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Corona crisis: country updates

In this article you will find an update from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), who are involved in the crisis measures surrounding the Coronavirus and informs Royal FloraHolland about the impact of the virus on the export market.

Where many farm (farm) shops in Belgium see a much greater demand for local products, most growers of ornamental horticulture products see their sales disappear. That is why an online platform has recently been developed in Belgium, a kind of "Tinder" where farm shops and growers of ornamental horticulture products can find each other and do business. (Source: Floristry 02-04-2020)

A new challenge has recently been launched on Facebook, the #flowerboostchallenge, in which company managers challenge each other to treat their employees to plants from nearby growers. VLAM and AVBS are facilitating the challenge by quickly helping managers from outside the sector to help a nearby grower. (Source: VLAM 03-04-2020)

The Belgian Garden Centres Association, with 300 garden and plant centres as members, is asking the government to reconsider the obligation to close garden and plant centres. According to the sector association, the reopening can take place with respect for the generally applicable sanitary safety measures. The sector is looking with suspicion at the Aveve retail chain, which is allowed to remain open because animal feed is sold but at the same time flowers and plants are sold. (Source: Agricultural Attaché Network Ministry of Agriculture 02-04-2020)

With regard to border traffic: a new vignette for vital professions is likely to arrive, but the government still has to decide. Meanwhile also signals from Belgian controls at the border between the Netherlands and Wallonia. There are again two separate lanes on the E19 for goods and freight traffic and passenger traffic. The delay caused by border controls is limited. (Source: Agricultural Attaché Network Ministry of LNV 02-04-2020)

Brazilian ornamental plant cultivation has a hard time. According to the trade union, the sector has suffered a loss of almost 60 million euros in the last two weeks. if the restrictive measures continue in the coming month, two thirds of the member companies will go bankrupt and 120 thousand people will lose their jobs. (28/03/2020) (Source: Agricultural Attaché Network Ministry of Agriculture 03-04-2020)

Federal Minister Klöckner announces that in order to guarantee sufficient seasonal work, the rules for the deployment of foreign workers will be relaxed. For the months of April and May, 40,000 seasonal workers will be admitted in Germany per month. Together with the domestic temporary workers, this should facilitate the demand for 100,000 seasonal workers until the end of May. In order to limit the health risks for the workers and the local population, foreign seasonal workers must travel to the regions in groups (individual trips are not permitted). Local authorities are responsible for collecting the workers from the airport and transporting them to the companies in accordance with current hygiene measures. The workers must live and work in isolation from other teams for 14 days in accordance with the current quarantine scheme. (Source: Agricultural Attaché Network Ministry of Agriculture 03-04-2020)

An economic disaster threatens for French producers of roses and lily of the valley. Neither the gardeners nor the growers in France can sell their production because the garden centres and the flower shops are closed (offline sales). Between 15 March and the end of May, this sector achieves 80% of its annual turnover. (Source: JAF info 02-04-2020)

In France, the sale of seeds, bulbs, tubers and aromatic plants for vegetable gardens is allowed again. These products are sold to consumers in garden centres that have remained open to the public because they have products for pets in their range. (Source: JAF info 02-04-2020)

The Spanish Ministry of Transport has made an overview of service stations and restaurants along motorways, which are open to truck drivers. View this list here. (Source: Agricultural Attaché Network Ministry of Agriculture 02-04-2020)

The Ministry of Agriculture takes a "pragmatic approach" to companies that are not authorised to issue plant passports: those who now choose to sell at a distance (delivery) out of necessity may continue to do so, whereas that type of sale should actually be accompanied by a plant passport. However, these companies have to demonstrate that they have an online registration as much as possible. (Source: Agricultural Attaché Network Ministry of Agriculture 03-04-2020)

Source: Royal FloraHolland

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