Taiwan International Orchid Show (TIOS) 2012
Taiwan International Orchid Show (TIOS) is one of the most colorful exhibitions in the year-round calendar of the Fair, having its own aspect and many friends. It will give ideas of how to make garden one of a kind, one's home cosy and beautiful. Here, one will find rare kinds of plants, pot, ornamental and blossoming flowers, shrubs and seeding, as well as accessories for them.
Wang Chih-kang, Chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), a co-organizer of the exhibition, says 13 leading orchid buyers from nine countries are taking part in this year’s event.
So far TAITRA and the Tainan City Government have already arranged 201 one-on-one trading sessions between international purchasers and local growers.
Greater Tainan City Mayor Lai Ching-te notes that the 2010 show attracted 320,000 visitors including nearly 3,000 foreign floral exports and buyers, and also brought NT$5.5 billion (US$187 million) worth of orders to local orchid growers. He anticipates that attendance figures and orders will rise by 20 percent this year.
TIOS is considered one of the biggest events of the year in Tainan because it combines two of Taiwan’s important sectors- agriculture and tourism, Lai says.
Over 400,000 people from more than 30 countries are expected to attend this year’s show, and their spending may help to spur economic growth in the city.
The organizers anticipate that on-site procurement sessions during the 10-day event will generate business worth NT$7 billion (US$235 million) for the country’s agricultural sector.
Over the past few years Taiwan has established a worldwide reputation as the Orchid Kingdom, boasting sunny and humid subtropical weather that is perfect for growing orchids. Moreover, frequent orchid competitions and exhibits have encouraged widespread planting of the exquisite blooms.
Statistics gathered by the International Commercial Orchid Growers Organization (ICOGO) show that 60 percent of domestic orchids sold every day originate from species grown at the Taiwan Orchid Plantation in Houbi District, Greater Tainan City.
In addition, orchid exports climbed by 36 percent in 2010 to US$116.56 million, accounting for 77 percent of Taiwan’s total floral exports for last year.
After attending the show last Saturday, Premier Wu Den-yih said the government is promoting local orchids as a star industry that combines other sectors including biotechnology, culture, tourism, and leisure agriculture.Ranked as one of Taiwan’s most important agricultural exports, orchids have been seen as a symbol of the country’s ‘soft power’, he added.
In addition to potential business, the annual orchid show was established to promote technical exchanges between domestic and international floral experts and expand export growth for the local orchid industry, and the show has become one of the most professional orchid-related platforms in the world.
At the same time, the organizers are holding a series of events such as an orchid competition, an orchid symposium, nursery tours, some business match-making sessions, and meetings on orchid-related products between suppliers and buyers.
The 10-day exhibition is also open to the public, who can take this opportunity to see a large number of top-quality orchids, rare orchid breeds and decorative floral displays.
Tang has always grown orchids in his spare time. Now, after retiring from a job as an engineer in the US, he has returned to his native Taiwan to turn his hobby into a business.
The island is a major flower exporter and two-thirds of the exports are of the phalaenopsis, or moth orchid. Exports of this orchid alone amount to $110 million annually, and the market is growing at 20 per cent a year.
Foreign buyers flock to Tainan in the south to attend the annual International Orchid Exhibition, held this year in February at an orchid plantation on the city's outskirts.
It's a fashion show for flowers -- growers show off their latest creations in the hope that their bloom will be the next big thing.
"Globally, one out of three moth orchids comes from Taiwan. So this is a flagship industry in our agricultural sector," Kuo Yi-pin, director of the Tainan Agriculture Bureau.
Engineering orchids, however, involves an amount of unpredictability.
"When you crossbreed two orchids, they can produce a wide variety of new orchids," Kuo said. "You won't ever know what a new flower looks like until it finally blooms."
This, along with long propagation times, is challenging for producers.
It can take eight years for a new variety to be ready for market, and it is difficult for growers to forecast which colours or designs will interest fickle consumers.
And growing the perfect bloom requires more than just green fingers.
"The temperature, humidity and light must all be strictly controlled," Tang said from his orchid farm near the exhibition centre.
"We use computer systems to do this. For example, if it's too hot, fans will automatically be activated."
Tang's "farm" is a large greenhouse in an industrial park alongside the buildings of other orchid producers.
At the entrance, a series of computer panels along one wall control the climate. Inside, hundreds of thousands of plastic-potted seedlings are arranged on metal benches in rows that end in massive exhaust fans.
In one cluster, a small number of orchids are already in bloom, a sign that the temperature is too warm, says Tang. The plants were not meant to blossom until after they'd been exported to buyers overseas.
Innovation is one of the island's strengths and exhibitions are an integral part of expanding Taiwan's position in the worldwide orchid trade.
"In Taiwan they have more breeders and more seedlings, so, for the new varieties we have to be here," said Arno Turk, a wholesale flower seller from Holland.
While Holland, a major competitor for the moth orchid market, is good at creating more resilient plants, Turk is drawn to Taiwan each year by the range of colours on offer.
"When you look back over the last ten years, it's unbelievable (to see) what kinds of colours are coming up now," said fellow flower connoisseur, Karl-Heinz Lapornik, who works for a German orchid producer.
"A couple of years ago you had mostly white ones or striped ones, a more or less boring colour assortment,"
This year, the exhibition centre's pavilions were filled with a spectrum of vibrant pinks, velvety purples, yellows with a dash of red, and purple-dotted creams.
In his greenhouse, Tang was working on a golden-yellow variety -- still a rarity in the orchid market. He admitted that he was yet to make back the money he had invested.
Just as he set up his orchid farm, the financial crisis hit. But now business is good and he says he's not daunted by the challenges of the industry.
"I started out as an amateur grower, so I have a special passion for it. Without this I wouldn't have been able to go through the financial crisis -- my love of orchids got me through."
To Book or Enquire
Please call us now on +612 9267 1308.
Alternatively, you can enquire with us by clicking the button below.
Click here for detailed itinerary on TaiwanHolidays.com.au "Taiwan Orchid Tour Group" departing March 2011 & 2012 for the Taiwan International Orchid Show 2011 & 2012.