Spring cleaning

In Brazil, spring cleaning seems to have started. At least, that is what I am hoping for, along with many Brazilians. It is very important that the highest priority is given to a very thorough spring clean.

I am talking about the impeachment of the President of the lower house and the impeachment procedure against the Brazilian President. The latter was almost successful until the interim President and the acting President of the lower house put a stop to it. Do you still get it? You don’t have to, because as soon as you read my blog, the political reality will probably have caught up with this. I’d better start an online blog.

Imagine that Ms Khadija Arib, chairwoman of the lower house in the Netherlands, and Mr Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, were both removed from office within two weeks. These events, along with a major enquiry about the alleged involvement of dozens of politicians in corruption will cause long-term unrest in Brazil, but will probably help to make this young democracy sound and solid.

Last week, the APAS trade show took place in São Paulo; this is a huge event for supermarket chain suppliers. I spoke to many entrepreneurs over there, and remarkably few talked about the problems with which Brazil is struggling. Everyone is looking for opportunities to improve business. It is great to see that entrepreneurs are working towards the future in a positive way.

It was also Mother’s Day in Brazil this weekend, which is just as important for the florists as it is in the Netherlands. The problems concerning quality were not any different than other years, but there were some significant individual issues; various products could not meet their predicted figures.

But we cannot complain about the prices: sales increased by a significant 8% during this peak period around Mother’s Day. We are also achieving a cumulative sales growth of 8%, although sadly this coincides with an estimated inflation rate of 7% this year.

The first thorough evaluation of Veiling Holambra’s year plan will take place next week. We continue to trade above budget but will still review which investment plans are necessary and which we can postpone. ‘Cash is King’ is certainly true in Brazil, especially in these times of political and economic crisis.

Brazil is rich in raw materials, and it is one of the biggest exporters of coffee, sugar, and oranges. I overheard a Brazilian making a joke that ‘God must have surely been a Brazilian.’ How does politics then still succeed in damaging its country’s economy? Spring cleaning cannot be thorough enough for me.

Mr André van Kruijssen
Director Veiling Holambra, Brazil