Press release: Dutch horticulture threatens to fall over
March 15, 2020
The Dutch floriculture sector has been hit unprecedentedly hard by the corona crisis. Without emergency loans from the government and banks, many companies will go bankrupt within a few weeks.
As a result of the drop in demand, Royal FloraHolland's auctions are not only characterised by very low prices, but also by a large number unsold stock of high-quality products. This has never happened on such a scale in the history of the more than 100-year-old cooperative. The survival of many companies, both growers and traders, is at stake.
Third export sector in the Netherlands
The floricultural industry is the third export sector in the Netherlands. In addition to mainports Schiphol and the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands is also the international hub for cut flowers and plants. Approximately 35% of global exports goes via the Netherlands. The export of flowers and plants amounts to 6.2 billion euros. Approximately 150,000 people works in floricultural industry. Floricultural products occupies a unique position because it concerns daily fresh products.
Steven van Schilfgaarde, Managing Director of Royal FloraHolland: "The market situation is dramatic. Last two weeks prices were up to 50 percent lower than normal. Last Friday, twenty percent of the supply was destroyed because there were no buyers for it. Expectations for the coming weeks are even worse. This is normally the peak period for floriculture in the run-up to Mother's Day in several countries. The usual turnover in this period is 150 to 200 million per week. This crisis comes at the worst possible moment. Without emergency loans from the government and banks and other forms of financial support, healthy businesses will soon collapse in the bushes. Branch-wide, we call for action before it is too late. It really is a few minutes before twelve".
Royal FloraHolland advice to maintaining the export of cut flowers and plants for as long as possible. If the export drops out, it means the end for many floriculture companies if no support is provided. Royal FloraHolland, as a cooperative of growers, is doing everything in its power to support growers and trading companies, but the sector does not have the means to cope with this crisis.
The Netherlands is internationally known as the centre of floriculture. The tulip is a worldwide symbol for our country. The horticultural infrastructure, unique over the years, is in danger of suffering irreparable damage. We must not allow that to happen.
About Royal FloraHolland
With more than 100,000 transactions per day and more than 30,000 different types of flowers and plants, Royal FloraHolland is the international marketplace and knowledge partner that contributes to the success of growers and buyers. Royal FloraHolland has an annual turnover of 4.65 billion euros, 4,031 members and 2,465 buyers. In 2018, 12.1 billion flowers and plants were sold. In addition to the Floriday digital platform, Royal FloraHolland has 4 physical marketplaces where numerous logistics and other service activities are carried out. These physical hubs are located in Aalsmeer, Naaldwijk, Rijnsburg and Eelde. Royal FloraHolland offers the possibility of digital and physical auctioning by means of 35 auction clocks.