Hearts are ruling consumer heads, despite the coronavirus pandemic, says Matthijs Mesken, director of VGB.
“We see that they continue to buy our products if you look at the current export value figures from Floridata. Everything is indeed looking rosy for Valentine’s Day.
We should be proud of our sector for establishing this achievement through challenging times. Especially on top of the figures given at the end of December, showing a new record has been reached of 1.3 billion more in export value compared to last year.
Yet we see some obstacles on the road ahead, and we should also be on our guard. We know that we are looking at the export value, which is the turnover. We also see that there are still some challenges in the sector.
Traders are facing additional costs for purchasing products. We see that transport costs have increased drastically and there is a shortage of drivers. On top of this, more bureaucracy as we see phytosanitary requirements and certificates must be presented. These mandatory requirements will add more effort financially to get the products in the right place.
The export value has increased and, as mentioned before, it is all about the turnover value. Brexit dictates that from 1 July 2022, all cut flowers exported to the UK must have a phytosanitary certificate. That means a lot of work for logistics, the training of employees, and an increase in inspection costs. Not something we are looking forward to.
We also see political tensions around us. Such as the situation in Russia, of which we do not know how it will develop. We also see future high gas prices. We know growers keep parts of their greenhouses empty. This can lead to scarcity, which is undesirable, especially leading up to spring, the most important sales season for our flowers – think of Valentine’s Day, International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day.
So, there are ongoing matters of concern for us. I do not have a crystal ball, but we hope that our consumers will continue to buy our products and that our floriculture sector will always supply them. So until their heads start ruling their hearts, Valentine’s Day is looking rosy.”
Watch the latest FloraFlits (Floridata & VGB) video about the 2021 year figures:
This article was first published in FloraCulture International in February 2022.