On November 29, 2010, Veiling Rhein-Maas in Herongen started its operations. Ruud Knorr (director Veiling Rhein-Maas), Werner Schnitzler (Schnitzler's Blumen, spokesman buyers' committee) and Jos Koper (Koper Bolbloemen, deputy chairman soundboard suppliers) discuss the anniversary. They look back, but mainly ahead, to make the Veiling Rhein-Maas marketplace and location more attractive. Iris Jachertz (Haymarket Media) led the discussion.
What were your special moments at Veiling Rhein-Maas?
Schnitzler: As a buyers' committee, we were involved in planning the new auction from the start. The opening party was an historic moment for me, bringing together the producers and buyers from both countries. Here, an institution was founded that guarantees an attractive supply and a smooth process on a broad basis.
Knorr: For me, every day here is special. I only started working here a month after the opening, entering a warm nest, so to speak. I still remember January 3, my first day: the snow was melting and the sun was shining. A good sign!
Koper: There was only one auction clock – from three auctions, we went to one in the region. That was something very special...
Schnitzler: Yes! And from the start there was a cooperative atmosphere. Veiling Rhein-Maas greatly encourages internal communication. Everyone immediately recognized that only cooperation is productive, not confrontation.
Koper: The short communication lines are definitely a big plus!
Schnitzler: Veiling Rhein-Maas has already involved clients and growers in the decision and development process. That very clearly bore fruit, giving everyone a feeling of belonging.
How satisfied are you with the development of Veiling Rhein-Maas?
Koper: I am absolutely satisfied about how it's going here. Of course in the beginning there were problems. But those have been dealt with, and solved as well as possible. That occurred during all five years.
Schnitzler: You see that the development of Veiling Rhein-Maas is a continuous process of improvement. As long as everyone is fully committed to optimizing the system, I look to the future with optimism. Worthy of note is that it's not Veiling Rhein-Maas that determines the prices, but the market! Anyone supplying competitive products, will also get a reasonable price. The growers should also be prepared to focus on the market.
What are you working on to make Veiling Rhein-Maas even better in the future?
Koper: We want to have a free market. I also hope we'll get even bigger clients to the auction. That leads to more stable prices and more purchasing power.
Knorr: We want to keep doing what our clients ask of us. When we respond to the needs of our customers, they will also be prepared to reward our achievements, the quality has to be good. Nobody will pay for something they don't need. That's why we're developing services we think will benefit many, for instance by offering logistical service to clients who can buy remotely. Process management, e-commerce or communication... Everything starts with the customer.
Schnitzler: Trust plays a big part in cooperation. Both sides need to work on that. Between client, grower and Veiling Maas-Rhein, there is eye-to-eye communication: together we try to find solutions. I think it's important for the awareness of the clients to be heightened, and that they realize how much work growers put into products. On the other hand, the supplier also needs to recognize how much effort the client puts into marketing a product competitively.
Knorr: It's important to have a marketplace where clients, suppliers and employees feel good. It's about "us". Communication is always a two-way street. We do a lot to reach our clients. It's a challenge through what media we can best send our messages. What ends up where?
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5th anniversary Rhein-Maas auction
"The market determines prices not Veiling Rhein-Maas"
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