First quarter of 2024 sees strong growth in flower and plant export

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The Dutch flower and plant export closed the first quarter of 2024 with a growth of 4%, reaching nearly 2.1 billion euros. As was announced by the Vereniging van Groothandelaren in Bloemkwekerijproducten (VGB), a Dutch horticulture association. They based this announcement on Floridata’s export statistics.

Growth after seven consecutive quarters of decline
The export value of cut flowers performed better with a 6% increase, that of plants increased 1%. Volumes for flowers remained almost the same, and for plants, there was a 2% increase. “After seven consecutive quarters of decline, we finally experience growth,” says Matthijs Mesken, director of the VGB. Exports to France decreased significantly by 8%, whereas the UK market grew by almost 12%. “Trade needs to bridge the gap between this year’s early Easter and Mother’s Day in May,” Mesken reports.

Challenges for UK exports
From April 30th onwards, all plants exported to the UK will be inspected at ports upon arrival. Moreover, five types of flowers will be subject to Phytosanitary inspections. It is still unclear how this will be organized. The capacity, both in terms of manpower and the unloading of trucks, is still not up to standard. There’s also a lack of clarity concerning the costs of these inspections. “Since Brexit, export to the UK has already faced many problems, however I am confident that we can eventually resolve these logistical issues,” says Mesken.

Retail-oriented trade and the pressure for sustainability reporting
The growth to Eastern European markets is significant, meanwhile trade is increasingly retail-oriented. “This brings us to the reporting of sustainability efforts; retail chains are required to comply with CSRD legislation and regulations. Soon, both the larger and the smaller trading companies will have to comply with various guidelines to report their sustainability efforts,” says Mesken. “Despite all the challenges, we expect that it will be a positive second quarter.”

Watch the FloraFlits Q1 2024 (video below) for more information on the quarterly figures. Matthijs Mesken (director VGB) and Wesley van den Berg (manager Floridata) provide an explanation. The video includes English and Dutch subtitles.

source: VGB

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