Two long days of intense discussions, that's in a nutshell the Two-Day Members' Council that took place on 1 and 2 February. The Members' Council interacted among themselves, as well as with management, supervisory board and various people from the company. At the end of Day 2, everyone was satisfied with the steps made during these days again. A good start to an exciting and important year within our cooperative!

In addition to a company update by Steven van Schilfgaarde and David van Mechelen, the first day provided space for small-group discussions: between the Members' Council and Steven van Schilfgaarde, David van Mechelen and Jack Goossens, Frank Ammerlaan, Rosaline Zuurbier, Kees Pingen, Birgit Otto and Piet Coelewijn of the Supervisory Board. In open and direct discussions, there was room for critical questions on, for example, Floriway, sustainability and the interpretation of the sector's new rhythm. They also discussed cooperation and possible areas for improvement in the collaboration between the Members' Council, the management and the Supervisory Board.

Together in our cooperative

In addition, these days paid ample attention to the functioning of the Members' Council, through a self-evaluation but also exercises on (personal) effectiveness within the Members' Council. The various committees within the Members' Council presented their spearheads for 2023 through annual plans. The main topic on the agenda on both the first and the second day was the 'Together in our cooperative' project.

On the first day, a number of principles of the new cooperative strategy, as confirmed at the Members' Council meeting on 8 December, were discussed in detail. To confirm with each other the urgency of this new strategy, we conceived and discussed several scenarios together on this day. These describe the future of the cooperative and that of its members in the event that Royal FloraHolland does not become the winning platform within the floriculture market.

What will the future then look like for Royal FloraHolland, growers and its members? Who will be the winners and losers? And what does this mean for costs of growers and our members? Together, we concluded that this scenario would be fatal for many of us. We must therefore move forward now. The aim is to make concrete steps in working out user packages and membership (bonding forms) before the summer.

In basic agreement

Through various propositions where Members' Council members could literally show where they stand: left or right of the line, there was a discussion on the interpretation of the various principles of the auction. The conclusion was that the vast majority of the Members' Council basically agree with each other and the principles as defined in the cooperative strategy. Differences sometimes seem to be present, but are often in the definition that we still need to establish better together.

On the second day, a working group from within the company presented initial ideas around user packages and bonding forms to the Members' Council. This was based on the principles of the cooperative strategy, with maximum network effect, user experience through differentiation, making membership more attractive. These were discussed and tested in working groups.

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