The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) elects Leonardo Capitanio as its new president at annual congress

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) elected Leonardo Capitanio as its new president after a general meeting at AIPH’s 74th Annual Congress, which is taking place in Almere, Netherlands, this week (27-30 September).

As an ornamental plant grower in Monopoli, Italy, with a past role as president of the Italian Nurserystock Exporters Association (ANVE), and more recently working as a vice-president at AIPH, Capitanio has been involved in international cooperation across the horticultural industry for many years.

AIPH President Leonardo Capitano, former President Bernard Oosterom, and AIPH secretary general Tim Briercliffe

L-r: AIPH president Leonardo Capitano, former president Bernard Oosterom, and AIPH secretary general Tim Briercliffe

Commenting on his election, Capitanio said: “Horticulture is my life. My father was a nurseryman, and I was eight when I began to follow in his footsteps. Now, I aim to help the industry to pass through this challenging season gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic and crazy energy costs.

“I have a vision of a more developed horticulture industry supported by strong technology solutions that can help the entire supply chain.”

Capitanio said he aims to make AIPH a global resource for promoting green cities, promoting international horticultural exhibitions, collating and disseminating data and information on the international ornamental horticultural industry, and further developing the association’s valuable network.

He added: “But most importantly, I never forget my roots and the importance of the family-owned companies that have marked the story of global horticulture, from Asia to America, through Africa, Oceania and Europe.”

Capitanio replaces Bernard Oosterom from the Netherlands, who has served as president since 2015.

Commenting on Oosterom’s past leadership, Capitanio said: “On behalf of all our members and myself, I’d like to express our thanks for your inspiring leadership, inspiration, commitment and, of course, friendship.”

During the congress, Oosterom was presented with the AIPH Gold Medal in recognition for his services to AIPH over many years. In addition, Bill Hardy from Canada was elected as the second AIPH vice-president alongside Jianping Zhou from China.