In a statement, American Takii announced that is no longer participating in this year's California Spring Trials event. The breeder, a subsidiary of Japanese corporation Takii & Company, said in its release that it is the "responsible move due to the current coronavirus situation."
“While this is not what any of us had wished for, after nearly reaching the finish line, in the end, we must be concerned about each other’s health and safety," national flower sales manager Mike Hugget said, per the release. "I am confident that soon, we will bring the new products we have been growing for the 2020 CAST to our customers via digital or other means as we regroup and move forward."
HilverdaFlorist was also scheduled to showcase its varieties at the Takii stop, but also will not be attending.
"Due to the combination of the travel ban for European Schengen residents and the impending risk of the COVID-19 virus for our customers and team, we regret to inform you that HilverdaFlorist is forced to cancel their participation for the California Spring Trials," the breeder's statement read. "This situation makes it impossible for the Dutch team to travel to the USA and create the presentation that otherwise would be filled with introductions and other great displays. We have to take our responsibility for our customers and colleagues." As of now, the breeder's varieties will be on display at the FlowerTrials, scheduled for June 9-12 in The Netherlands.
American Takii's departure from CAST 2020 adds to a list of breeders — including Beekenkamp, Syngenta Flowers, Sakata Seed America and more — to withdraw from the event due to COVID-19 concerns. The latest information on CAST is available here.