United Flower Growers celebrates 60 years

Think back 60 years ago. What were you doing in 1963? That’s when seven British Columbian floral growers decided to work together, selling their cut flowers and potted plants from one central location in order to facilitate a better buying process for florists, garden store owners, floral wholesalers, and grocery stores.

The concept was to provide a single venue for diverse floral products that buyers could pick up in the early morning and have on their store shelves, ready for consumers, that same day. United Flower Growers Co-op (UFG) celebrates its Diamond 60th Anniversary this September, and it has helped elevate floriculture into B.C.’s second largest agricultural economic driver, just behind the dairy industry but ahead of the vast poultry production operations.

In the early days, UFG operated hand-turned auction clocks, with folks shouting out their bids on flowers and plants. Initially, they were located in East Georgia in the Vancouver wholesale produce district, but to meet growing demand, UFG made the move to their current location on Marine Way, just east of Boundary Road. It’s a central location, close to the Vancouver airport, with relatively easy access for all the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley growers and buyers. It’s also reasonably close to the U.S. border crossing, where so much of today’s product is exported.

The UFG is a not-for-profit co-operative enterprise where its grower shareholders receive dividends from any revenue. Today, there are over 80 growers and associate members supplying the auction with potted plants and cut flowers year-round, supplemented with floral supplies and imported products to provide buyers with a very wide range of merchandise 12 months a year.

Read more at vancouversun.com