Steven van Schilfgaarde: "Floriday is the cornerstone of our business model"24 December 2019
Royal FloraHolland is a trendsetting marketplace worldwide. Our strategy harbours international ambitions. GROW discussed this topic with Steven van Schilfgaarde.
The international strategy aims at maintaining and expanding international trade flows. What does this mean in practice? "Our international strategy is not separate from the general strategy that we have developed. Floriday is an essential building block in these strategies, or actually the cornerstone on which our business model is based. By the end of 2020, Floriday will make it possible for growers and buyers to settle all marketplace transactions digitally. Floriday is developing well according to expectations and growing at a rapid pace."
"The international growth of Floriday is also proceeding as desired. We have more than 120 international users, well over forty of them from Kenya. The demand of our international Floriday users is different than that of our other users. We've therefore developed a special module for them. Right now, we're highly active in international trade flows. The turnover of international cut-flower growers totals 718 million euros, and the turnover of plant growers is 88 million euros. We want to structurally link these growers to our platform. Moreover, we want to grow both in terms of supply and in terms of demand."
"I've had a lot of discussions with international growers lately. Our own Trade Fair, as well as the International Floriculture Trade Fair, are the perfect platforms for such discussions. Growers are primarily interested in what the strategy means for them. They're looking for good international operationalisation, because they too want to be ready on time for the new digital world. So, we're going to have to think about a comprehensive proposition that includes a combination of:
- Flower Handling Services
- Dock Services
- Global Sourcing Services
- Logistical settlement
- Financial Services
With this in mind, we will form a team to propose an approach that really gives our international growers total peace of mind. Every international grower I speak to asks for faster service and good coordination with buyers. And that's exactly what we can do with Floriday. Floriday also ensures the long-overdue improvement in efficiency: crucial for survival. International growers are happy with our 'delivery from stock' service. We already have a lot in-house that we can deploy within the context of our international service provision."
"In order to facilitate international flows that don't already go through the Netherlands, it's essential that we keep developing Floriday to better respond to international conditions and desires. Things that are important for international flows are:
- Delivery time sets
- Purchasing conditions
- Currency and air-freight transport information
- Customs information
This information is usually different for each country. Right now, we can only settle transactions that go through the Dutch system; this is still an obstacle. That's why it's essential to develop financial services that make it possible to facilitate international transactions. This is a condition of success. Secure payment is important when settling transactions. So too is being able to invoice trade flows outside the Netherlands, as well as handling collection from different countries. Also in the area of logistics, we can provide a lot of added value with our services in supply, settlement and delivery."
"We in the Netherlands are losing worldwide market share. That also applies to Royal FloraHolland. Other parts of the world are experiencing stronger growth than we are. But we now have the opportunity to turn the tide and strengthen and expand our international position. Mind you, we are still doing very well. As floriculture sector , for example, we still hold third place in the ranking of Dutch export products when it comes to income. That's better than any of the other agriculture and horticulture sectors. I'm really proud of that!"