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'Faithful auction suppliers' concerned about new RFH tariff plans

"Large connect growers will soon be able to market their trade even cheaper, whilst the faithful auction supplier will pay considerably more." This was reported by a group of growers, who are concerned about the proposed Royal FloraHolland tariff plans. In the letter below they lay out their concerns.

The plans were further clarified at the regional meetings, and although it was suggested that the highest rise would be an average of 8%, in reality many auction suppliers will be paying 14% more.
A spokesperson for the group says: "I think we agree that a strong auction is good for everyone, but in the new plan the only thing considered is who will pay the bill. When asked what was being done to strengthen the auction, there was no answer forthcoming from Floraholland."

An extract from the plans:
  • Cart charge for auction supply will go up, a low charge will remain in place for direct supply.
  • The sales charge on auction will rise, with an extra charge for auction pre-sales.
  • Buyers will also pay more for auction and pre-auction transactions.
  • Whilst the sales charge for direct is being lowered to 0%.
The spokesperson continues: "It would be understandable if the auction growers had to pay more if there were good measures being undertaken to strengthen the auction. Give faithful auction suppliers a prominent auction position, so that we have the space to strengthen the auction. There are multiple better options to strengthen the position of the auction, at the moment they are only looking at paying the bills, without clear plans."

The group calls suppliers to vote against the tariff rise at the ALV of December 7 to send Floraholland back to the drawing board for a better plan. "There must be better alternatives that give us the chance to strengthen the auction in exchange for the higher tariff. And this strong auction advantages the entire chain," according to the group.

One of the supporters presented the following plan: 

"Give suppliers a choice on January 1. Are you A. auctioneer with the accompanying high tariff for both auction and direct. Or B. direct growers with the low tariff. When you opt for A, you will be paying more over your auction trade as well as any direct trade, but in exchange for the high tariff you receive a prominent auction position. If you opt for B, you can sell your flowers for a cheaper tariff and adjusted auction tariff through Floraholland, but you are positioned separately from the faithful auction suppliers in the auctioning process. This lets everyone choose where they feel most at home, do you want to go for cheap or the best price. An honest story, which also tackles the auction excesses discussed. Maybe not the best option, but certainly better than the current plans."

This also shows that there are certainly better options in the interest of all, says the group. "We are prepared to pay that bill, but there has to be something in it for us. Give us the space to realise a stronger clock, so that we can absorb a rise in tariff. A lot of countries are jealous of our clock system, don't forget that. It enables us to remain the floriculture centre of the world, and we are certainly open to change. But to maintain our global position, Floraholland has to look further than just the call of a few big growers for lower tariffs."

More information:
Aad Duin 0031 (0) 6-15652995
Corina Duin 0031 (0) 6-40751338
Erwin de Wit 0031 (0) 6-51242374
Dirk Koper 00031 (0) 6-51088436
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