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Paula-Orozco-AECJ-iberflora-19
Paula Orozco, President of CETA: "Iberflora is the festival of the sector, should be on our calendars as a must-see"
25 September 2019
Paula Orozco is one of the great figures of the green sector today. Takes over Nursery The Mosque (Cuenca) in the year 2002, the family business owned by his father and grandfather. Since he arrived he turned the company around. From being of a marked rural and agricultural tendency to a cosmopolitan and widely recognized business.
In 2018 she was elected president of the Spanish Association of Gardening Centers AECJ, although he has been on its board of directors since 2012. This year, also, has joined the Iberflora Committee, involving itself from the outset in the project, which he defines as "necessary and exciting".
Iberflora, International Fair of Plants and Flowers, Landscaping, Technology and DIY Garden, will take place from 1 rd to 3 th of October at Feria Valencia.

Question. You're an involved professional. What has led you to be a part of all this? Why do you think it's important?

Response. My father was already on the CETA board years ago. He proposed to me to enter it. I think it's important to be in these kinds of partnerships because there is a lot to contribute to help promote the sector and at the same time you learn from colleagues.

P. What led you to take office as president of CETA? What are your goals?

R. I accepted the challenge that Oriol Batlle proposed to me and I took it with the desire to try to do different things that would give quick results: make a Gardening Center much more recognizable, accessible to the public, not just the one with a terrace or balcony, stop being an elitist business just for a few, and that we get a lot more partners, to be a much stronger and more visible partnership.

P. You own a family business that has become an example of modernization and innovation, what were the goals you set yourself to achieve it?

R. Being in a very small town and with the tradition of being a business that my grandfather started, you had to make it known with a new image to reach more audiences. We had to get our customers to stop partnering with that small, tremendously agricultural business that is now a shop with numerous sections for all audiences, urbanites, gourmets, Pet lovers...

P. In your company it also has a florist, at what point do you think the florist is located? Why the Florists Round is a long-awaited event among professionals?

R. Florist is a tremendously creative part, And this is where every store, either florist, workshop or gardencenter can be greatly differentiated, and bring a very important line to your business. The Florist's Round, for those of us who visit Iberflora is a visual event that is quite a spectacle for the senses, it is to value very positively that a group of florists are exposed in front of colleagues and offer us such a healthy and enriching spectacle for the sector.

P. This year, Iberflora will have a Bio space within its new creation and innovation laboratory 'Iberflora Labs', do you think bio products have a place in the more than 3.000 physical points of sale, they represent shops, garden centers & nurseries.

R. Of course I do.. Many of us started, or there's still an agricultural essence left in our stores, we could see "from the earth to our table", and the market trend helps us make it an amazing section, but nothing crazy. Our customers are very grateful to find these types of products, and they're getting very good reception.

P. Innovation is key to economic development. Do you think the garden is working that way?

R. Always to the extent of our economic possibilities, all of us are making improvements in innovation to make our lives easier.

P. This year, Iberflora consolidates the technology-related offer, why do you think it's like that? How important is it in the sector?

R. Both in production, outlets, distribution, Technology is present, gradually visitors show more interest in these pavilions.

P. Iberflora will celebrate the Night + Green", a party designed for the Gardens. From the CETA you are involved in the organization. What will we find in this great celebration?

R. A meeting point where we put aside a little the formality of the work, meet friends and share experiences. This year we've improved catering, the fun, and the schedule so we can all stay and enjoy the last hour of the afternoon.

P. Why would you say The Night + Green is important to the sector?

R. It's the moment of disconnection where we meet friends and colleagues and talk! In the hallways we also find, but work and commitments don't let us be distracted as we can do animatedly. Those who don't know yet whether to attend that they don't think about it... to come!

P. What most characterizes the collective of garden centres in Spain?

R. We are young companies, with a lot of ideas, wanting to work, Improve, Change, with many possibilities to be a specialist business and with very specific characteristics that make us distinguish ourselves from other similar businesses.

P. How do bazaars and large distribution affect the industry? And the online sale?

R. They're certainly a competition, but we're specialists, and the first thing our customers should think about when the need arises. Our stores offer a lot more and we must prove it. However, you have to keep an eye on them, don't lose sight of them.

P. Why would you say Iberflora is an inescapable quote for all green professionals, come from wherethey come from?

R. It's The Industry Fair. It should always be marked on our calendar as a must-see, where we're going to make a lot of money and it should never be a fair that you "don't need to go to". Iberflora is necessary and, also, very excited.

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