Brazil is struggling to get out of a severe economic and political crisis. The gross domestic product went down by 3.6% in 2016 and by 3.8% in 2015. This crisis is mainly caused by corrupt politicians and officials who, together with corrupt entrepreneurs, abuse their positions and enrich themselves. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen a meat scandal being added to the list of incidents; who knows what will be next.
Nevertheless, there are some bright spots, indicating we’re slowly going in the right direction. For the floricultural industry, it seems that 2017 is going to be a better year than 2016, although this is mostly true for plants perhaps.
At our first Veiling Market (trade fair) in March, sales weren’t bad. As a result, the mood was positive, with happy faces all around. Our digital platform is also taking shape and gaining more power. More and more members are investing in software and have decided to join our platform. The big breakthrough is coming, now that a few important wholesalers have taken concrete steps to invest in software too and announced they also want to join our platform later this year.
The number of orders and the weekly turnover of our Veiling Online web shop is steadily increasing. Success is growing as more and more member growers and customers are starting to see the advantages of digital trading.
Another new service, which we introduced in March, is the “auction presale” service. A way to offer our members and customers even more opportunities for digital trading. If this takes off, auction presale will be a great success.
You would think that, with all these digital options, the auction clock is losing its attraction. It’s true that trade via the auction clock isn’t growing at the same rate as the direct trade, but it is still going up. The number of customers wanting a seat is still increasing, on our busiest days the auction stand is completely full.
It looks like we won’t be able to avoid expanding the auction stand and we have the space to add 124 seats. “Expanding the auction stand!?” I agree that it sounds strange, and I’m actually as surprised as anyone else. But the facts don’t lie. And we should be able to offer our customers a seat. Maybe it’s time for a notice on “Floribusiness.com”?
André van Kruijssen,
CEO Veiling Holambra