Many people I meet are surprised when I tell them about the economic importance of the floricultural sector. For some reason or another, we’re all very modest about our performance most of the time, while the rest of the world watches on in awe. Plenty of foreign camera crews who want to come and film in Aalsmeer. But as a sector, we tend not to blow our own trumpet.
However, the facts don’t lie. Our floricultural industry employs 150,000 people. That’s more than the telecommunications sector. Our annual export value amounts to a total of €6 billion. If we don’t take into account our natural gas, the mechanical engineering sector is the only other sector with higher exports.
We should be proud of the fact that the Dutch share in the global cut-flower exports still lies around 40%. We can’t expect that we’ll automatically have this position forever, though. The increase in the demand for flowers is currently taking place far from Europe, but the Dutch floricultural sector still wants to be part of this growth.
The basis for our sector’s success through the years has always been collaboration. Let’s continue to build on that. Each and everyone of us from their own strength and in their own role. The auction’s strategy focuses on the strength of the marketplace. We are convinced that we’re creating conditions that allow growers and buyers to build up or expand their companies successfully.
With our new fulfilment logistics, we’re getting our services ready for a future with smaller and smaller transactions. And, using our digital platform Floriday, growers can decide for themselves whether they want to sell their entire production through the clock, or through other sales channels, both national and international.
Collaboration offers a unique opportunity to strengthen the position of the Dutch floricultural sector. It is no secret that we’re talking to other important trading parties in the sector. We approach each other with a common interest in mind: strengthening our international competitive position.
Collaboration has been and will be the key to our success. I’m sure that many people, both within and outside our country, are closely following the digital transition that’s currently taking place within our sector. As the number one hub of the global floricultural industry, the Netherlands should be able to win this international digital battle. It would be yet another reason to be proud of our sector!
Steven van Schilfgaarde
CEO Royal FloraHolland