Optimal pricing remains our goal02 February 2021
Corona had a major impact on floriculture in 2020. The industry has not been idle and is going through a particularly fundamental transition. GROW looks back with Steven van Schilfgaarde, but mostly to the future.
To many, 2020 is the year of corona. However, isn't it also the year that Royal FloraHolland's strategy was further rolled out? "Our industry showed its very best side last year. I'm therefore extremely proud of the strong resilience shown by the industry. Every grower or trader experienced the crisis differently as it impacted each company in a unique way. The corona crisis makes it abundantly clear that the world around us is changing. Trends we already saw coming are continuing at a rapid pace. The sector is digitising and internationalising. We're seeing more and more consolidation, not only in the industry, but also with regard to production. We're also seeing an increasing demand for sustainable products. We're responding to this with our strategy, which was already in the pipeline. We were able to press forward in 2020, thanks to our sound financial position at the beginning of the crisis."
We are developing our marketplace into a digital B2B platform, where customers can conduct both auction and direct trade. We are also making new forms of service possible through this platform. I'm convinced this is the right course for us. Nonetheless, I continue to receive questions about whether it's really necessary and whether everything has to happen so quickly. Some growers ask me right off the bat whether it's actually even benefiting them. My answer is a resounding 'yes'. Digitisation is no longer something we can ignore. I'm convinced that it's better for growers and buyers to develop our own floriculture platform together, rather than leaving it to other parties within or outside the floriculture market. Floriday will ensure that we can preserve this powerful marketplace together. We combine supply and demand in one place, thereby ensuring optimal pricing. Our cooperative was originally formed for this reason and remains our goal. We will soon be able to use our platform to offer new services which will benefit all growers and buyers. It doesn't matter whether you're large or small, local or international. By doing what we do best - facilitating orders, payments and deliveries - our customers can focus on what they're good at. Together, we'll optimise the entire floriculture chain and we'll remain strong and powerful."
"We can't take our foot off the accelerator if we want to make this a reality. Almost everyone is currently 100% Digital. Our priority for this year is nationwide auctioning using smart logistics. This is made possible by our joint venture Floriway. International customers can now also pay with dollars in Floriday. This year, growers are taking a significant step in the field of environmental certification as well. I realise that this has consequences for the management of the field and for our buyers. This is more manageable for some than for others, but it's never easy. Fortunately, no one has to do it alone. My dream is for us to help one another to achieve our common goal: a future-proof floriculture industry. I call on everyone to participate, because we are smarter and better together. After all, together we can do more at less cost than if we each operate on our own."