An important pivot in Holambra’s floricultural trade is Veiling Holambra. The auction, which has been around for 29 years, has been led by Dutch general manager André van Kruijssen since October 2012. The auction has 370 members (278 companies) and 450 customers. Their customer base consists of flying dutchmen, wholesalers, garden centres, retailers and florists. Supermarkets account for 35% of the turnover of intermediary services and 5% of clock sales.
Auction Holambra is particularly strong in pot plants. About 75% of the turnover comes from pot plants. They aren’t as strong in flowers. A number of flower growers left the organisation in 1998 and established the Cooperflora cooperative. They currently have around sixty growers. Whether they’ll ever reunite, depends on the new generation of growers it sounded like in Holambra.
In addition to these two cooperatives, there are growers who supply plants and flowers to wholesale markets, which also sell fruit and vegetables. They’re referred to as ‘ceases’. Auction growers feel that these nurseries haven’t developed over the years.
Veiling Holambra’s turnover increases by around 15% per year. Last year’s growth was 15.2%. This year’s growth up until now is 20%. Growth is realised by increased supply and higher prices.
The auction assumes that their turnover doubles every six years. That means that last year’s turnover of 175 million euros will reach 250 million euros by 2020. In 2026, the turnover will be 500 million euros. “But growth isn’t a goal in itself”, says Van Kruijssen. “Growth depends on our members.” An aspect of the auction which members really appreciate, is that they get their money fast. Because the payment morale in Brazil is similar to that in southern Europe. The clock accounts for a third of the turnover.
Some of the auction’s features include: no guest suppliers, no fee differentiation for clock sales, web shop and intermediary services, every member has a vote, no cost-causer, cost-payer principle, multi transaction auctioning, auction presale, no remote buying, growers set their own minimum prices and have an obligation to supply to the auction.
Veiling Holambra has recently developed a digital platform: Veiling Online. Many growers have joined already. The auction is trying to get more members connected and for this particular project they’re working together with the Brazilian branch of Match Online, in which the auction has a majority share.