Floribusiness How will greenhouse builders manage to survive this time?

    How will greenhouse builders manage to survive this time?


    After the crisis of 2008, Dutch greenhouse builders spread their wings to all corners of the world. It turned out to be a successful strategy. But at the moment, there isn’t a single country that isn’t hit by the coronavirus. The stream of new jobs from the floriculture sector is drying up – although the vegetable sector is recovering – and the construction activities of current projects are sometimes hindered. How will greenhouse builders manage to survive this time?

    Europe is gradually opening up again. It’s too early for a definitive assessment, but it’s already clear that the effects on floriculture companies have been varied. Cut-flower nurseries seemed to have struggled a lot, potted plants were a bit better off, while patio and bedding-plant companies seemed to have had little to complain about.

    The coronavirus crisis also has an impact on greenhouse builders. How are they doing? “We don’t have a complete overview of that yet”, says Annie van de Riet, chairperson of the Dutch branch organisation Avag.

    Van de Riet: “We deliberately haven’t tried to make one yet, as greenhouse builders are so-called late-cyclical companies. Current projects are completed, but there haven’t been any new orders for several weeks. The economic consequences of the crisis won’t be visible for a while, but they’ll carry on for longer. The government introduced a great emergency package, and I hope that our people will also be able to make use of that later on, when they need it. That’s what we’re lobbying for.”

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    Joef Sleegers
    Joef Sleegers werkt sinds 2006 bij het Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij. Hij schrijft graag over innovatie en nieuwe technieken, en voelt zich thuis in een sector die ’verantwoord ondernemen’ serieus neemt.

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