August 1-15, 2015:

Start inspections Dutch Flowers at Russian Border

In August 2015, the news was dominated by the Russian inspections on Dutch flowers. According to the Russian inspectors, the Dutch flowers were full of thrips, and in particular the western flower thrip. Below is an overview of the news regarding the Russian inspections on Dutch flowers from August 16-31 2015.


All Dutch flower imports were inspected
at Russian border
From August 8, the quality of all imported Dutch floriculture products were inspected at the Russian border. At that time, a lot was still unclear about these inspections.


Dutch flowers were passing Russian border, for the time being
Fortunately, these inspections didn't heavily affect the flower exports. Some trucks were delayed but they were still passing the border.


Update Russia: Dutch Flowers being burned?
On the Russian state television the burning of Dutch flowers by Russian authorities was shown. According to the inspectors, the Dutch flowers were full of thrips, and in particular the western flower thrip. However, according to the Dutch medium RTL, nothing was reported to the Dutch flower exporters.

Update Russia: Not only Dutch flowers burned
On Russian television, we saw boxes of flowers being burned. "These are freshly cut flowers from the Netherlands infected with western flower thrips," said watchdog's chief sanitary inspector, Yekaterina Slakova, as reported in an article on Reuters.com. However, according to Robert Roodenburg, director of the Dutch Association of Wholesale Floricultural Products, not only Dutch flowers were being burned in Russia. "We saw the pictures of Russian authorities burning flowers. According to their information these were Ecuadorian, Spanish, Italian and a small amount of Dutch flowers," Roodenburg told CNBC via email.


Israeli growers could benefit from Russian-Dutch 'flower war'
As the Russian government weighed the possibility of prohibiting flower imports from the Netherlands, Israeli growers and exporters may have stood to benefit from ongoing feuds between Moscow and its European neighbors.

Russians wanted to talk about phytosanitary certificates Dutch flower imports
Russians wanted to talk about phytosanitary certificates for Dutch flower imports, reported the Dutch Medium NOS. Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's animal and plant health regulator, confirmed that a meeting would be held that week. From August 10 2015, the Dutch flower imports from the Netherlands were strictly inspected. According to Russia, the flowers from the Netherlands contained western flower thrips and other pests that could damage Russian Agriculture.


Update Russia: "The initial consequences are being felt"
It was difficult for the Dutch growers to comply to the Russian regulations regarding the flower inspections. The Russians wanted thrips free flowers, but the Dutch growers were not able to supply them with the crop protection products that are allowed at the moment.

Russia: "Weak ruble larger concern than border checks"

In August 2015, FloraHolland spoke with many exporters about their experience with purchases for the first day of school in Russia which was in September. Most of the exporters who trade primarily with Russia sold about the same amount as last year. Exporters who sell only part of their production to Russia admitted that the trade with Russia had decreased somewhat. Almost all of the products arrived, although some were delayed for a time at the border. So the school year in Russia started with flowers again. Most exporters expected that the situation in Russia regarding the admittance of export products would persist for a while longer. The exchange rate of the ruble was a greater concern for many exporters than the delay at the border. Flowers are becoming increasingly expensive for Russian consumers due to the drop in the value of the ruble.




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