For many years the Dutch auction system at Aalsmeer, and Royal FloraHolland in particular, has been at the heart of global flower trade, selling produce from around the globe to dealers and suppliers who then sell it around the world, with some British plants being sent across the channel before being re-imported.
Now entrepreneur and florist Steve France hopes to change that with a new venture: Florismart. “Everything goes through Amsterdam – the Dutch flower auction. Growers sell to the exporters, the exporters sell it to the wholesalers, and then the wholesalers sell it to the florist. It’s bizarre that flowers go from Kenya to Holland and then through the tunnel into England, when they could just go straight to Stansted,” France, who is also the founder of online florist Arena Flowers, told City A.M.
He also hopes that the new platform will help growers to diversify their production. “We spot trends: not only do we have all the growers putting their product on the platform, but we have all the exporters and florists. It gives us a lot of data on the industry. We can see price movement, and so we take data about what florists are buying and feed growers with information about what they should be growing.”
He also acknowledged that, if successful the service would be another competitor to wholesales: “The local wholesalers just hate us. We’re like their worst nightmare. Not only because we’re changing the market, but it’s clear that florists shouldn’t buy their flowers from a local wholesale market, it’s insane. That wholesaler has rents, it has fridges, and it has staff. And florists end up paying for that.”
Photo Caption: Florismart hopes to challenge Aalsmeer’s monopoly
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons