Steven van Schilfgaarde: ‘Standstill is not an option’

    During the past few weeks, there’s been more and more criticism about the various changes introduced by Royal FloraHolland. Members and customers are speaking up. Not everyone is happy with the developments at the auction. “It can be hard sometimes”, responds CEO Steven van Schilfgaarde. “But a total standstill would be the worst. If you don’t move along, things just get more complicated.”

    The concerns that are raised by growers and buyers about some of the changes introduced by RFH are hard to capture in one word. That’s because there are lots of different changes at the auction at the moment. RFH is playing several chess games simultaneously and they aren’t simply moving a piece to the next square. The changes are significant, perhaps even disruptive.

    Photo Royal FloraHolland

    RFH believes they are necessary, though. Standstill is not an option because the world outside the auction is changing too. Customers are consolidating. And there are other important developments in the fields of digitalisation and sustainability, for example.

    Too slowly

    Digital platform Floriday, the introduction of Floriway, compulsory certification, fulfilment and nationwide auctioning are all significant changes for the floriculture sector and as a result, for the working method of many growers and traders. Some professionals can’t wait for the changes to be implemented but others are worried about (part of) the auction’s strategy.

    Van Schilfgaarde says he understands the concerns, and he agrees that some of the changes aren’t easy. “Not for our members, not for our buyers and transporters, and not for us. However, we shouldn’t forget that two, three years ago, many members complained that change was happening too slowly. Now there are members who feel that things are changing too rapidly.” (..)

    Click here to read the full interview in Floribusiness magazine.

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