‘No Tulips from Amsterdam’ – Spanish Florists losing millions as crops go to rot in Holland

The Netherlands’ Huge Flower Sector Wilts As Coronavirus Hurts Business and it’s hurting Spanish florists too.

FLORISTS make an important contribution to the Spanish economy, Birthdays, Funerals, the many street parades held in Spain throughout the year, and of course Valentine’s Day all need lovely fresh flowers.

Spain’s flower industry is a very competitive place to do business in already so with this latest blow things are not looking good. A lack of workers and declining demand are to blame, recovery will depend on one thing, and that is when the government decides it is safe to reopen the country, for some, it can’t come too soon.

The Netherlands, Europe’s ‘Flower House.’

Tons of flowers are being destroyed at the flower auction in Aalsmeer, Netherlands.

Spring is usually the busiest time of year at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction in the Netherlands, the world’s blossom trade capital, there are chrysanthemums for Easter. Roses for Mother’s Day. Tulips in full bloom for everyone.

Now, most of these flowers are being composted. The coronavirus has grounded deliveries and shipments. And now the Dutch government has banned public gatherings of any size until June. People are hardly buying flowers right now.

“It’s a dramatic situation,” says Michel van Schie, spokesman of Royal FloraHolland, the country’s largest cooperative of growers, which sells some 12 billion plants and flowers each year. “And each day, it only gets worse.”

Flowers are stored prior to their destruction at the flower auction.

The Netherlands accounts for nearly half of the world trade in floriculture products and 77 per cent of flower bulbs sold globally. Top destinations usually include Spain, Germany, the UK, France, and Italy. The Dutch exports overall are valued at $6.7 billion and the sector accounts for about 5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to van Schie.

Now revenue has dropped by 85 per cent since last month, the cooperative spokesman says.

Let’s just hope we can see our ‘Tulips from Amsterdam’ in the shops soon. TW.


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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