Given its importance in the world flower trade, Holland has to source globally to keep its position. ”It is in the interest of our member-growers that Royal FloraHolland plays a key role in global sourcing,” says Lucas Vos, CEO of Royal FloraHolland.
“Globalization has already occurred in n other markets. Worldwide production is the standard and new export destinations are emerging (Turkey, China). Besides the weather, currency rates are a major influence on floral sales. Exporting to European countries is only risky when, like Kenya, your costs are in dollars. Holland has to globalize so that we can offer a wide assortment (the Dutch USP) and minimize currency risks. Our major customers should do so and Royal FloraHolland should do so, as well . In the interest of our growers, we want to remain a strong marketplace for flowers and plants.”
“Global sourcing means building relationships. You can do so by sharing knowledge with foreign partners. The Turks, for instance, can benefit from Dutch knowledge. We bring them knowledge that helps them achieve their export goals in neighboring countries. In return, they open their market to Dutch flowers and plants. That’s how it should work to make everybody happy.”
“There’s more than one global approach. Your approach might differ per country. In China we developed our market by helping Dutch clients with custom facilities. Dutch export firms bring flowers to China. In China, Royal FloraHolland acts as the importer and takes care of delivery to Chinese customers. That way we build up new markets and gain new knowledge about local customs, banks, governments, et cetera, creating new commercial opportunities for our growers.”
“Globalization has its uncertainties. For Ecuador and Colombia, Donald Trump is an uncertainty. If the USA creates import barriers for Latin American flowers, it could benefit Dutch flower growers who then would have a level playing field in regards to trade. But Ecuador and Colombia would likely try to strengthen their position in European markets. In my opinion, Royal FloraHolland should help them in their efforts. That’s not easy to explain to our current Dutch and international members, but I’m sure it is in their interest that Royal FloraHolland attracts global streams and markets to its marketplace. This all is inherent in the Dutch position in the world market. We have to play our role in a global world.”