The IPA was started in 1981 as a forum for growers, researchers, plant breeders, nurserymen, and sales and marketing companies to work together for the expansion and development of the international protea industry.
The IPWG, started in 1986, is a specialised group of the Ornamentals Section of the International Society of Horticultural Scientists (ISHS), and is the research arm of the IPA. Joint meetings of the IPA and the IPWG have been held every two to four years since inception, with the resultant publication of the proceedings of symposia in nine series of Acta Horticulturae to date.
The format of joint industry and researcher meetings has been very successful in creating an environment for communication and cooperation across the global protea industry. The formal interest of the IPA and IPWG is targeted to South African and Australian Proteaceae, however the products that most participants in the global “protea” industry work with include all South African and Australian native flora.