The creation of the ASCFG Cut Flower Price Index marks a new level  in member services for the organization.  Originally conceived as a replacement for the USDA/AMS wholesale cut flower price reports, this new program will provide growers a more reliable, accurate and inclusive  for determining flower prices at all market levels across the country, while uniting members in a collective purpose that benefits all participants.

Since the nature of the specialty cut flower industry is to include virtually any plant material that can be grown or gathered, cut and sold, it is imperative that this system be as flexible and fluid as our growers’ products are.  At the same time, the information must be specific and correct. It is important that data are entered according to instruction.  The more data that are posted, the more inclusive and useful the reports will be.
    
Pricing has always been one of the first questions growers face when they create business plans or set up marketing strategies.  Now they will have the opportunity to check for the most current rates for practically any cut flower, and know that the information is pertinent, because it comes from similar growers selling to local wholesalers, florists or farmers’ markets, not from imported flowers selling through only a few cities.
    
That this program was conceived and implemented by two members who volunteered massive amounts of time and resources – during the busiest time of the year for growers – illustrates the fact that a membership organization is as strong as its members.  Tom Sferlazza and Johan Muller, both database architects in their Other Lives, saw a need and stepped forward to fill it.  Their skills as computer programmers, combined with their knowledge of the floral industry and the ASCFG’s needs, made them uniquely qualified to create the program together.
    
Many of you have Other Lives.  You’re lawyers, accountants, teachers, social workers, graphic artists, architects, chefs.  Think about your own skills; what  can you bring to your own trade association?  How can you contribute to the advancement of the organization and your fellow members?  You don’t need to be on the Board of Directors to help with a project, or support an event.  When you attend one of this summer’s Regional Meetings, talk to your Regional Director.  Find out what other projects are on the ASCFG’s table and ask how you can participate.  You might be surprised to learn how your abilities can make a difference.  And the ASCFG will be better because of you.