Metrolina Greenhouses, a USA-based ornamentals grower, has been awarded the title of International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) 2022 by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).
The coveted ‘Gold Rose’ award was presented to Metrolina Greenhouses by Royal FloraHolland CEO, Steven van Schilfgaarde, at the AIPH IGOTY Awards 2022 on Tuesday 14 June 2022 at GreenTech Amsterdam.
Now in its 12th edition, the IGOTY Awards recognise best practice in horticulture by the top ornamental production nurseries from around the globe, celebrating the expertise and energy they give to horticulture.
In addition to the Gold Rose Award, Metrolina Greenhouses also won Gold in the Finished Plants & Trees category. The award was presented by AIPH Secretary General Tim Briercliffe.
Established in 1972 by Tom and Vickie Van Wingerden, Metrolina Greenhouses has grown to employ over 1,500 people. Their two locations in the USA comprise 20MM square feet of growing space. They grow and deliver live plants to over 1,400 retail outlets on the east coast of the United States, maintaining a focus on quality, innovation, and sustainability.
“It’s a great testament to our whole team, all 3,000 of our employees, everybody back in America, who made this possible. This Gold Rose is indicative of all the work everybody put in,” said Abe van Wingerden, co-CEO of Metrolina Greenhouses.
Tim Edwards, chair of the awards jury comprising six internationally renowned horticulture experts, commented: “The Judges were enormously impressed by Metrolina Greenhouses, a company that started fifty years ago and has grown to an impressive size while managing the difficult passage from one generation to the next. While still boasting the credentials of a ‘Family Business’, this highly efficient horticultural operation is clearly driven by a need to innovate and improve at every level.
“The Company’s product range and production facilities are pushed forward by ongoing innovation and the business clearly brings that same demand for innovation to the need for ongoing advances in sustainability.”
Other IGOTY 2022 category winners were:
Young International Grower of the Year: Pablo Bazzani
Gold: Wagagai Ltd, Uganda
Silver: Jens Meyer Jungpflanzen, Germany
Finished Plants & Trees
Gold: Metrolina Greenhouses, USA
Silver: Bunnik Group Bv., Netherlands
Bronze: Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited, Canada
Cut Flowers & Bulbs
Gold: Matina Flowers S.A.S, Colombia
Silver: Prim’rose (SCA Clementine), Morocco
Bronze: Luxaflor Roses, Zimbabwe
Gold: Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited, Canada
Silver: Wagagai Limited, Uganda
Bronze: Sitio Kolibri, Brazil
“Over the last two years you have all proven the strength and resilience of our sector and despite all the challenges facing the world, we have driven it forwards. Tonight we celebrated truly outstanding businesses that are setting the example and leading the way for where our industry needs to go,” said Bernard Oosterom, AIPH President.
The IGOTY 2022 Awards are supported by headline sponsor Royal FloraHolland, founding partner FloraCulture International, sapphire sponsor Expo 2021 Hatay, ruby sponsors GreenTech and GLOBALG.A.P. and GGN Label, pearl sponsor Freddie’s Flowers, flower sponsor Dutch Flower Group, and awards partners CIOPORA and World Horti Center.