The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union created a ripple effect in other countries long before leaders reached a tentative deal on its withdrawal from the political and economic union of 28 member states.
“We can prepare, but there is still so much [that is] not sure,” said Eline van den Berg, program manager at the Holland Flower Alliance. But she said one thing is certain: Brexit will create a “complete shift in our own supply chain” at Royal FloraHolland, one of the largest auction companies and plant distribution centers in the world.
Royal FloraHolland anticipates that changes to export documentation, phytosanitary documentation and inspection frequency and stringency — as well as additional taxes and fees — could disrupt the flower and plant supply chain.
Costs could rise to account for the labor and time related to documentation and inspections, which suppliers potentially would pass along to consumers. U.K. citizens would be particularly hard hit in that instance because 95% of its volume of plants and flowers is delivered through Dutch exporters, van den Berg said.
“One thing is for sure with Brexit: If people in the U.K. want to buy flowers, it has to come from another country because they don’t have enough [domestic] production,” she said.