Suntory Flowers Wins Industries Top Award
Armstrong attended the highly anticipated Medal of Excellence Awards
ceremony at the OFA show in Ohio. Our good friends at Suntory Flowers took the Industry Achievement Award. This year marks the 20th anniversary of their first flower introduction- Surfinia Petunia. Before this, Suntory was only breeding for their very successful beer and wine distributed around the world. As Shigeru Sarada, director Suntory's flower division globally, explains, “our breeders became a bit board with hops and grapes, so they began experimenting with the flowers”. This experimentation placed Suntory in the leadership role for some of the most dramatic changes in our industry. An entire new class of petunia (Surfinia) and calibracoa (Million Bells) came to market from their hard work and dedication.
Being new to flower breeding, the breeders at Suntory submitted the patents for these marvelous plant break throughs with full documentation of the finds in the wild to the many crosses and special techniques used to bring vigor to the wild petunia species. This allowed all other companies to learn from their findings and rapidly bring competing lines to the market.
Suntory’s approach to breeding places a high priority on garden performance. This common priority has led to a strong partnership between Suntory and Armstrong Growers. Surfinia and Million Bells are the main vegetative petunia we offer since we can be confidents they will continue to perform in the garden for you, our customers. Even though Suntory is a $14 billion company specializing in food and beverage, their flower division continues to change our world for the better each year with brilliant new plants and ideas.
If any company deserves to be recognized for high standards, innovation and breeding excellence, it is Suntory!