Brazil has a new president: Jair Bolsonaro. When we were in the Netherlands to visit Trade Fair and IFTF, we got many anxious questions about this man. How could it be that a man who made such extreme statements was elected president?
Well, that’s because the population, after a long period of labour-party governments, many corruption scandals and an enormous amount of bureaucracy, is screaming for change. And that’s exactly what this president will bring. Brazil needs more liberal politics involving less bureaucracy and a more robust approach against corruption. A new brush sweeps clean, so to speak.
“Welcome to the new Brazil” is what my Portuguese teacher said earlier this week. He’s pleased to see the changes that are happening under the new president, who’s appointing skilled people as ministers and embarking on a completely new course. Everyone in the floriculture sector is happy too. I haven’t yet met a single producer who isn’t pleased to see Bolsonaro in power.
Brazil has been going through a political and economic crisis the past five years. Despite that, the floriculture sector was doing well. How’s that possible? Does a crisis not affect plants and flowers? Yes, of course plants and flowers are affected by a crisis, just like any other product.
The reason why the floriculture sector has continued to grow these past five years despite the crisis, is that distribution has greatly improved during that period. Retail chains started selling plants and flowers. The number of sales points increased and as the chains got more experience, their sales presentations gradually improved. The trade flow is working well, and plants and flowers have become more accessible for consumers. We expect that, over the next couple of years, we’ll be able to increase the number of sales points even further.
Last week, we had our General Members’ Meeting. We’ve got some large investments planned for 2019. We’re going to invest in buyers’ areas and storage space for our logistical means. We’re also going to invest in trade marketing. Sometimes you need to spend before you get to see the result.
We had already spent quite some time and energy explaining the plans to our members, and we were relieved to see that the vast majority approved of our policies. It looks like we’ll end this year on a good note and the forecast for 2019 is positive too!
André van Kruijssen,
CEO Veiling Holambra