Some of the Dutch buyers and growers want to maintain a physical auction for niche products in Rijnsburg. Royal FloraHolland’s CEO Steven van Schilfgaarde responds: “It’s a valid question and we’re taking it seriously; we’re exploring all possibilities”.
Whether it’s feasible to keep Rijnsburg as a physical marketplace is something that RFH is still exploring. CEO Steven van Schilfgaarde: “I expect we’ll be able to make a decision in the next six months. We’re working on this together with growers, buyers, the Members’ Council and Flora Futura. I want to do it thoroughly and explore the different options. I don’t like hearing that it’s already been decided to close Rijnsburg because that isn’t true. One solution might be that Rijnsburg becomes a separate clock within the nationwide auctioning system.”
The CEO continues: “It comes with a simple condition: a niche auction must be able to pay for itself. We’ve had some really specific niche auctions in the past, like the florists’ clock in Naaldwijk. That didn’t work well; there simply wasn’t enough purchasing power. But if we can find a way that doesn’t interfere with price formation, and that really supports a certain group of buyers and growers, I’d be the first person to say: ‘let’s do it’.”
He adds that RFH has embarked on a course of nationwide auctioning at their export locations. “That means we’re also going to supply to Rijnsburg because it’s included in the nationwide auctioning system. Traders going through Rijnsburg must be able to use nationwide auctioning. But it isn’t unlikely that we’ll still have a niche auction using the same technology as in Eelde to serve a very specific target group. The first question we need to answer is: can we develop such an auction commercially, and maintain optimum price formation, so that it’s attractive for the target group.” (..)
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