All exports to the United Kingdom still take place under EU legislation this year. What the British trade agreement with the EU is going to look like, is still uncertain. The same applies to the British phytosanitary requirements. Some Dutch companies have already opened a branch in the UK to simplify their distribution.
At least two Dutch tree growers already have UK branch: Van den Berk from Sint-Oedenrode and Smits from Molenschot. Van den Berk UK Ltd is going to supply British customers directly from Peterborough (Cambridgeshire). The advantage of that, as Pieter van den Berk explained earlier, is that their own limited company can manage all imports then. “We’re also planning to have operations in England.” Smits Tree Nurseries Ltd is located in Windsor, west of London.
They aren’t the first Dutch floriculture companies to do this. Many years ago, long before the term Brexit was invented, flower bulb companies already established themselves in Britain to manage their local distribution, marketing and sales.
“It allows you to act quickly”, said Henk Westerhof. The chairman of Anthos, Dutch Trade Association for Nursery Stock and Flower Bulbs, believes that Brexit will encourage more companies to do the same. “It’s an obvious thing to do, depending on the size of your company and your turnover on the British market, as setting up a foreign branch does require investments and effort.”
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