NL: “High prices for just about everything that goes in a vase”

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“Our turnover for Mother’s Day this year was roughly equal to last year,” says Theo de Mooij of Hoven & de Mooij. “Prices were high, for just about everything that goes into a vase, but we nevertheless sold well. However, there is very little ordering in advance, it’s more and more last minute. However, that’s a trend we’ve been seeing for the past few years anyway. It makes things more unpredictable, we have to take a bit more risks. When you see the cell full of flowers in the morning, and it is significantly emptied by the end of the day, it still gives a sense of satisfaction.”

Trading for Mother’s Day picked up in week 18 and last week’s Monday was also very busy. Then exports have more or less progressed. On Tuesday there was still a relatively large amount of trade for Belgium . And just before the weekend, on Friday, there was a last busy day on which trade for the domestic market was distributed. “Unlike last year, we imported even more from Ecuador and Colombia. This allowed us to offer more colors in roses, and our customers appreciated that.”

Theo de Mooij

Busier than last year
“The days leading up to Mother’s Day were busier this year than last year,” says Joost de Vries of Tuning Bloemexport BV. “Now we are waiting to see how everything sold. There were no major issues, but the turnover was certainly better than last year. This is probably because there was slightly more demand than last year, but also the prices were higher.”

Tuning mainly exports to North America, Scandinavia, Southern Europe, and Germany. “Especially in America, Mother’s Day is really big,” continues Joost, “and what we send there are mainly the special flowers, about 5 to 10% of all possible types we supply. The rest mainly comes from South America or is locally produced. We buy a lot of the flowers directly from the growers and then send them towards America.”

Higher average price
“We’ve had a few busy weeks,” says Gerard de Ruijter of the eponymous G.J. de Ruijter. “Besides roses and gerberas, peonies were especially popular this year. The peonies came earlier than in previous years, mainly because we now also imported a lot from Italy and Romania, where more growers do that. The peonies were also in high demand which contributed to a very good Mother’s Day for us.”

For 2.5 years now, G.J. De Ruijter has been affiliated with GreenFlor (in Dutch), which also has many customers in Germany, Switzerland, and other parts of the world. De Ruijter himself mainly has customers in Belgium and the Netherlands. “Around Mother’s Day, flowers are usually more expensive, but because there were no extreme amounts, the average prices were actually a bit higher than last year. High prices are also necessary, as Mother’s Day is one of the days the flower trade must rely on.”

Many bouquets
He also points out that many bouquets get sold on Mother’s Day, and not only pot plants or cut flowers. “The whole assortment is used in bouquets, including many summer flowers like snapdragons. The colors in a Mother’s Day bouquet are mainly red and pink. There is also always a lot of cut green in a bouquet. For us, the season for Dutch cut green is over now, it runs from August to approximately the beginning of April.”

For the time being, it will still be busy for De Ruijter, because the Dutch high-school exams and various international Mother’s Days cause a lot of trade in June. In July, it will become less busy.

NB Severe weather in Africa
Last week, heavy rainfall hit large parts of Kenya and Ethiopia, primarily causing great human suffering. The flower sector also experiences difficulties, although we have not been able to get a clear picture of how this has affected the sales for Mother’s Day. According to Clement Tulezi, chairman of the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), the sector has ‘suffered a loss worth millions of shillings’ and the export volume has been affected. An importer mentioned that ‘the flower boxes were floating through the cooling cell’ – which, as seen here, should be taken quite literally. Another importer mentioned having received their quantities but complained about the quality. Even when there’s no direct damage from the rain, the high humidity is disastrous.

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