The AIPH is a co-ordinating body representing horticultural producers` organizations all over the world. It was set up in Switzerland in 1948 to stimulate international marketing of flowers, plants and landscaping services. An increasing number of growers organizations have joined AIPH with 25 countries represented in 2000. They all share the benefits of their membership.
In 1948 the Association of Swiss Horticulture (‘Verband Schweizerischer Gärtnermeister’) celebrated its 50thanniversary. The well-known representatives of the growers’ associations of the other countries of Western Europe were invited to Zürich. In a meeting the decision was taken to recreate the international association ‘Union Horticole Professionelle Internationale’ which was established in 1909 but became extinct during the period of wars and economic crashes. The new organization was named: ‘Association Internationale des Producteurs de l’Horticulture’ (AIPH). The following countries were among the founders: Switzerland, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Hungary and Sweden. At a later stage Denmark and Italy joined, but Hungary and The United Kingdom stepped back. Hungary because it was absorbed into the Eastern Block, The United Kingdom probably because it did not feel able to reap immediate advantages from the international co-operation. In the sixties of the former century many new members joined AIPH as can be seen in the list.
As objectives for the new AIPH the following items were mentioned in the minutes of that meeting in 1948:
- promote flowers and work together with Fleurop;
- every country should organize an Expo to show its professional Horticulture sector;
- exchange addresses, magazines, films and technical materials;
- collect and compare information on production and sales between countries;
- understand the scientific and economical principles with the aim to establish an international planned economy;
- establish international exchange of young horticulturists for six months or even longer; this should underline the international co-operation.
During the meetings of the Committees and Council it was common to use three languages, French, German and English. Professional interpreters were always present and all documents appeared in these three languages. This lasted till the late nineties when it was decided to only use English as the official language within AIPH.