AALSMEER, Netherlands: Royal FloraHolland, the world’s largest floral trade hub, hosted a charity auction today, 14 March, to help those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Auction boss Stefan van Schiflgaarde, whose spouse is Ukrainian, has heard first-hand the many heart-wrenching stories of people forced to leave their families behind.
He says, “It is tough to put words to the suffering. But the Ukrainians are incredible resilient, steadfast and proud people. Kiev’s Mayor, Klitsjko, in a moving gesture presented flowers to women on the street on International Women’s Day on 8 March. Even under the most difficult circumstances Ukrainians take a minute to connect emotionally.”
Over the past few weeks, growers, traders, and media have asked Van Schilfgaarde how the Ukraine-Russia war would impact the global flower industry economically.
But he says it feels awkward to talk shop when so many Ukrainians need urgent help. He would instead praise the many efforts of the auction’s grower members and wholesalers who undertook various activities for Ukraine relief.
Naturally, Royal FloraHolland would not leave Ukrainians empty-handed and staged a charity flower and plant auction on Monday morning, 14 March, raising €165,000 for Ukraine relief. A total of 697 batches across 361 auction trolleys were auctioned off.
Royal FloraHolland is happy to announce that adding to this sum is an amount of €55,000 raised last week through individual actions by growers and traders and auction levies being donated for Ukrainian charities. This morning, the auction decided to add to the total and bring it up to €250,000 for the crisis charity Giro 555, the Netherlands national fundraising campaign entitled Together for Ukraine.