During the Meeting of the Council of Members on 18 November, the election for a new chairman took place. With a majority of votes, grower Peter Smak was appointed chairman of the Members' Council of Royal FloraHolland as of 1 January 2022.

Besides the election, there was attention for various topics that are on the agenda for decision during the upcoming formal members council meeting in December, such as BBH and Aalsmeer Oost. An update was also given on the developments regarding new logistics.

BBH

RFH collects an annual levy from its growers and buyers for the generic promotion of floricultural products. RFH pays the entire revenue from this levy to the Stichting Bloemenbureau Holland (BBH). The question is whether this charge should continue to be levied via RFH or should be organised differently. The reason for this is that the current method of levying leads to an uneven playing field for the cooperative and puts pressure on RFH's competitive position.

Several image-forming sessions have taken place and together with BBH we are looking for a possible solution. The responsibility for solving this issue lies with BBH. RFH is certainly willing to help think things through. For this reason, the Management Board has drawn up a memorandum containing a number of basic principles. This memorandum was discussed during the meeting and is being refined on a number of points. The current BBH levy is a decision by the ALV and should be changed now that the powers of the ALV have been taken over by the Members' Council.

Aalsmeer East

Royal FloraHolland is working on the development of Aalsmeer East. This is an area of 16 hectares. The subject is on the agenda for the Members' Council meeting in December.

During this meeting, David van Mechelen, CFO, provided further background information and an in-depth session took place. A number of meetings and tours of Aalsmeer East have taken place in the past period. The business case has been further developed by RFH and was discussed during the meeting. There were also a number of questions. Based on the in-depth session and the discussion, the proposal will be further refined. Later that same day, an in-depth session also took place with the financial committee of the Council of Members. This item is on the agenda for decision-making on 9 December.

Explanation of the New Logistics

During the meeting on 18 November, the Council of Members was informed of the proposed decision regarding order picking in the logistics process of Royal FloraHolland. This is an important subject because of its major impact and the way it is perceived. This development involves a large investment, but not to the extent that it requires the approval of the Members' Council.

The current distribution process of Royal FloraHolland will gradually be transformed into demand-driven order picking. The logistic handling of direct trade and clock trade will also be organised in a combined process. This will create opportunities to better align the logistic handling with the wishes of customers and keep it affordable. With this change, the operational IT and processes will be standardized across all RFH locations, which will not only modernize the IT but will also make the operation ready for National Auctioning and further developments. Because this is a comprehensive intervention in RFH's logistics services, the auction is doing this in small, careful steps. Order picking will be switched to per location and per auction group.

The impact of this is not limited to our own business operations, but also affects growers and buyers. That is why both growers and buyers are being informed more intensively. They receive guided tours and newsletters, for example. A guidance team 'The New Logistics' with growers and buyers has been set up to gather input for decision-making on the most difficult 'issues'. On 4 November, the request for advice was submitted to the Works Council and on 24 November, a decision will be taken by the Supervisory Board on investments for the full realisation of order picking.

It was a long, but constructive meeting in which good work was done by working groups and committees in preparation. Due to the current developments and measures surrounding COVID-19, the meeting was held digitally. The content was well organised, so that the discussions proceeded at the right level. A compliment to all members is therefore in order. This way of working is effective and provides a good preparation for decision-making during the formal Members' Meeting on 9 December.

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