Tim Heddema has been working as the Dutch Agricultural Counsellor in the United Kingdom for four years. It isn’t hard to guess which topic has been taking up most of his time during those years. Yes, Brexit. The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union has changed the plant and flower trade to this country. Exporters are facing higher costs and all sorts of additional requirements such as certifications and customs formalities. Growers have noticed that the order sizes are increasing, to keep costs under control.
The trade with the UK will continue to change in the coming years. “Brexit isn’t finished yet, perhaps it will never be finished”, says Heddema in this new edition of Floribusiness. From the 1st of January 2022, the British are going to start with physical inspections of plants and flowers entering the country. At that time, all flowers must, just like plants do now, be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. The phytosanitary requirements might become stricter in the future, thinks Heddema.
Consequences of Brexit are casting a long shadow over the future. The same can be said about Covid-19. The economic damage suffered worldwide due to the consequences of this virus is huge. Take Colombia, for example, which experienced an economic contraction of 7% last year. Out of the total of more than 50 million Colombians, 3.5 million live below the poverty line. The unrest in the country is also playing a role. This affects the economy and the flower industry, too.
But the floriculture sector in Colombia, as well as in other countries, seems to be navigating its way around all the Covid troubles and economic downturn. The demand for plants and flowers is higher than ever.
Last month was the traditional month for FlowerTrials. A vibrant, physical event under normal circumstances, where growers and traders get to admire all the latest novelties. Unfortunately, FlowerTrials had to take place digitally for the second year in a row. A few breeders did open their physical doors for visitors. By appointment only. When it comes to novelties, nothing beats being able to smell, taste and see them in real life. That’s what I experienced at Kolster in Boskoop. Think of how the air at the nurseries gets filled with the scents of all the crops. Amazing!
Let’s hope we’ll be able to do a real tour along all the breeding companies again next year, without any restrictions. Or could it be that Covid will never be finished either, just like Brexit?
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