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Management column: A warm bath full of entrepreneurship

April 24, 2024

On Wednesday 24 April, I will have been with Royal FloraHolland for exactly 100 days. That small milestone is often seen as an appropriate time to share initial experiences. I can identify with that, even though I gain new impressions and insights every day. Because so far, no day has been the same. Floriculture feels like a warm bath to me. That applies not only to our own company, but also to my contacts with growers and buyers. Precisely those contacts are of great importance to me as Chief Value Officer, truly valuable services are created together.

I am seriously impressed by the entrepreneurship in the sector. Growers and buyers see the challenges they face, but they certainly don't shy away from them. I experience a lot of enthusiasm and positivism inside and outside Royal FloraHolland. In my eyes important conditions for successful business.

Value creation central
Over the past period, I have had many conversations and attended meetings with growers and strategic sessions with buyers. Not surprisingly, the question of what the position of Chief Value Officer entails regularly came up. A logical question if you are the first to fill that position at a company. Value creation touches the very foundation of the company. From my own experience, I know how challenging it is, given the diversity among growers and buyers, to ensure that one's own organisation is well-aligned for success.

The great thing is that value creation is not limited by organisational boundaries. It is therefore logical that I work closely with Steven van Schilfgaarde and David van Mechelen. Together, we work on a vision and concrete approach to (jnternational) growth, an optimal set-up of our own organisation and the most efficient set-up of our logistics platform with our hubs.
From the first discussions with colleagues, growers and buyers, I have been surprised how people both inside and outside the company talk about how we are already positioned. The strategy stands like a house. Floriday as a digital platform already has great added value in bringing supply and demand together internationally. There is huge potential for further growth of Floriday, by introducing more functionalities and increasing usage.

Intensive cooperation
Value creation is especially successful when it takes place in co-creation. For growers, we do this under the banner of 'Grower Value Creation'. In the case of buyers, we call it 'Buyer Partnership Development'. Let me briefly explain what I mean by this. Earlier at RFH, we said goodbye to the principle of one-size-fits-all. Because of the great diversity in the sector, this applies to value creation to an amplified extent. What is of value differs per type of entrepreneur. Cooperation and respect for mutual differences are therefore more than necessary.

We notice, for example, that our members attach great value to a better image for the sector. Increasing buying power on our Royal FloraHolland platform and offering cost-efficient service, is of course of great importance to growers. With buyers, we look for new opportunities to unburden them maximally in their supply chain in a way that suits their business. Investing in accommodation at our hubs and faster routes to, from and between our hubs is where we can make a difference for buyers.

Value cannot always be expressed directly in euros. Let us not forget to stimulate sustainability, increase grower satisfaction or enhance sector value. It is precisely from this broader definition that it is necessary to think more out of the box.

Having worked in aviation for 30 years, floriculture is a different business. Yet there are also many similarities. Every day, I experience that my experience at Air France-KLM comes in handy. I see lots of opportunities, also for growth. Not only for Royal FloraHolland, but also for our growers and buyers. Because their success is also our success and vice versa. In the coming period, I will regularly air how I want to contribute to further increasing everyone's success and pride in this beautiful sector.

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