Fear extension Russian boycott for Dutch flowers

Will Russia also boycott the Dutch flowers? In a response to extension of EU sanctions, Putin wants to prolong and expand its food embargo. The current restrictions will be prolonged with twelve months and new products will be banned. According to different media, Russia is considering banning the Belgian chocolate and the Dutch flowers.

In an interview on the Dutch radio, the Dutch Jeroen Ketting, founder of consultancy LightHouse and resident of Moscow since 1994, explained more about the prolongation and extension of Russia's food embargo. "Everyone is shocked and fears for this extension." Annually hunderts of flowers are exported from the Netherlands to Russia. Especially the International Womens day on March 8 is very important to the Dutch floriculture sector. "The Russians are building greenhouses rapidly and do not want to import materials, in which The Netherlands is a large player too", says Ketting. "The damage will be permanent, even if they list the boycott. The Russian buyers are looking for new partners, South America for example."

In an interview with www.gazeta.ru, Russian food watchdog spokesman Alekseenko said: "Many other countries are willing to supply us flowers, and in this case our industry in the area will begin to slowly recover should there be an embargo. Also, there have been calls for a long time to import flowers from Latin America directly rather than from the Netherlands,” (translated by rt.com)

A reason to fear?
According to Henk de Jong, commercial manager at Orchios and Business developer of Decorum in Russia, we have to keep calm and go on with our business. He does not see why Russia would implement such a boycott. "With such a boycott, they will only affect the Netherlands. For the Dutch it would be fatal, but not on the European level. Besides that, this will also have negative consequences for our Russian trade partners. In the vegetable sector, however, this is different; in the near future, they will become more self sufficient and will not need the Netherlands anymore. I do not think this will be the future for the floriculture sector. For this sector, a lot of Dutch knowledge is required and this knowledge cannot be replaced easily."

Click here to listen back the interview with Jeroen Ketting (In Dutch) (broadcasted on BNR)

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