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Swedish Midsummer boosts Dutch flower trade

Red, white and blue flowers were in high demand at Dutch ornamental exporters in the run-up to the Midsummer festivities celebrated in Sweden last Friday. In addition to what's probably the most important national holiday in Sweden, on which people put flowers in their hair, there were another two moments to give flowers recently: Mother's Day (May 28) and the end of the school year.

Although flower consumption in Sweden is below the levels of many other European countries, exporters are satisfied with the three top holidays. However, line rider Ronald Eekhof, a wholesaler who visits garden centers with a truck full of flowers, has been seeing lower sales in recent years around the end of the school year, when pink is the most popular flower color. But Mother's Day, he says, did bring extra revenue, with decent prices in the Netherlands and Sweden.
Chrysanthemums, gerbera, germini and red spray carnation were in high demand. Prices at the eve of Midsummer (the day of the summer solstice) were lower than last year, Cees de Boer of Beau Flowers Aalsmeer notes. And sales remained roughly at the same level. "My clients performed well," he says. "The weather on the days leading up to the festival haven't been too warm, unlike in the Netherlands."
Cornflowers are a traditional favourite in Sweden, but the country produces most of those themselves. "Poppies also used to be a popular choice to wear in one's hair, they just grow by the roadside," Eekhof says. "Nowadays you're seeing less of those."

Screenhost from below video: Swedish Midsummer for Dummies

Wim Kuin of APH Produkter sees that sales around Midsummer were exactly according to expectations. That means plenty of additional revenue, but at a lower price level this year. Although the latter didn't apply to red germinis, he says, which are becoming a bit scarce. "We're seeing growers switching to other varieties. Now they're doing that quicker than before." APH Produkter supplies to Swedish wholesale, retailers and flower shops.

The weather was also mild in Sweden at the eve of Midsummer, stimulating sales. "But generally in Sweden it's not as warm as elsewhere in Europe, and heat is terrible for flower sales," De Boer says.

Of all 'flower days', the exporters say Midsummer (Midsommar in Swedish) takes the cake. Traditionally, people dance around the maypole with flowers in their hair, during festive parties with music and herb drinks.

source: VGB
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