After the crisis of 2008, Dutch greenhouse builders spread their wings to all corners of the world. It turned out to be a successful strategy. But at the moment, there isn’t a single country that isn’t hit by the coronavirus. The stream of new jobs from the floriculture sector is drying up – although the vegetable sector is recovering – and the construction activities of current projects are sometimes hindered. How will greenhouse builders manage to survive this time?
Europe is gradually opening up again. It’s too early for a definitive assessment, but it’s already clear that the effects on floriculture companies have been varied. Cut-flower nurseries seemed to have struggled a lot, potted plants were a bit better off, while patio and bedding-plant companies seemed to have had little to complain about.
The coronavirus crisis also has an impact on greenhouse builders. How are they doing? “We don’t have a complete overview of that yet”, says Annie van de Riet, chairperson of the Dutch branch organisation Avag.
Van de Riet: “We deliberately haven’t tried to make one yet, as greenhouse builders are so-called late-cyclical companies. Current projects are completed, but there haven’t been any new orders for several weeks. The economic consequences of the crisis won’t be visible for a while, but they’ll carry on for longer. The government introduced a great emergency package, and I hope that our people will also be able to make use of that later on, when they need it. That’s what we’re lobbying for.”
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