Forward thinking: Why Sharks’ Meier, Labanc signed new contracts so early

first_imgSAN JOSE — Timo Meier was the first player in his group to take the ice on the opening day of Sharks training camp. Kevin Labanc, in the same cadre of players, joined him shortly after.Both Meier and Labanc then took spots alongside center Logan Couture in what has the makings to be the Sharks’ top line for the start of the regular season.That, in and of itself, was noteworthy. While so many players who were in their position earlier this summer as restricted free agents remain unsigned, …last_img read more

Long-life flowers a blooming success

first_imgAfrican Floralush, which trades as Iluba, is headed up by South African entrepreneur JJ Viljoen and his son, Fanie. The flower head and stem are preserved separately. Once preserved, trained staff carefully join the two parts again, using stitching and glue. Iluba is creating both direct and downstream employment opportunities for South Africans. African Floralush buys roses from contract growers at a certain size and stage of development. Most of their customers prefer traditional colours, but some market segments enjoy enhanced bloom colours. Iluba flowers are treated with natural dyes to reinforce their colour and ensure that they remain crisp and beautiful for months. (Images: Iluba Long-life Fresh Flowers) MEDIA CONTACTS • Fanie Viljoen   Export manager  Iluba Long-life Fresh Flowers  +27 11 662 2225 RELATED ARTICLES • Floral wealth in caring hands • Six decades to survey East Africa’s flora • EC to get first botanical garden • Teaching people to work with natureWilma den HartighInnovative technology to preserve and extend the shelf life of fresh flowers, developed by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), is helping to boost job creation, develop skills and establish new market opportunities for South Africa’s flower industry.People have tried for centuries to preserve the beauty of flowers, but now local research at the NMMU’s Institute for Chemical Technology, InnoVenton, has perfected a technique that makes it possible to produce a natural alternative to artificial flowers.A Gauteng-based company, African Floralush, which trades as Iluba, is using the patented treatment process to preserve fresh roses and foliage.The company is headed up by South African entrepreneur JJ Viljoen and his son, Fanie.“Innovation is what this business is about. It is new and that is what excites me,” says JJ Viljoen. “It is a new floral sub-sector in South Africa.”Commercialising academic researchThe company’s Iluba roses are fast gaining local and international popularity, and show how academic research combined with business acumen can make a positive impact on society.The university is a shareholder in both the patent-holding company and in the manufacturing company, African Floralush, which licenses the technology. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) provided the bulk of the investment to start the business.Viljoen says it was a rose grower from Addo in the Eastern Cape, Tinie Maske, who first approached the university with her idea to preserve roses. She experimented with various preservation methods in her kitchen at home, and believed that she was onto something with great promise.The NMMU took the idea, conducted further research, development and extensive testing, to develop the technique which is used today. Maske, InnoVenton’s director Professor Ben Zeelie, and Dr Shawn Gouws also of InnoVenton, can be credited as the inventors of the long-lasting rose.Viljoen says one of the biggest challenges of the new business was to refine the laboratory-scale technology to be suitable for processing at an industrial capacity.Jaci Barnett, director of the NMMU’s technology transfer office, explains that this is not unusual if new technology is commercialised.“The business has taken a long time to get off the ground,” Barnett says. “But it is gratifying to see one of our technologies really making a difference to people’s lives by providing employment.”The business has been in operation for just over three years, but through trial and error and hard work their efforts are paying off.The long-lasting roses are now distributed throughout 30 countries including Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the US and Canada, European countries and South Africa for use in the gifting and décor market.Sales of the roses are mostly to wholesalers for onward distribution in retail stores and directly to the hospitality industry. Unlike freshly-cut arrangements, Iluba roses don’t have to be replaced and this is why the product is popular with home decorators, hotels, ocean liners and long-distance train operators.Research and development is underway to determine if the same techniques could be applied to preserve proteas and other varieties of flowers.As no cold chain is required, the company can also help to estab­lish emerging growers in rural areas to participate in the Iluba supply chain.Providing employmentIluba is creating both direct and downstream employment opportunities for South Africans. The business employs 90 workers, most of whom were previously unskilled, and Viljoen says they expect to employ a total of 120 people next year.More than 30 new and independent business enterprises were established in 2011 alone as a result of Iluba’s activities. They include enterprises that use the products to create new value-added décor and gifting floral products, as well as new specialist retail and distributor outlets.“There is so much that one can do with our product that one cannot do with either fresh flowers or artificial flowers,” Viljoen says. “We expect a new industry will soon emerge around preserved long-life flowers.”Viljoen also encourages staff to think innovatively about the production process. “We make a point of telling our staff members to come up with solutions for challenges that emerge in production,” Viljoen says. “One of our best employees has no formal education but is head of quality control.”What is the secret?Creating a single long-life rose is a highly technical process as workers have only a few hours, while the roses are absolutely fresh, within which to complete the preservation process.African Floralush buys roses from contract growers at a certain size and stage of development. The first step is to remove the flower head from the stem, as each part is preserved separately. Once preserved, trained staff carefully join the two parts again, using stitching and glue.Dr Shawn Gouws of InnoVenton explains that the water in the cells and tissues of the flowers and foliage are replaced with natural eco-friendly preservatives. This allows the flowers and foliage to last for six months without water.Viljoen adds that the chemicals and preservatives are similar to those commonly used in the commercial manufacture of cosmetics and processed food.The technique makes it possible to add natural perfumes to strengthen the fragrance of the roses, and the colours can also be adjusted.Fanie Viljoen says although 80% of their customers prefer traditional colours, some market segments enjoy enhanced bloom colours, including deep brown, black, blue and purple.The natural pigment in fresh cut flowers fades and becomes brown with time, but Iluba flowers are treated with natural dyes to reinforce their colour and ensure that they remain crisp and beautiful for months.Iluba flowers also have a very low carbon footprint, as they do not need refrigeration and can be shipped as opposed to air freighted, offering major environmental benefits.Changing demand for flowersAccording to JJ Viljoen there is a growing market for long-life flowers, particularly as the cost of replacing fresh flowers has become so expensive.As a result of the tough economic climate, consumers are spending less on luxury items such as flowers, which has caused the fresh cut flower market to decline locally and globally in recent years.However, in South Africa alone, the import of artificial flowers has grown by an average of 38% per year.“More consumers are buying these flowers as the quality is improving so much that it is often difficult to distinguish them from fresh flowers,” Viljoen explains. “Long-life flowers are positioned somewhere in between.”He says market research has shown that despite the move away from fresh cut flowers and more consumer interest in artificial flowers, the market would still prefer natural flowers, if they offered a much longer vase life.Awards to inspireAfrican Floralush has also won a few awards for its unique product and business concept.Recently the company was named the winner in the small business category for innovation in the 2012 IDC Business Partner Awards.The awards celebrate IDC-funded businesses that have contributed to commercially sustainable industrial development in job creation, innovation and sustainability.“Awards serve as recognition for all our tribulations,” Viljoen says. “It gives the business credibility.”last_img read more

AgTube: Minimizing Harvest Loss

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest David Booth, Product Specialist for Case IH combines, goes over setting up your combines for harvest season.last_img

Why Some Achieve Success That Eludes Others

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now It is no great secret why some people produce better results than others.Their will is greater. People who are successful “will” their success into being. They are willing to do what others will not. They exercise their self-discipline, their will power, to constantly do the work that others find unpleasant. They also decide to be happy, and they will that into being, too. This is all mindset.Their strategies are better. People who are successful have better strategies. To produce better strategies, they spend more time studying. They read. People who are strategic digest information so they can see connections others miss. They spend time doing the difficult work of thinking.Their tactics are better. Day to day, successful people employ tactics that allow them to produce better results. They are proactive. They don’t allow their time or energy to be consumed by the attention vampires that distract others. They delegate. They focus on the three or four things that move them closer to their goals.Their execution is better. There are always failures on the road to success. But there is no success without execution. Doing the right things well, producing the necessary outcomes, and creating results are necessary to success.Their persistence is greater. Will is necessary, but not sufficient. Strategies and tactics are both necessary, but not sufficient. Even when all will, strategy, tactics, and execution are all present, success may evade you. Success is a game of patient pursuit. You have to persist. It take a long time, but not as much time as you think.If someone is producing a result that you want, if they are succeeding in some area where you are struggling, it is likely that they are doing something differently from you.They may be applying more of their will, their personal power, to succeeding in that area. They may have better strategies and tactics, likely ones that make you uncomfortable, that they are employing. Their success may be built in part by their better execution. And let there be no doubt in your mind that their persistence plays a role.There are no secrets. All is known. There are many paths, but the all of them require the same of those who would walk them.last_img read more

How World AIDS Day Mastered the Multifaceted Social Media Approach

first_imgYesterday was and used its Social Media Marketers The campaign was not only a great example of the power of Photo by snowwhitesclone Keep a Child Alive Learn how to use social media to attract more customers. YouTube (RED) (RED) Facebook page YouTube asked users to donate $5 and . , and in a joint attempt to create worldwide visibility about the disease, many prominent social media sites including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and Google joined forces. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Twitter Twitter also joined forces with (RED) (RED) CEO Susan Smith Ellis reported in her Facebook blog post that in only three years, over 1.5 million people have joined (RED) on various social media sites and over $140 million have been raised for the social media marketing livestreamed an Alicia Keys concert , about the power of AIDS medication.  Download the free video The Lazarus Effect Facebook collaborated with Google . , a brand created to raise awareness and money for the fight against AIDS in Africa, asking users to “turn Facebook (RED)” by changing their avatars to (RED) images, shopping for Product (RED) merchandise and becoming a fan of the Global Fund that elicits the power of multiple sites enables increased visibility and the opportunity to reach a larger audience. blog to empower its users to spread AIDS awareness by printing a sign reading “Facing AIDS” and including it in a photograph and sharing it in the Topics: Facebook So what lessons can you learn from the World AIDS Day social media campaign? Instead of limiting your efforts to one specific site, take advantage of the variety social media offers by spreading your message through multiple channels. Such a multi-faceted Flickr partnered with Flickr Google created AIDS.gov devoted to World AIDS Day as a way for people learn about how they can contribute to the cause and support the 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS. The Power of Social Media  , an organization dedicated to providing treatment, care and support for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.  YouTube also promoted the video, post on the Facebook blog .  Without the help of social media, she reflects, (RED) would never have been as successful.  but also evidence of the far-reaching effects of social media sites when used together. Take a look at how each contributed: in partnership with Originally published Dec 2, 2009 3:09:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Video: How to Use Social Media to Attract More Customers and encouraged the Twitterati to include specific phrases (40 cents, World AIDS Day), hashtags (#red, #laceupsavelives) and usernames (@joinred) in their tweets, which would cause the tweets to turn red, spreading awareness to followers. Users were also able to change their account’s theme to red.  social media campaign World AIDS Day a page and learn how to generate more business using social media. Facing AIDS Flickr group . (RED)’s CEO, Susan Smith Ellis, led the charge via alast_img read more

Is Google Buzz’s Real Purpose To Be a Buzz Killer?

center_img Is Google Killing Social Media Buzz? .  If you read any of the Twitter news (Really, who can avoid it over the last year?), then you have probably heard how Google has tried to purchase Twitter on a few occasions.  We talk a lot about social media and how real-time search is one of the next revolutions of the Web.  It is currently Facebook and Twitter who are actually leading this revolution, not Google.  It is hard to find updated accurate data, but it looks like about Google Buzz .  Karen made the comment on Friday, “Google knows enough about me to make an exact clone!”  She really isn’t that far off.  Social media guru Chris Brogan explains how to demonstrate the value of social media marketing. Couldn’t they have come up with a better name? Their historical biggest rival Yahoo already has a We even had a lunch pow-wow last week with some of the marketing experts at HubSpot to discuss Buzz.  I like to pretend that we have a few smart people floating around HubSpot, and even they didn’t fully understand the whole feature set.  Only Google could introduce an application like this and provide NO guide on how to use it besides a two minute video!  What is more shocking is this isn’t the first time that they have done it.  Remember Google Wave anyone?  Is this FriendFeed 2.0?  The signal to noise ratio in that network was unbearable, and I only used it for the RSS feed of my lifestream across networks. They Claim ‘Do No Evil,’ But Google Is Still Scary!   It was almost a year ago when I last wrote about .  Some would argue that they are a media company, but that is simply a technicality.  Yahoo Buzz! Miss Peacock In The Kitchen With A Knife you might recognize the name getting a grasp on Google Twitter has 75 million accounts HubSpot.TV Photo Credit:last_img read more

Google Launches Real-Time Search Homepage and New Tools

first_img Google Alerts to give it a try. a real-time feature. – Using real-time search, users can limit real-time updates to a specific location near them or a location they select. Want to know what is the hottest topic in your city right now? Then set your location in Google real-time search. Google’s real-time search feature is currently in the process of being rolled out to everyone. Visit Google Updates – Do you want to get an email the second someone mentions your business on Twitter? Now you can. With the launch of real-time search, Google has made Real-Time Google Alerts Google’s real-time search provides users with a page of search results that automatically update as new updates are created that mention the user’s search terms from social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and more. Included in real-time search are many new features: Look for Local Conversations History Conversation Viewing Google.com/realtime – Using the timeline at the top of the real-time page, users can scroll to a period of time and look at the updates and conversations for specific data and times using Originally published Aug 26, 2010 2:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Google’s real-time search . How Does Google’s Real-Time Search Work? Search engines have been working at a rapid pace to improve their systems to handle and deliver results from social networks in real time. Today, the real-time search industry got a lot hotter. Google today turned on a new experiment feature that delivers search results on a keyword in real time. Marketing TakeawayWith the launch of real-time search, Google has reinforced the importance of social media for marketing. Businesses participating in social media will have a clear advantage in getting found online because of their automatic inclusion in real-time search results. Marketers now have a new tool to monitor online conversations about their business and understand which marketing events directly caused an increase in word-of-mouth buzz during a given time. Google real-time search is a huge boost for marketers not only in monitoring but also in demonstrating the value of social media to their business. Topics: To learn about some of the other important features and aspects of Google’s real-time search, check out this quick video from Google. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more