“Another challenging peak period awaits us this year. How do our suppliers handle this?” Rico Telleman (32) of Fresco Flowers has been familiar with the peak since age 15 when he helped out every weekend and during holidays. This year, Rico expects to sell as many as 430 million Kenyan roses through Royal FloraHolland in Aalsmeer: a growth of 45 million over last year.
Founded in 2005 by Rico’s father, Fresco Flowers is an agency representing 11 rose growers from Kenya. Ninety percent of all roses entering the Netherlands through Fresco Flowers are sold at auction in Aalsmeer. When he was 22, he joined the company full time: “Although I was initially still studying, I was also thinking: I already know I want to work at Fresco Flowers anyway.” As operations manager, his responsibilities include planning, while Aart Buizer (46) handles the commercial duties for Fresco Flowers. Roses are grown all year round in Kenya, but from Christmas onwards, Fresco Flowers gets a bit busier. Their peak starts in February, before Valentine’s Day. After Mother’s Day, though, the peak is over. Incidentally, Fresco Flowers partly creates this peak itself, as well as the troughs. Aart: “April is never a strong month for roses, so then we slow it down a bit on the Kenyan side.”
Dealing with the peak
During the peak, a much greater volume has to be processed in a short time, which means employing more people and working longer shifts at Fresco Flowers. Important issues during the peak include flight capacity from Kenya, capacity at Aalsmeer dock services, and the availability of sufficient cold storage space in Aalsmeer. Aart: “Communication is key. It is important that we communicate and coordinate everything with Royal FloraHolland in a timely manner. Usually, about two weeks before the peak starts, a month in advance is rather pointless. This means there is a close connection with Aalsmeer dock services and close contact with the auctioneers. This often relates to the supply pattern and what they can expect. Although the peak is definitely a challenge, in general, we are always well served by the various Royal FloraHolland services.”
Peaks are indeed handled together, according to Rico and Aart; after all, everyone is needed to make things run smoothly, especially in terms of logistics and Communication. But Fresco Flowers really does see the ‘Let’s peak together’ campaign as separate from their own peak: “Among other things, there are certain product groups that opt for auction en masse during the spring months when the direct market is stagnant, for example, and these cause a spike in both the auction and the logistics processes. Royal FloraHolland is unwilling to tackle this issue head-on and, as such, has a logistical problem, resulting in measures such as higher volumes per transaction and later delivery times. I would rather see loyal auction suppliers getting priority, with last-minute auction suppliers having to auction later.”
All peak information at a glance
On Royal FloraHolland’s ‘Let’s peak together’ page, you will find all the latest information and measures for and about the 2023 peak.
Source: Royal FloraHolland