The downtown Boston location of Roche Bros. Supermarkets Inc. participated in the Petal It Forward initiative on Oct. 24. ( Left: iStock | Right: Roche Bros. Supermarkets Inc. )

PMA Facebook group 

The Produce Marketing Association unveiled a new private Facebook group for floral members only at its Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in October in Orlando, Fla.

The Focus on Floral: Industry Professionals Group is a place for individuals from across the supply chain to foster connections and collaborations, exchange information and nurture discussion based around the professional mass-market floral industry, according to a news release.

“As the only produce and floral association that brings together all parts of the world and all parts of the produce and floral supply chains, PMA offers access to information and resources through its members, staff and volunteers,” Debora Steier, vice president of floral for Boise, Idaho-based Albertson’s Cos. and PMA Floral Council chairwoman, said in the release.

“The launch of our Focus on Floral: Industry Professionals community of interest on Facebook offers another way for our floral members to collaborate, connect and share ideas and insights,” she said.

PMA plans to release additional information about the floral Facebook group.

Block grant awarded

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded a Specialty Crop Block Grant valued at $176,730 to the Sacramento-based California Cut Flower Commission, according to a news release.

The grant will be used to fund a retailer-specific California Grown Flowers promotional campaign during June — California Grown Flower Month.

The statewide campaign will include custom marketing materials for each retailer, videos featuring California flower farmers for use during in-store promotions and a social media program touting the overall retail campaign and sharing the flower farmer videos.

The purpose of the campaign is to increase sales of California cut flowers in retail stores statewide and bring consumer attention to the origin of the flowers they purchase, the release said.

Petal It Forward

The Alexandria, Va.-based Society of American Florists’ 2018 Petal It Forward initiative resulted in 457 events in 410 cities throughout the U.S. and even in Colombia, according to a news release.

On Oct. 24, passersby at participating locations received two bouquets — one to keep, and one to share — and were asked to post a photo on social media with the hashtag #petalitforward.

“Petal It Forward is a key example of SAF’s efforts to connect the industry and spread the good news about flowers to consumers,” Jennifer Sparks, vice president of marketing, said in the release.

“This nationwide random act of kindness positions floral businesses as vital do-gooders in their communities, and that goes a long way toward building customer loyalty.”

This was the third year the downtown Boston location of Wellesley, Mass.-based Roche Bros. Supermarkets Inc. participated, said Debbie Loche, floral buyer/merchandiser.

Employees distributed 2,800 bouquets to pedestrians in front of the store.