Marco van Zijverden: ‘2018 is the year of the truth’

We’re all on the verge of the most important year since the beginning of the auction cooperative. 2018 is going to be the year of truth. The ‘strategy 2020’ programme was developed four years ago and lots of plans were made. But the time has come for Royal FloraHolland to show us that they actually are on a new, partly digital, path. Together with growers and customers.

The departure of Royal FloraHolland’s CEO Lucas Vos, whose role will be taken over by successor Steven van Schilfgaarde, marks an important moment in the history of the cooperative. A changing of the guards that comes with some great opportunities. Giving a new impulse to the dialogue with growers and trading companies for example. It’s also a good opportunity for all of us to try and strengthen the Netherlands’ position as floriculture country. We should do that by achieving results now, through promising projects and by putting an end to projects that have no added value.

Royal FloraHolland’s focus is going to be (back) on the basics. As a logistics service provider, they’ll focus on the provision of logistic carriers, such as containers and trolleys, as well as on designing a modern digital marketplace. This focus is a good thing.

All of the discussions of the last couple of years meant that sometimes, we lost track of the goals. And it’s not just up to the directors of Royal FloraHolland to monitor this, it’s something we’ve got to do together. After all, it’s about our own future in the floricultural industry. Without giving a value judgement, I’ve got to say that I’ve noticed how some people in the industry sometimes dig in their heels when they’re presented with new developments. They delay the decision making process and paint a very pessimistic picture of our sector. I remember these kinds of reactions from when the cost-causer, cost-payer principle was introduced for example.

I would like to call on everyone to look ahead to our future, together. Let’s all work really hard on expanding the Netherlands’ current, leading position as floricultural country. We’ll all benefit. Our own sector knowledge provides a solid base to build on with contributions of professionals from within, as well as from outside the sector. Important aspects will be efficient chains, digital transformation and collaboration.

A lot has been said and written so far. But in 2018, we’ve really got to see some progress. 2018 is the year of truth.

The future is and will be colourful. But only if we work together to implement the changes needed to secure our joint position as floriculture country the Netherlands.

I’d like to wish everyone all the wisdom and decisiveness they’ll need for the coming year, in order to contribute to this. Both individual companies and the collective, which we all represent together. Always keep the future in mind. And that goes beyond 2018.

Marco van Zijverden,

CEO Dutch Flower Group




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