Successful informative meeting about Turkey-Eurasia
Turkey, ignore or invest? That was the provocative title of the meeting organised by Royal FloraHolland on 28 June 2017 in Aalsmeer. Dozens of interested growers and customers listened to the informative presentations about the market and entrepreneurial opportunities in Turkey-Eurasia.
Royal FloraHolland followed a clear procedure when exploring and developing this new production and sales market that runs from analysing the market and setting up a network to creating a suitable infrastructure (digital, financial, administrative). Monique Heemskerk, Turkey-Eurasia manager, explained, 'Royal FloraHolland has an enabling function, as we have been doing in Europe for over 100 years. We investigate, connect, simplify and strengthen international regions to expand the sales market for horticultural products worldwide and offer our members and customers new opportunities to increase their sales and margins.'
The new Africa and Europe
Royal FloraHolland is clear about the specific opportunities in Turkey -Eurasia. Turkey has all the advantages to become the new Africa in production terms and the new Europe in marketing terms. The analyses show that the country has excellent production conditions and a large, strongly growing sales market. A sales market that is potentially even larger when we consider its strategic location as a bridge to Eurasia, physically, historically and culturally. For Royal FloraHolland these facts present more than enough reasons to launch a number of projects this year that would involve both Dutch and Turkish entrepreneurs throughout the chain. The projects focus on developing production areas (existing and new) and stimulating consumer demand, especially in the retail sector.
Lowering trade barriers
The Turkey-Eurasia team has worked on getting the trade barriers lowered by talking to the Turkish government with the assistance of Turkish pressure groups. And they have apparently booked success. In the second half of 2017, a memo of understanding was signed by Royal FloraHolland and the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture: a direct prelude to lowering the import levies. Monique Heemskerk clarified, 'The Eurasia programme is part of the implementation of our 2020 vision and internationalisation strategy. By developing the growth market of Turkey-Eurasia, we are making a substantial contribution to securing a leading role for the Netherlands in the global horticultural market. It is up to the entrepreneurs in the Netherlands and Turkey to determine whether they want to actively take advantage of this. Our task is and will remain to facilitate or - to use the terms of our vision - to plant seeds of opportunities for our members.'
In the different presentations, attention was paid to the political situation in Turkey. Monique Heemskerk summarised the information concisely at the end of the meeting. 'It is true that the political situation in Turkey is unpredictable - from our viewpoint - and has become less transparent in the last few months. But in that respect, Turkey does not differ - actually - from countries like China and the African production countries. In those places, we have learned that business and politics should not be combined. And that the developments in those sorts of growth markets will always continue whether we as a Dutch business decide to participate or not.'
During the concluding AOB and the networking drinks round, it became apparent that the growers and customers present fully agreed with Royal FloraHolland's conclusions. The questions and discussions exclusively concerned the shared market information and the entrepreneurial opportunities. 'Royal FloraHolland is not busy in Turkey selling flowers and plants, but developing a new market. That is good for all entrepreneurs in our sector,' concluded one customer.
'I am glad that I decided to come,' added a growers' representative, 'I have heard valuable market information that has widened our perception of this production and sales region.'