News

OFG Mar 8, 2021

Happy International Woman’s Day,

Spring weather is promised for later this week. I, for one, am ready to put the winter coats, boots, mittens and hats away. Spring is quickly approaching. In our business we so quickly jump from one holiday to the next. Passover and Easter are quickly approaching. I must apologize to those of you that need product for Passover as our prebook time pick up times for the holidays did not work out for you. (Note to self – look at calendar better for next year.) For those of you that have auction access there is still an opportunity to buy imports on virtual auction right now on PAP for product pick up on March 19. For those of you looking for Easter import cut flowers on “Shop the Clock” now – available for pick up on March 29 – boxed imported flowers. Local growers need more convincing to participate in these options. I’m working on it.

Next question – Easter Lilies and Hydrangeas and other potted plants – growers promise me that they are coming. Supply and demand will definitely push prices again this holiday season. When you see the product you need don’t hesitate. You will need to watch auction and STC for these items. Some items will be available in MarketPlace. That is all I know…. If I hear more I will let you know.

Coming up are some dates for Mother’s Day prebook Virtual auction. We anticipate another tight market. This is your opportunity to book ahead and minimize some stress.el

Mother’s day Prebook #1 – March 16 for May 3 pick up

Mother’s day Prebook #2 – April 6 for May 4 pick up

Mother’s day Prebook #3 – April 13 for May 6 pick up

Have a great day,.

Michelle

OFG Jan 25, 2021

Good Morning, I hope that this email finds you all well rested and ready for Valentine’s. We have lots of product ordered and growers have been timing product for the holiday.

I do have some messages from some growers to update you with:

• Grower 315 is offering a new alstroemeria. You can find more details on “Green Planet” from this link: https://www.thursd.com/articles/discover-the-new-green-planet/ watch auction and STC availability.

• Grower 203 is prepping branched forsythia to be at the perfect open stage for your Chinese New Year “at home” Celebrations! They are posted on the website.

We have sticker decals available for you to put in your shop windows. We are hoping that we can let the general public know (who follow us and our growers on social media) that they can look for our logo to enquire on the availability of those grower’s products. Please see Amanda when you come in or email me (msloot@ontarioflowers.com) if you would like one put aside for you

We are a diverse family here at OFG consisting of growers, staff and buyers. Over the last 2 months we have lost some longtime friends and we miss them. Our condolences to the friends and families of Nicol Florist, Canopy Florist and Aquarium Fish and Mums and Roses with the losses that they have experienced.

Stay safe & healthy & look after each other,

Michelle

OFG Jan 18, 2021

Happy New Year!

It has been awhile since I have written an update. Sometimes it feels like there is little to update – it is more of the same. Same fog, same Covid, same (but re-instated) restrictions and lockdowns ---- just “BLAH”. I just did a quick search and today is considered “Blue Monday”, the most depressing day of the year.

What I can tell you is that no news – is good news. Sales here at OFG keep ticking along. Our sales have been steady.

Peel Region has been in lockdown since November 23, so we were ready for this new lockdown. We established social distancing in our auction gallery and for customers waiting to come into the office when we opened the gallery again. The Clock Café is open only for take-out, and spacing is generous in the warehouse and in the garage. The only thing we did change -- was we moved the increased amount available for PAP from 50% to 75%. We have not moved this to 100% as we still have buyers that do want to come into auction and look at product. Our hours have remained the same. We are not restricted to the hours as stated by the provincial government as those hours are for retail establishments only. We don’t sell any retail – we are selling wholly wholesale.

What does your crystal ball say for holidays this year? Valentine’s falls on a Sunday this year and in the middle of a long weekend (a snowstorm would make this a triple threat). Any “normal” year this would be predicted as one of the softest Valentine’s for sales in years. However, going out for dinner is not possible, going away for the weekend is not likely to happen – here’s hoping they all buy flowers! I think it will be a decent holiday!

Just a reminder to auction buyers and growers: We do have 1 virtual auction a week:

• Every Tuesday we have a virtual auction for pick up the following Friday. Tomorrow’s virtual auction pick up date is January 29. • Next week’s will be for February 5 pick-up. Just something to keep in mind when looking to book ahead or to look for some future sales.

Buyers -- do keep in mind that the last few weeks have been so dark with so little sunshine. The result is less flowers than we normally would like to see. This happens every January and every January we seem to be surprised by it. Growers are also trying to give customers extra product in time for Valentine’s. It is the perfect storm for supply shortages. On the upside – January sales tend to be on the slow side, but I did see the sun 3 days in a row and the amount of daylight gets greater every day and February is on it’s way!

Growers – please let me know if you would like your year to year comparison for OFG’s 2nd quarter. I will only prepare and send it if requested.

Blue Monday? I like blue .. sunny skies are blue! All the best to you in 2021.

Have great day,

Michelle

OFG December 7, 2020

Good morning and Happy Monday,

I’ll start off by letting everyone know that there are only 18 more days until Christmas and only 25 more days until the New Year. That is either going to be scary OR blissful news to you. You also may be scared at the fact that this “OFG Outlook” is coming from me, Amanda, and not Michelle. But not too worry, she is just away for a few days. She will be back to work on Thursday and your regular scheduled “OFG Outlook” will resume by her next Monday. Hopefully I don’t butcher this too much as I am known to ramble on and on, and also not nearly as witty as Michelle is, so please bare with me! :-)

It was a balmy -11 degrees when I left for OFG this morning, this winter weather is definitely starting to set in whether we like it or not! Luckily for you, to keep you in the Christmas spirit, we still have lots of festive product on all avenues such as decorative sticks, poinsettias, Christmas cactus, Christmas greens and of course all the normal supply of awesome flowers both potted and fresh cut from our growers.

What we have in store this week… Live Gallery Auction: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Yes, that’s right. Last week was our first Friday live gallery auction since before Covid hit. The crowd was a little less than what we anticipated but we also didn’t expect to have a snow storm for the first day back, which we think held back a lot of customers to stay safe at home.

STC: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. OFG Marketplace: Open Monday – Friday from 7am – 1pm.

As for Virtual auction, we will be having TWO virtuals tomorrow. 1) Pick up Friday, December 18th Already activated for tomorrow, so you can start putting in your PAP’s and Pre-bids now! 2) Pick up TUESDAY February 9th… That’s right, VALENTINE’S PREBOOK!!! Please note it will be a Tuesday pick up and not our usual Friday pick up, but of course we will keep it in the cooler for you if you still want to pick up on the Friday

You can also PREBOOK VALENTINES on STC from now until Friday for pick up Friday, February 5th. Go now!! Well, I think that is everything that you need to know for this week. Don’t forget that Augustina is still here in the cafeteria cooking away for you to do TAKE-OUT.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all a great week ahead,

Amanda Oldham

OFG Novemeber 9, 2020

I feel like I should be talking about the kids going back to school or something. Who ordered this fantastical weather? I will take it! Smart people put up their lights this past weekend (mine are still the box.)

However, a small dusting of snow does put everyone into the festive spirit. Cooler weather also helps some crops – local cymbidiums, tulips, Christmas greens… Don’t worry the white stuff will come, it always does.

I do have a few things to update you with:

1) We hope to start Friday auctions (to test the waters) for the month of December. We hope that growers will take this opportunity to finish up the week and empty our cooler. So we can start the following week fresh. We will continue our “Shop the Clock” at the current schedule, however, product left from Friday STC will be offered on Friday auction. We will review after December to see if we want to continue with this regularly.

2) As we move into busier times please pay attention to calendar dates. We want to be able to meet you when you need us. We will be having STC on December 23 but not on December 24 more details to come.

3) Virtual auction is up and ready to for your PAP’s and prebids. Just imports today - I have to work on those local growers some more. Pick up date is November 20.

If you can -- hit the beach, enjoy it while you can

Michelle Sloot
OFG Product Control
905 795 3361
416 428-9432 (cell)

OFG Novemeber 2, 2020

Good sunshiny afternoon!

Who called winter and said it was okay for him to poke his head in early? It was white and cold this morning when I left for work. Hopefully this will push consumers to feel the winter / seasonal vibes and we can see a strong market for the next few months. Outdoor flowers are gone and wintery, Christmas-y product is making its appearance. (Can you say poinsettias?)

Future product:

1) Until this afternoon, book your flowers for pick up imports December 18 on STC

2) Auction customers tomorrow will also be an virtual prebook auction. Buy on PAP tonight or tomorrow morning (November 3) for pickup on December 18.

If you purchase on virtual auction – product will be ready for pick up after 8 am. We will hold it in the cooler for you if you are not able to pick up until the next week.

Michelle Sloot
OFG Product Control
905 795 3361
416 428-9432 (cell)

OFG October 26, 2020

Good morning,

Well I’ve done it again. I messed up the codes for virtual auction pickup. Tomorrow’s virtual auction is up and ready for your PAP and prebids. We have 2 virtual auctions tomorrow but both say “PU NOV6” right now. However, one is for pick up on November 6 (these are the one with grower numbers that start with “1”). We also will have a Christmas virtual auction tomorrow with pick up on December 11 (these are the ones with the grower numbers starting with “4”). This will all be clear after midnight tonight as this is when the codes are updated. In the meantime, I have added in the comment section “December 11 pick-up” which you can see if you are buying on the website. The best way to separate between the 2 is by grower number (1000 grower numbers are for pick up November 6 and all 4000 grower numbers are for pick up on December 11). I apologize for the confusion.

On another note some of you have asked about Valentine prebook auctions. We will be having 2 prebook virtual auctions for Valentine’s in December. December 1 and December 8 will be virtual auctions for product pick up on February 5 and February 9. We will have more auctions in January for Valentine’s but these are the ones that fall in the “prebook” time frame. Another exciting note – I have local growers interested in perhaps participating the holiday virtual auctions as well. They feel like they are missing out. I will update you later.

Next item – ARE YOU INTERESTED IN FRIDAY AUCTIONS STARTING AGAIN? Gallery auction has been going for a little while now and seems to be going quite well. OFG is wondering if there is an appetite for Friday auctions to resume. We are just in the preliminary stages – asking customers and growers if they are interested. Please send me a quick email if you are interested.

Maybe one day I will get it all right – again I apologize for the confusion.

Have a great day,

Michelle Sloot
OFG Product Control
905 795 3361
416 428-9432 (cell)

OFG October 5, 2020

Fall is upon us. Mums and pumpkins and frost, oh my!

Just a quick note to give you a quick update on what is going on here at OFG. We are still doing “Shop the Clock” (STC) 4 days a week (no Wednesdays) , we have auctions Tuesday and Thursday and our Marketplace is open Monday – Friday. Our warehouse is open! No need to line up at the garage door. We are trusting that buyers can wear masks and keep their distance. Many buyers have asked if we are doing “Warehouse Sales” or “Buybacks” – we are not. At this point in time we are not going to bring back the warehouse sale option. Any product that is not sold on auction is moved to STC. This does take a bit of time. I would say that the majority of time all BB are moved to STC by 10 – 10:30. Please look for product there. “Shop the Clock” is available for Thanksgiving Monday.

Supply here at OFG is in some transition as cooler weather knocks out our outdoor supply and we move to more greenhouse grown product.

As most things in this industry once we are done one holiday period -- we start to the next one. Christmas is coming. Last week we had our final Christmas prebook auction. Did you miss the Christmas prebooks? There is still some product available on “Shop the Clock”. You must pick November 27 pickup date to see the availability. However, the cut off may coming up quickly as we need to book with our suppliers at these prebook prices and trucks become fully booked. Do not wait as this product may be in short supply come December. As with most holiday’s one will slid into another – look for Valentine prebook virtual auctions in early December and early January. Tomorrow’s virtual auction is ready for your PAP’s now. Pick up is for October 16. (My apologies on forgetting to activate the virtual auction supply 2 weeks ago – I know have 2 alarms set to ensure that this doesn’t happen again). Virtual auction are for full boxed lots. There are some savings to be had, for example on this week’s offering: alstro 3br $0.36, alstro perfection $0.80, chry micro fall mix $2.50, euc baby $10.50, hydrangea white $1.17, oak leaves preserved $7.50, stock $1.06, 40cm rose $0.62. Let us know if you are looking for something specific that we are not offering and we see if we can list it for you for the next virtual auction.

Rumour has it that Thanksgiving Dinner is on at the Clock Café on Tuesday. Come say hello to Augustina!

Enjoy the sun and the warmth, keep your mask on, wash your hands, and stay healthy!

Have an awesome day,

Michelle

Michelle

Michelle Sloot
OFG Product Control
905 795 3361
416 428-9432 (cell)

OFG OUTLOOK - Buyers, September 21, 2020

Good afternoon all, It has been a little while. We do have a few things to talk about.

1) Frost and outdoor crops and availability – year 2020 strikes again. Many of our growers were hit with frost this past weekend, not just light dusting but a cold, killing frost. What does this mean for supply? Most dahlias are gone. There may be a few protected spots that were not hit but most are gone. (Please note that grower 344 does grow his dahlia’s indoors.) Cooler nights mean that product in takes longer to grower. We don’t move fast in cool weather – neither to plants. Production does naturally slowdown in the fall due to cooler weather and growers switching from summer to fall varieties.

2) “Shop the Clock” – I still have buyers asking “when is the best time to buy? There is nothing on the website to buy.” Yet we still move a warehouse full of flowers on a daily basis. I’m sorry to say there is no “best time” to log on to buy. Growers can post availability whenever works for them. Imports are normally posted Wednesday the week before, some local growers post as they are cutting and making carts ready to come to OFG, others wait until a natural break time during the day to post, others wait until they arrive at OFG to make product available. There is no “perfect time”. Sorry to say you just have to keep looking.

3) Auction – Product keeps coming. Many buyers have commented that there is less product available on auction than pre Covid. This is very true. But there is a great reason for this – all product on Tuesday auction is fresh for that auction. NO BUYBACKS ARE ON TUESDAY AUCTION. On Thursday all product (with the exception of imports and grower 203) is also fresh for that auction. All product that is bought back from auction is moved to “Shop the Clock”. As auction customers you get the first “kick at the can” so to speak.

There was also some confusion about what products are available on PAP. It is up to the grower completely how they want to sell their products. Some growers are all in on auction (grower 251 for example) others are all in for STC (grower 445). Growers are just trying to maximize their returns as are all of you. Moving forward there are new balances that need to be reached. We are just trying to figure out how sales will fall. I can encourage growers to make product available on both streams of sale however, ultimately the final decision on where and how to sell is up to the grower. Of the product available on auction 50% is available on PAP. The other 50% is available for the gallery and prebids.

I should also mention that because we don’t have daily auctions we are able to make PAP’s available earlier to you. Imports for Tuesday auction are usually made available on the Friday preceding, grower 315 over the weekend and most other product is made available on the Monday throughout the day. Also, please note that due to Shop the Clock and auction happening on the same day (and basically at the same time) – PAP’s are no longer being labelled before the auction but during the auction. If you PAP’d you will need to wait until the auction is completed to pick up product.

4) Virtual auction – We are holding virtual auctions for imported boxed flowers and greens. Due to transportation complications and ordering deadlines the lead time is longer than before. When you purchase on a Tuesday auction, your box is ready for pick up as early as the following Friday. (buy for tomorrow pick up October 2). Of course, we will keep all boxes for you if are unable to pick up until the Tuesday. I am making codes that will have pick up date stated what the pickup date is when you are purchasing.

5) Pick up times – The garage is open. Our hours for pick up are from 5am to 1pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. We are still not open on Wednesday or Saturday for customer pickups. “Where do I find my stuff?” The best people to ask this to are people at the exit from the main warehouse when going towards the garage. Please be sure to get all your product from all areas that you have purchased from (STC, Auction, PAP’s any previous days…). If you are sending a driver please try and send him with a list of what avenues of sale you have purchased from. We do our best to try to ensure that you get all your product but extra reminders are always helpful.

Have a great day,

Michelle

Michelle Sloot
OFG Product Control
905 795 3361
416 428-9432 (cell)

Grower Contract Rules and Regulations

All members who join Ontario Flower Growers Co-operative will receive a copy of the Grower’s Contract. This document will cover the following:

  • The rules and Regulations established by the Board of Directors that each Grower must abide with.
  • The Criteria for the Maintenance of Membership

ISSUED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Revised, January 13, 2015