Growers who mainly supply to Plantion and (therefore) mainly serve the Dutch florist can, relatively speaking, count themselves lucky. “At the beginning of last week, we also noticed an imbalance between supply and demand and some products failed to find a buyer. That did not happen a lot, but still it occurred. In the meantime, this balance has been reasonably restored, the rejected percentage has been kept to a minimum and the price levels are reasonable. Of course not what you would like to see at this time, but reasonable and acceptable.”
This according to director Peter Bakker of Plantion in Ede, The Netherlands. In his own words, he and the entire organization now have as priority to keep deliveries at the normal level as best as possible, 'so that we can brighten up working from home, continue to offer people the opportunity to send their loved ones a beautiful plant or bouquet and in this way continue to contribute to this major social challenge.'
The answer to whether supply restrictions, such as those applied by Royal FloraHolland in recent days, are also necessary for Plantion, is answered with no. “In terms of size, we are a different type of organization. This means, among other things, that we have daily contact with all our suppliers (through our supply supervisors) and thus the supply and demand are coordinated. Until now it has not been necessary to take drastic measures, so far we have been able to maintain that balance well.”
What is causing problems, just as FloraHolland, are blockages in direct sales, in particular at building markets and mainly abroad, (especially up till now in Germany and further east ) - and as of yesterday probably also in England, which has now also closed down all 'non-essential shops). Plantion supports various customers here in direct sales. Due to the closing of borders and shops, this trade is clearly under pressure and part of the turnover is also gone here.
The really good news is - fingers crossed - that for the time being the Dutch market will be open. There are no obstacles yet - florists, garden centers, supermarkets, everyone is (and hopefully remains) working and in operation. Also the demand in the market is high, probably also thanks to people staying at home and the beautiful sunny weather. "There are exceptions, but sometimes we even ask our growers to provide a little more."
Again this has to do with supply from abroad. This has dried up, certainly with regard to the African product. From other countries, we still have a limited supply, such as peonies from Israel. It depends very much on the transport options, Bakker explains. Cargo itself continues to be reasonable, transport in the belly of the plane with passenger transport is nil. “But the shortage on our marketplace is well filled with products from Dutch growers. They help to restore the balance.”
Please Note: Customers and suppliers are advised to keep an eye on this live blog (in Dutch). The cooperative regularly shares updates about the latest developments.