Floribusiness Blogs ‘We can’t please everyone all the time’

‘We can’t please everyone all the time’

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When I was interviewed by Floribusiness/ Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij last October, I outlined Royal FloraHolland’s strategy. I’ve spoken with many growers, buyers and carriers since then. Our digital strategy, with Floriday at its heart, has been getting a lot of support, just like the steps we’ve taken towards nationwide auctioning.

I do realise that the impact at company level can be substantial. Growers, buyers and carriers are all facing changes. But it’s never change for change’s sake. Or because Royal FloraHolland wants it. We feel that all the changes are necessary to make our sector future proof. During the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed there’s hardly any discussion about ‘what’. The ‘how’ on the other hand, is sometimes questioned. Those conversations aren’t always easy.

Traditions and successful formulas are suddenly subject to change. Think of Image Auctioning, a prerequisite for nationwide auctioning, and maintaining the physical clock. The two ideas are incompatible. The inevitable step towards 100% Floriday comes with lots of emotions. Why invest more in digitalisation, when you know there’s no successor for your company? The question whether investments can still be recovered, is a valid one.

It is our cooperative’s responsibility to help where needed, and to make the digital transformation successful. I think I’m being honest and realistic when I say we can’t please everyone all the time. However, it is our obligation to continue looking for practical solutions. Growers’, buyers’ and service providers’ knowledge and expertise can really help us here, so think along!

On the Day of the Cooperative, which took place on 12 December, I could feel a strong sense of commitment. All members seemed to be keen to collaborate. As an enterprising partner, Royal FloraHolland works daily on the necessary innovation, sector growth and everyone’s sustainable success. We can only be successful if we join forces. As far as I’m concerned, that’s my wish for 2020.

Steven van Schilfgaarde,

CEO Royal FloraHolland

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