailers, as opposed to the Royal FloraHolland show down the road, which is geared more toward plant growers than flower growers. At the same time, many local growers had open houses to host visitors from around the world.

The IFTF show was organized by HPP Exhibitions, which offered free admission (for the trade), free shuttle service to and from hotels and the neighboring Royal FloraHolland show in Aalsmeer, as well as free gourmet coffee and tea.

The floral exhibitors showcased the most impressive varieties popular in the European market. In addition, there were also some well-known flower growers to North American buyers in attendance including Jose (Joey) Azout, president of Alexandra Farms, located in Bogotá, and Cristina Uricoechea, director of Proflora, both who work to help promote Colombian growers to the world.

Alex Frost has founded and operated multiple technology and marketing companies in the floral industry for more than 25 years. He has also developed unique supply chain software for the flower industry. Email him at