We inform you about the impact of the corona virus on the Dutch and international horticulture market
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Market update Coronacrisis 
Sunday 15 March 2020

Dear Sir/Madam,

Royal FloraHolland keeps a close eye on developments surrounding the coronavirus in order to keep our (member) suppliers, buyers, employees and visitors to our locations safe and healthy. In this market update we inform you about the impact of the corona virus on the Dutch and international horticulture market. 

In this corona market update you will find more information about:

Royal FloraHolland will auction tomorrow at all locations

We were asked whether there will be an auction tomorrow (16 March) because of the Corona crisis. Royal FloraHolland will auction tomorrow at all locations.

Press release: Dutch floriculture threatens to collapse

The Dutch floriculture sector has been hit unprecedentedly hard by the corona crisis. Without emergency loans from the government and banks, many companies will go bankrupt within a few weeks. As a result of the drop in demand, Royal FloraHolland's auctions are not only characterised by very low prices, but also by an unprecedented unsold stock of high-quality products. This has never happened on such a scale in the history of the more than 100-year-old cooperative. The survival of many companies, both growers and traders, is at stake. Royal FloraHolland has shared this with the press today.

Read the full press release »

 

Current market developments

Normally, the next 10 weeks would be the top weeks for the floriculture sector, with e.g. Mother's Day and Easter in the offing. At Royal FloraHolland's marketplace, we trade around 100 to 120 million euros a week, with even a peak of around 140 million euros. This is the turnover of growers. For our buyers who export, we talk about a minimum of 130 to 150 million euros per week, with a peak of just under 200 million euros. In total, the growers would realise a turnover of more than 1 billion euros in the next 10 weeks. For buyers, this would go towards 1.5 billion euros. 

Depending on the scenarios and the degree to which countries are closed off, it will soon amount to hundreds of millions of euros (> 500 million euros) rising to more than a billion euros when the total floriculture market closes. For seasonal growers such as tulips, bedding plants, etc. this will hit extra hard. Growers will have to destroy the products grown with care in the coming weeks. The growth of these products will of course continue as usual. It won’t be possible to earn this turnover in any other way this year. 

Representation of interests by Royal FloraHolland

Royal FloraHolland does its utmost to exert pressure and influence on political decision-making in The Netherlands. We are very active in lobbying with the main aim of getting funds via banks and government guarantees for growers and buyers with acute payment problems. Today, for example, the management met with the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to draw attention to the pressing problems in the floriculture sector. We call on the government to organise emergency loans for horticulture and work closely with other parties, such as the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO NCW), sector organisations and regional governments. Tomorrow a crisis meeting will be held with the Director of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality about a possible package of measures to get through the first period. We are adding extra strength to our efforts with a proactive media campaign. By doing so, we want to create support among the general public and we call on people to continue buying flowers and plants.

In addition, there are ongoing discussions with banks, the government, VNO-NCW, LTO and other relevant parties about the provision of (bridging) credit. Royal FloraHolland contributes proactively to this discussion. Talks with Rabobank are again scheduled for tomorrow morning. The role of (bridge) lender lies primarily with the banks, with the government behind them. Royal FloraHolland itself cannot act as a lender to members and customers of the marketplace in any form whatsoever. Royal FloraHolland's balance sheet and method of financing are not designed for this purpose. Royal FloraHolland is also investigating measures to limit the financial impact on Royal FloraHolland as much as possible.

 

Changes to Royal FloraHolland's business operations

Clock supply

Last Friday there was more than 10% less clock supply for flowers and plants than normally on such a Friday. The throughput percentage was unprecedentedly high at 24.3%. Especially with flowers there was a lot of spinning. It is estimated that the supply for the clock for Monday 16 March was almost 25% lower than forecasted by growers a few weeks ago (source: supply information received digitally). Especially the supply of flowers lags behind. Auctioneers and product managers Nursery services give growers, at their request, advice on whether or not to supply products for the clock and on market conditions. We only visit growers and/or customers if this is urgent and at the request of the customer.
 

Location

Flowers/Plants

Number of lots for 16-3

Forecast for 16-3

(a few weeks ago)

Difference in #

Difference in %

Aalsmeer

Flowers

6818

9797

2979

30.4%

Aalsmeer

Plants

3363

3711

348

9.3 %

Naaldwijk

Flowers

3837

4950

1113

22.4%

Naaldwijk

Plants

2500

2750

250

9.0%

Rijnsburg

General

2481

3614

1133

31.3%

Total

18,999

24,822

5,823

23.4%

Emboss Friday 13 March (export clocks)

Location

Flowers/Plants

Sold

Emboss

Total

Emboss %

Aalsmeer

Flowers

12,169,163

4,657,954

16,827,117

27.7%

Plants

754,168

116,771

870,939

13.4%

Total

12,923,331

4,774,725

17,698,056

27.0%

Naaldwijk

Flowers

6,409,185

1,659,203

8,068,388

20.6%

Plants

640,772

114,783

755,555

15.2%

Total

7,049,957

1,773,986

8,823,943

20.1%

Rijnsburg

Flowers

4,956,889

1,469,957

6,426,846

22.9%

Plants

69,415

10,726

80,141

13.4%

Total

5,026,304

1,480,683

6,506,987

22.8%

Total

Flowers

23,535,237

7,787,114

31,322,351

24.9%

Plants

1,464,355

242,280

1,706,635

14.2%

Total

24,999,592

8,029,394

33,028,986

24.3%

Stimulate remote purchasing (KOA) 
Last week purchasers were asked by e-mail to do their shopping via KOA because of the Corona virus and the amount of people in the demining rooms. For buyers who have not yet concluded a KOA, it has been requested to install this at their workplace within 4 working days (i.e. no later than Thursday 19 March). As a result of this notification, Customer Service received 350 incoming calls at the end of last week requesting information about KOA or to connect to KOA. Last Saturday we received another 52 requests to connect to KOA, today we received about 20 requests. Last Friday more than 100 people were in the demining hall at Rijnsburg alone. On all other locations it was under 100 people. Customers had spread out a bit more in the hall. 

Other 
The Crisis Management Team meets at different times of the day. This team is supported by action teams at the location and by support teams in the commercial, logistics and facility areas. 

In order to prevent the spread of the virus, additional posters and messages have been communicated in several languages throughout the building. 

The opening hours of Customer Service have been extended and they were also available this weekend from 9.00-17.00 hours via Whatsapp and email. We will continue this in the coming period so that our colleagues can answer your questions every day. 

The auctioneers work in two shifts (physically avoiding each other) to ensure continuity. There is a spread of visiting the canteen. Non-site employees work from home and meetings are online. 

We call on employees to buy flowers and plants and activate their network to do the same. 

 

Update per export country by Ministry of Agriculture  
This report contains an update from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) that is involved in the crisis measures surrounding the coronavirus. Here you can find more information about the impact of the virus on exports. Note: This is a snapshot, the situation may vary from hour to hour.

The Netherlands: 
As of Thursday, March 12th, new measures have been announced in the Netherlands. The measures will apply until Tuesday 31 March. People throughout the Netherlands are called upon to work at home as much as possible or to spread the working hours. In case of complaints of rhinitis, coughing, sore throat or fever, people are asked to stay at home and avoid social contact. Meetings with more than 100 people have been cancelled throughout the Netherlands. Emergency laws are also in the making in the Netherlands, but it is still uncertain if and when they will be implemented. This could have serious consequences, such as closing schools (preventing employees from working) or closing shops, except for the 'food shops'/supermarkets and pharmacies. 

Read more » 

 

More information 

Keep an eye on our live blog for up-to-date information on the coronavirus and Royal FloraHolland.  

If you have any questions, please contact your Account Manager or Customer Service via +31 (0)88 - 789 89 89. Customer Service can also be reached via WhatsApp (+31 (0)88-789 89 89) and email klantenservice@royalfloraholland.com

 
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The information provided by Royal FloraHolland with this newsletter has been compiled with the greatest possible care. Nevertheless, it is not excluded that certain information is incomplete or incorrect. Royal FloraHolland does not provide any guarantee in this respect. No rights can be derived by users from the information provided. The (structure or order of the) information provided is only indicative and can be modified at any time without further notice.Royal FloraHolland accepts no liability whatsoever for the contents of the information provided nor for any damage resulting from the use of the information.No part of this newsletter or this edition may be reproduced, published or disclosed in any way without the prior written permission of Royal FloraHolland.

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