Frank Koenen, FleuraMetz:

“The joint venture is the basis for joint innovation”

The joint venture between Blueroots and Royal FloraHolland was set up in February 2019. What exactly does this collaboration entail and what does it offer the floriculture sector? Royal FloraHolland CCO, Gerhard van der Bijl: "With the collaboration between Blueroots and Royal FloraHolland we are solving the fragmentation problem for trading companies." Frank Koenen from FleuraMetz is very pleased with the collaboration. "The joint venture has laid the foundations to innovate together in a spirit of mutual trust."

Collective marketplace
Gerhard van der Bijl: "In the floriculture industry we are seeing multiple digital initiatives that lead mainly to fragmentation: fragmentation of supply, fragmentation of demand, many one-to-one links, multiple trading platforms and data fragmentation. With the joint venture between Royal FloraHolland and Blueroots, we are eliminating duplication in the floriculture sector and ultimately working towards a common marketplace."

Total supply of flowers and plants
Previously, plant growers used FloraXchange while flower growers used FloraMondo. Blueroots was a demand-driven platform for buyers, with direct links to a number of growers. With Floriday this issue has already been solved for growers. Now Floriday is setting up the exact same thing for the trade and ensuring a seamless transition between all systems. Growers and buyers no longer have to choose between different platforms and thus have easy access to the total supply of flowers and plants.

Modern technology for direct transactions
Frank Koenen (FleuraMetz) is pleased with the collaboration between Royal FloraHolland and Blueroots. "It is very important that the sector starts employing modern technology for direct transactions." Traditional VMP links are therefore being replaced by APIs. The existing one-to-one links do not offer sufficient opportunities for growth and innovation. Blueroots will become a link for buyers who wish to collect their own supplies without using the purchasing or filter functionalities as developed in FloraMondo or FloraXchange.

What are API links?
Blueroots is a digital link that enables trading companies to make direct connections to their own software system. This is done with API links. An API is a set of agreements that software programs use to communicate with each other. These agreements form a shell around the software, giving other applications access to information and/or functionalities without developers needing to know exactly how the other software works.

Stronger together
Frank explains that FleuraMetz is a pilot company within this joint venture. "We have already diverted all the links for flowers via Blueroots." He sees great benefits for the customer, who can now be served even better. Thanks to the links in the system, the grower can now see exactly where his product is going (e.g. to a florist in Northern Spain). "This also gives sustainability added value because it provides us with an insight into which products carry which certificates, and this will ultimately result in a higher return."

Gerhard: "With this joint venture, buyers and growers are joining forces. Together we are stronger and we are working on the digitization of the industry." What will the buyer of the future look like? What data do we want to exchange? Will we be able to guarantee that the right data is exchanged? These are the issues currently being discussed. There are regular conversations with one another. Floriday is currently not only working towards a two-sided digital platform but they also have a two-sided collaboration. It is not quite finished, but they are developing at a fast pace. Frank Koenen: "None of this is possible without collaboration. We hope that more professional trading companies will join. Collective operations are crucial."  

Forward sales as first step
In collaboration with Blueroots, Floriday is currently working on a forward sales function that will make it possible to organize direct sales for a longer period of time for specific growers and buyers. Both parties were already working on the development of this functionality. They are currently building on those foundations.

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