Ron van der Ploeg

Dutch flowers and plants ‘unstoppable’ if suppliers can meet soaring Mother’s Day demand

AALSMEER, Netherlands: The celebration of Mother’s Day worldwide has further increased the already soaring demand for Dutch flowers and plants. In the current seller’s market prices are skyrocketing.

“The loosening of coronavirus restrictions have given an extra boost to Mother’s Day sales,” says Matthijs Mesken, director of VGB, the Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products.

Last month, Dutch exporters reported a record for the first quarter of 2021. Current forecasts also look promising, with sales figures already exceeding 2019 results, according to a survey of VGB, based on new export statistics of market analyst Floridata.

This year, British Mothering Sunday fell on 14 March. “The last ten weeks, we have sold much more than other years. Whether this is exactly related to Mother’s Day is difficult to say,” says Fred Beekenkamp, team leader of Javadoplant’s purchasing team. “Availability of plants is the difficulty at present due to soaring demand.”

In almost all countries, Mother’s Day falls in May, mirrored by the resulting statistics on Dutch flower exports. In Spain, Portugal, Romania and Hungary, Mother’s Day fell on 2 May. Polish Mother’s Day will be on Wednesday 26 May, and following on the last Sunday of May, it will be Mother’s Day for French and Swedish people.

“The trade of flowers and plants to Southern Europe dropped severely due to the corona crisis. This year, the figures from this area are recovering very well,” says commercial director Cees Bakker of Hilverda de Boer.

He says,  “Airfreight flower exports are also going well, despite the high air freight rates. The rebound in sales is particularly strong in the USA as a result of that country’s ongoing vaccination programme.”

VGB director Mesken says, “Due to high pricing resulting from the high demand for flowers and plants, we expect the export value this year to far exceed the record value of 2019. However, purchasing is much more expensive this year due to a culmination of Coronavirus and Brexit, and traders are faced with high costs for transport.”

Wesley van den Berg, manager of Floridata, expects to see a slight dip this year over June and July, due to the pandemic recovery, which corresponds to the same months last year last year.

He says, “Flowers and plants will be paid for dearly, which may push the export value towards the seven billion mark after all.

 

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