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Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (WTAAC)

Success Stories

Fresh Flower Grower, California

Under its second generation of ownership, this company was one of the top five rose growers in the country. However, from 1999 through 2002, dominant low cost cut rose imports increased over 44%, while unit costs on foreign production dropped 15%. As a result, 2001 annual sales decreased 9%. To prevent further erosion of sales and start a more diversified product offering management elected to maintain level employment, which resulted in widened operating losses. The company with the assistance from the University of Southern California’s Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (Western TAAC) became certified as trade impacted by the US Dept. of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) in April of 2002.

Western TAAC and the company's management developed a strategy focusing on differentiating itself from lower cost suppliers of cut roses based on expanded product offerings, quality and service. This strategy capitalizes on opportunities to expand high-end wholesale florist, retail florist and mass-market channel sales. The company has successfully completed its 5th year in the implementation phase of the TAA Program. During this period the company, with Western TAAC assistance, implemented three of its general management projects. These projects focused on enhancing senior management’s strategic focus and improving the Company’s Mass Market operations. Since beginning its public/private sector partnership with the TAA for Firms Program, sales increased 70% to $9M, productivity improved 113% to $150,000 sales per employee and net income has increased substantially.



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