Jan de Boer:

‘Spain is recovering’

Is the Spanish market picking up again?
´Yes, there is no government and that’s usually when things are better. Our customers, both wholesalers and florists, are more optimistic and they’re buying more flowers. Spain has had a few difficult years. One of the largest KOA-buyers, with around 1,500 customers in Spain, bought large batches of flowers for low prices at the auction. They would add a small margin and send it off to Spain.

That must have had an impact on you…
´Yes, consumers got used to the lower prices and a moderate quality. That isn’t a good. There was less and less space for real quality products. But a situation like that backfires, as often when it concerns quality. Confidence in the market is restoring now and the demand for good flowers is increasing again. The VAT reduction of early 2015, from 21 to 10 percent, also helps of course.

Did florists survive the difficult years?
´Half of them didn’t make it. We helped our customers in difficult times wherever we could. By the way, the same can’t be said for the Flower Council of Holland, which no longer supports Spain. My customers feel let down. The fact that the VGB got to have a say in the use of the Flower Council’s budget again since last year, hasn’t yet made much of a difference!´

How do you see the future?
´We are optimistic about the future, Spain is recovering. You can also see it in the housing market; that’s bouncing back too. An important sign.’

Jan de Boer
Company: Barendsen BV, Aalsmeer

Position: director
Employees: 65
Main markets: Europe and Middle East
Purchasing: own import, auctions, directly from growers