Members' Council: adoption of the 2020 annual accounts and VGB guideline23 April 2021
During the formal Members' Council meeting of Thursday 22 April, the Members' Council adopted the Annual Accounts of Royal FloraHolland for 2020. There was also a vote on the early payment of the 2013 annual accrual and the Florinee petition.
The Members' Council has adopted the annual accounts of Royal FloraHolland. The Supervisory Board, the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board and the external auditor PwC previously approved the annual accounts on 8 April.
Appropriate financial management during the coronavirus crisis
The effect of the coronavirus on the financial results of Royal FloraHolland is considerably less than initially expected in 2020. Peter Varekamp of the Finance Committee of the Members' Council: "We have had a very difficult year. At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, we were assuming worst-case scenarios. At the end of the day, however, the annual figures aren't too bad. From the onset of the coronavirus crisis, Royal FloraHolland has acted appropriately and thoroughly. This was also possible because the financial processes within the company have improved significantly in recent years." During the course of the coronavirus crisis, the Members' Council Finance committee was closely involved in the development of the figures.
The Finance Committee has also monitored the preparation of the annual accounts and the annual report. Peter Varekamp: "We have scrutinised a number of matters. Naturally, we focused on the backgrounds and investments in Floriday. But just as important is the development of Royal FloraHolland's earnings model. We have considered the fixed cost structure, the cost of Auction and the impact on the result of the shift from Auction to direct. The question is: how do we resolve the downward trend? We need to have further discussions about this." The Members' Council granted discharge to the Management Board and the Supervisory Board for the policy pursued in 2020.
The annual accounts and annual report of Royal FloraHolland for 2020 will be presented to the press and made public on Friday 23 April. In the annual accounts, the current value of all software, including Floriday, can be found under the item intangible fixed assets. Of the € 42 million reported here, € 7 million relates to Floriday.
Positive gesture in response to business operation adjustments
The Members' Council also agreed to a Management Board proposal for early payment of the 2013 certificate B annual accrual to members, with this including 'clearing old balances' for amounts below €2,500. This last part means that discontinued members' balances of up to €2,500 will also be paid out in advance. "If you look at solvency, there is no reason not to pay out early. There is plenty of room," says Peter Varekamp. The Members' Council also sees this as a positive gesture in light of everything that is being asked of members for adjustments to their business operations as a result of, for instance, Floriday, Environmental Certification and Nationwide Auctioning. Moreover, some members could do with the money, with certain product categories still struggling due to the pandemic. At the same time, it is stated that this doesn't mean that there will also be an early payout next year, or that the accrual percentage of 0.5% will definitely remain unchanged.
Royal FloraHolland and VGB: a helping hand extended back and forth
In addition, the Members' Council was updated by the Management Board on the latest developments, including the collaboration with the VGB (Association for Wholesale Trade in Horticultural Products). The Management Board has said that a meeting has taken place with the chair (Cees van der Meij) and the director (Matthijs Mesken) of the VGB.
During these discussions, it emerged that both parties are in agreement that more customisation is needed in the implementation of Royal FloraHolland's strategy, with 'one size fits all' not fitting the components of the strategy.
The Management Board has indicated that it would like to work together with the VGB on the implementation of strategy and the long-term success of the floriculture industry, each from its own role. Royal FloraHolland wishes to act as a service provider for its growers and their buyers. A helping hand has been extended back and forth. Royal FloraHolland would like to continue discussions with the VGB on this matter.
During the meeting, the Members' Council also made a decision on the request of the members' petition to convene an additional Members' Council meeting. Read more about this decision here.