Dutch flower and plant exports increase by 4 per cent in the first quarter of 2024

Figures published by the Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products (VGB) and market analyst Floridata reveal that following 21 consecutive months of decline, Dutch flower and plant exports rebounded to growth in the first quarter of 2024.

Dutch flower and plant exports reached the €2.1 billion mark in the first three months of 2024 with cut flowers (+6 per cent) outperforming potted plants (1 per cent).

The number of cut flower stems sold remained unchanged while potted plants saw a two per cent increase in volumes.

VGB director Matthijs Mesken voices serious concerns regarding the French market showing an eight per cent decrease in value. It no secret that the Buy Local movement is growing in France but Mesken believes that there are more factors behind the drop in exports. He promised to look into deeper the French export figures in the second quarter.

Dutch flower and plant exports to the UK increased by 12 per cent. But not all that glitters in the Uk market is gold.

Up until January 31, 2024, plants labelled as “high risk” ((including plants for planting and “woody plants” such as conifers) that were being imported from the EU into the UK needed to be pre-notified with the UK authorities and require a phytosanitary certificate.

However, plants now classified as “medium-risk” will also require pre-notification and a phytosanitary certificate. And from April 30, 2024), consignments of high-risk plants will be inspected at the UK’s new border control points (BCPs). Some consignments of medium-risk plants will also be subject to BCP checks.

Included in the list of medium-risk plants are five cut-flower varieties, including orchids (Orchidaceae), chrysanthemums (Dendranthema), carnations (Dianthus), Gypsophila, and Goldenrods (Solidago).

Mesken said, “It still is unclear how the UK will manage the new situation. In our view there continues to be a lack in capacity to unload a lorry. Moreover, border authorities are still unable to tell us what these new Brexit check will eventually cost. Exports to the UK have been problematic since Brexit. However I remain confident that we will find a solution for the logistical problems.”

The growth in exports to Eastern Europe is excellent. At the same time, Dutch flower and plant exports for the mass market increased by three per cent. This growth comes with challenges as it requires all exporters to prepare for forthcoming EU legislation, of which the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CRSD) and the Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) stand out prominently.

Under CSRD, companies will be required to publicly disclose information about environmental matters including carbon emission, biodiversity, and how your company impacts social factors such as human rights, working conditions, equality, and non-discrimination in the value chain. Approximately 130 factors must be checked and measured, which requires much paperwork.

Watch the FLORAFLITS video for more information on the performance of Dutch flower and plant exporters over the first quarter of 2024. FloraFlits is a production of VGB and Floridata.

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