Our sector is currently facing some major challenges. Think, for example, of the stagnating consumer spending on plants and flowers, the effects of political developments such as Brexit, as well as overall cost increases. Not to mention the pressure on the labour market and the increasing demand for sustainability within the sector.
If we want to respond adequately to these challenges, it’s important that everyone in the sector is aware of them and pays attention to them. That’s how all parties involved can find the right answers together. Just like we were able to find each other before, in the context of sustainability for example, with the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative.
Our progress in the field of logistics is satisfactory, thanks to various initiatives of Royal FloraHolland, which is now completely focusing on its core tasks again. Collaboration within the chain in order to improve things, reduce costs and find sustainable solutions for transport, handling and packaging. That’s how we can get ahead, both literally and figuratively.
And what about marketing? Thanks to a joint management role within the Flower Council of Holland, growers and traders are working together on the development of a broadly-supported strategy. The new organisation is developing campaigns that inform consumers in a friendly way how the world needs more plants and flowers. On top of this, they’re one of the initiators of Floriworld, an experience centre where consumers can learn more about the Dutch floricultural industry, to be built in the coming year.
Digitalisation is well underway now. The launch of the Blueroots and Floriday platforms illustrates that parties are aware that collaboration in this field is essential. No white smoke yet perhaps, but I’m sure it won’t be much longer now. Because the only way to face all the challenges ahead, is by working together.
Awareness is the first step.
Joining forces comes next.
I’d like to wish everyone a colourful start of the new year, with a lot of attention to each other.
Marco van Zijverden,
CEO Dutch Flower Group