On Thursday, June 4 2015, the general members' meeting (GMM) of the Royal Cooperative took place in Aalsmeer.

The members showed great interest in viewing the interactive courtyard 'FloraHolland 2020' before and after the meeting. Its different stands formed a presentation of the first five strategic programmes. During the meeting, the commitment of the 224 members present was evident.

They asked many questions about a range of topics, including FloraHolland's reward policy. They also approved the annual accounts for 2014 and the appropriation of profit. Caroline Princen was elected the new member of the Supervisory Board, and Eva van Etten is the new member of the GMM Commission.

The turn around
The year 2014 will be recorded in the history books as a time of turning our fortunes around. The net operating profit is again positive after last year's loss. The outcome of €9.6 million was much higher than the estimate of €7 million. The existing shifting of clock sales to direct sales continued, and last year for the first time, more was sold directly (share of 51%). In addition, a new strategy was brought forward after an intensive creation process involving members, customers and staff, and the negative attitude of the company's stakeholders switched to a more positive one.

Bernard Oosterom, chairman of the Supervisory Board, said, "So much happened in 2014. Apparently, the turmoil in the first half of the year was required to achieve the turn around in the cooperative within a short period. We achieved a great deal last year, ultimately resulting in a new strategy. The Supervisory Board is aware that to achieve this, the Management Board used part of the variable pay, in conformance with prior agreements. But given the responses received last week, we realise that we underestimated how the members would feel about this. We should have paid more attention first to preparing this move by explaining it to the members of the cooperative."

Interactive courtyard 'FloraHolland 2020'
Prior to and following the meeting, the attendees in Aalsmeer visited the interactive courtyard 'FloraHolland 2020'. This presentation introduced them to the first five programmes: the New Auctioning, World Flower Exchange, Consumer, Simplification and Standards, and Improving Together.

Each programme had its own stand, and plenty of opportunity was provided for asking questions and making suggestions. It turned into a lively exchange, and both members and the programme directors of the five programmes were highly satisfied with the outcome.

For more information: FloraHolland