Netherlands Ambassador to the United Kingdom- Simon Smits.
Simon Smits is Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since September 2015. Mr Smits studied English language, literature and international law at the VU University in Amsterdam.
As we enter into another 12 months of trade negotiations Simon’s experience in foreign affairs and UK politics will give our delegates the chance to ask ‘ what next?’.
President and CEO of Smithers Oasis – Robin Kilbride.
Robin serves as president, CEO, and Chairman of the board of Smithers-Oasis Company, a privately held company headquartered in Kent, Ohio, USA. Smithers-Oasis is the global leader in manufacturing and marketing of floral foam products, postharvest products, growing media and flower arranging supplies to the floriculture industry. Kilbride leads this global company that operates on six continents with manufacturing and distribution facilities in 20 countries and sales to more than 125 countries.
As Oasis floral foam comes under scrutiny its time for you to ask the questions and allow the CEO to answer on the future and sustainability of the product and the company.
Senior Supply Chain and Programmes Manager at The Fairtrade Foundation – Anna Barker
Anna Barker is the Senior Supply Chain and Programme Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, where she is responsible for the flowers category in the U.K. and manages a variety of projects in the supply chains of commercial stakeholders. Anna works with the UK flower industry to promote best practise and support businesses to make sustainable sourcing decisions. Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in developing countries. Prior to joining Fairtrade, Anna worked for Levin Sources, a specialist consultancy dedicated to the responsible sourcing of minerals. Anna will speak about how Fairtrade works, sourcing the flowers and what can florists do to support it.
British Flower Wholesaler, Evolve Flowers Ltd – Helen Chambers
Evolve Flowers Ltd is ideally placed based near to Spalding in Lincolnshire, surrounded by commercial scale flower growers in the hub of the UK’s produce distribution area.
Founder of Evolve flowers Helen has worked in Horticulture and Floriculture for the majority of her working life. Her passion and knowledge of British blooms escalated whilst spending five years developing and selling floral and horticultural products to Waitrose from Lincolnshire based grower-packers;
She is passionate about British flowers and with her experience designing horticultural products for the supermarkets and as a formally trained floristry tutor she is keen to share her knowledge with the wider industry, through workshops, consultancy and training services.
Head of BFA Retail sector – Nikki Meader.
Nikki has lived in East Malling for 19 years. She opened West Malling Flowers Florist shop in 2011 basing it on their existing shop Sandhurst Flowers. The shop won won Retail Florist Shop of the Year two years running. Nikki is now a Director for The British Florist Association.
With Nikki’s background in retail florist business and accountancy she will talk about a new BFA initiative, the resource centre. This round table discussion will enable everyone to have a say.
Reader in Sustainable Economies – Dr David Bek.
David is a Research Fellow within the Centre for Business in Society. He has experience of working in a range of institutional settings including local government, private consultancy, small business and university Geography Departments and Business Schools. His knowledge in the sustainable Cut-flower Project is far reaching. So if you are a florist, flower buyer or someone who just loves your job but doesn’t want it to impact our work, hes the man in the know.