The International Protea Association (IPA) was formed in Melbourne in 1981, after a meeting hosted by the late Peter Mathews of Proteaflora Nurseries. The first joint meeting between international protea growers and researchers was held more than twenty years ago, in 1986.

Growers, breeders, technical advisors and marketers are represented by the International Protea Association (IPA) and researchers and educators by the International Protea Working Group (IPWG). The IPWG is a specialised group of the Ornamentals Section of the International Society of Horticultural Scientists (ISHS).  Since this first joint meeting communication between growers and researchers has continued, with the publication of 8 Acta Horticulturae reporting proceedings of IPWG symposia (www.actahort.org ).

The IPA currently has over 100 members, representing protea producers, marketers and researchers from Australia, Chile, China, Columbia, Ecuador, France, Holland, Israel, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, USA and Zimbabwe.  The participation of other countries is welcomed as the industry expands.