Members' Council Column: "Everything is about connection. With members in the Netherlands and overseas"

April 26, 2022
The clock is indispensable for the auction. It distinguishes us from competitors. But the clock can be stronger. The clock must be more interesting in terms of cost price. And accessibility for members from outside Europe could also be improved.

Roses that we sell to Dubai, for example, would not have to be shipped via the Netherlands. Strengthening the clock is one of the biggest challenges, as far as I'm concerned.

New to the industry

I have been a member of the Members’ Council since 2019. I have a background in banking and media. So the move to floriculture was not an obvious one. Until my husband passed away in 2017. He was one of the three directors of Bloomingdale Roses. In memory of him, I decided to join the company. That was in 2018. To get to know the sector quickly, and to keep connection with the members and the cooperative, I became a member of the Members' Council.

Strength and flexibility

In recent years, I got to know the sector better and better. What struck me was the enormous power and flexibility that the ornamental plant cultivation sector has within it. Do you know the film Titanic? I sometimes compare our sector with the musicians on that ship. Despite the fact that the boat sank, they continued to play. The same applies to floriculture. Whether things are going well or badly, we continue to produce beautiful flowers and plants. The show must go on. During the corona crisis, our sector remained strong. We did not throw the towel. That is really something to be proud of.

At the moment, more and more growers are shifting from the clock to direct trade. That shows that the clock does not fit well with what they are looking for. More and more growers experience direct trade as more lucrative. The clock is no longer a one-size-fits-all. To keep our sector as strong and resilient as possible, we need to reinstate the clock.

Reinforce the clock

I think it's a pity that the clock is getting weaker. Isn't that precisely what unites us? Auctioning together, providing a marketplace where our members get the best prices for their flowers and plants? That is what concerns me.
How can we make the clock stronger? By ensuring more competitive rates, for example. It must be attractive again to sell products via the clock. And prevent the dumping of leftover goods on the clock.

In the end, it's all about connection. Maintaining the connection with all members: in the Netherlands and overseas. There must be attention for what works and what doesn't work for them. In that respect, I am very happy that we can see each other again. Recently, I was in the Netherlands for a meeting of the Members’ Council. It was the best meeting ever. The member sessions in Ethiopia and Kenya were also successful. The turnout was good, and it was nice to see that the management takes the questions and challenges of these members seriously. When you can look each other in the eye, you really know what you have in common.

The future in focus

My appeal to all members is: think constructively about the future. About strengthening the clock. About serious, worldwide commitment of Floriday. And about the way we want to work together. We are the largest auction in the world. This model can only remain so powerful if we all work for it. Now and in the future.

The Members’ Council regularly publishes a column in which a topic is discussed that concerns a member of the Members’ Council, but also observations and developments are discussed. This time, Riyah Bunty Shah, member of the Members’ Council member since 2019 and chair of the nomination committee, shares her opinion with all readers. Riya is the owner of Bloomingdale Roses in Kenya.

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