ROOOZ, Aalsmeer

"NL: "Consumer better than industry at judging flowers"

The Historische Tuin (Historical Garden) in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands is open to anyone wanting to get acquainted with new and existing roses during the ROOOZ festival. There are vases from 13 growers, and 11 roses breeders showcase varieties that aren't commercially available yet. Both traders and consumers can vote for their favorites - it's like an advisory referendum for breeders. "What's interesting is that consumers are better at predicting which varieties will do well than people from the industry," says Bert Middelkoop of Zuurbier (a rose grower and one of the organizers). "Varieties picked by the consumers, more often go through than the ones picked by the industry."

Bert Middelkoop

This year, the event is held for the fourth time. What started out as a meeting for the rose industry, has grown into something much bigger: in addition to the ROOOZ Contest (won by Interplant Roses' Honolulu last year), the show is open to various audiences at different moments (the industry, retail and florist, and finally the consumer). Lectures are given, there are floral design competitions, and there's room for some horticulture nostalgia.

The novelties, ready to be judged

An overview of the entries from participating growers

Arjan Levarht, of the Levarht family company, is a major player in global fruit and vegetable trade. He was invited by ROOOZ to talk to the retailers present about how they operate in the fruit and veg world. His main advice: make the chain as short as possible.

A bit of nostalgia: auctioneer Koos Buis shows how things used to be

For more information about ROOOZ - Sunday is the last day of the event - see the website.

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