AALSMEER, Netherlands: With only eight weeks to go before the year comes to a final close, Dutch-based floral wholesale giant DFG anticipates to post a turnover of €1.6bn in 2020, a 7 per cent decrease over the previous year. Departing CEO Marco van Zijverden, however, is quick to add that profitability is expected to hold.
Under normal circumstances, Trade Fair Aalsmeer is DFG’s venue of choice to present their annual DFG Awards in recognition of all the hard work of the Group’s suppliers. However, with the cancellation of this year’s trade show and much of Europe struggling with a second wave of Covid-19, DFG held the event in a virtual format for the first time.
On this occasion, the company’s CEO Marco van Zijverden and his successor from 1 January 2021 Jan van Dam, went on the live stream to announce a special edition of the DFG Awards. This time, there were no nominees in the cut flower or ornamental plant categories, none for International Grower Award nor a Preferred Supplier trophy. Instead, DFG dedicated the Big Thank You Award to all its supplying growers at home and abroad. The Big Thank You Award marked the 19th consecutive year of the DFG Awards, of which last year’s winners were Van der Lugt Lisianthus, Ter Laak Orchids and Flores Silvestres from Colombia.
The departing DFG boss also discussed the state of the industry from an international wholesale perspective while highlighting the sector’s resilience. “The Covid-19 restrictions, and their impact on the international horticulture sector, has made 2020 an eventful year for Dutch Flower Group. It was fantastic to witness the unity of the sector as we tackled the crisis together.”
Van Zijverden referenced the Dutch sector’s Let Hope Bloom campaign that, he says “re-invigorated the importance of flowers and plants in consumer’s minds”. He also expressed how happy he was to see that the coronavirus outbreak forged new bonds of togetherness and altruism. Instead of throwing unsold flowers away, the industry sent the blooms to the elderly, nursing homes, and hospitals.
Now that 2020 is about to wrap up, the DFG boss anticipates the company will post a €1.6bn turnover, a 7 per cent decrease in comparison to 2019. This calculation is due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but also to the imminent loss of Tesco’s business at the end of the year. This situation means that DFG needs to restructure Intergreen.
According to Van Zijverden profitability is expected to hold despite the turnover being below what was budgeted, because expenses are also keeping below budget by bringing skills, back-office operations and sourcing services together.
DFG companies Bloom, Greenex and Green Partners, for example, have decided to bring all processing and shipping activities of bouquets and potted plants under one roof at Betula 11 in De Kwakel, the current location of Bloom and Greenex. Bouquet makers and logistics staff who currently work at the Green Partners branch in Naaldwijk may move with the company to Aalsmeer. Green Partners’ head office, the beating heart of planning, sourcing, supply chain management, sales, and other back-office operations, will continue to operate from Trade Parc Westland in Naaldwijk.
Meanwhile, Hamifleurs and OZ are in the stage of completing their reorganisation, combining their assets, logistics operations and ‘back-office’ support functions.
Finally, in May DFG agreed to buy DSV Panalpina’s Airflo unit, a specialised forwarder of flowers and vegetables.
Watch the video of the virtual DFG Awards ceremony here