Royal FloraHolland Members’ Council meeting:

"Trade should commit to environmental certification"

During the additional Members’ Council meeting on 16 July 2020, the Members’ Council of Royal FloraHolland discussed two fundamental pillars for the future of the cooperative: the membership of tomorrow and enforcing environmental registration.

The Members' Council was also updated on the progress we are making with our strategy. The discussions were designed to test ideas and get opinions. No decisions were made, and no advice was given.

The Members' Council calls for: Trade to do its part
In broad terms, the Members' Council agreed with the line of thought behind the mandatory environmental registration, to be enforced as of 1 January 2021. The importance of trade's full commitment to the certification requirement was reiterated several times. Sustainability in the chain is a shared responsibility. The enforcement proposal essentially means that after multiple warnings, levies will be charged. The proposal is to make the levy as high as the cost of environmental registration and certification. Eventually, not complying with the requirement can lead to a temporary ban on trading through the marketplace. Attention was also drawn to special circumstances. In October, the Members' Council will issue advice to the Management Board regarding this proposal.

'One size fits all' membership no longer works
The Membership Leading Team tested ideas about segmenting growers as the foundation for a new membership model. The current 'one size fits all' membership is no longer adequate. Various growers have experienced all kinds of difficulties. Approaching membership from different groups of growers may increase the added value of the membership. The ideas will be more broadly tested among the members this autumn. Not all Members saw the need for examining the membership now, with reference to the discussions held during the 2020 Cooperative and as there were already so many other changes taking place. The question also came up of whether difficulties with the membership or with rates can be solved.

Continuing on the same path is not an option
The Management Board informed the Members' Council about the current developments within the company. Steven van Schilfgaarde, CEO of Royal FloraHolland, informed the Members' Council of the urgency of successfully implementing the strategy and that since the outbreak of coronavirus, the urgency has only increased. "Continuing on the same path is not an option. Royal FloraHolland is having more and more trouble balancing the budget each year. Our strategy and plans are the answer".

Jack Goossens of the Supervisory Board also underlined the importance of an accelerated implementation of the strategy. "Not choosing, or postponing, is a decision in itself. It is the decision to give others the chance to decide for you". The Supervisory Board supports the strategic direction of Royal FloraHolland, but also indicates that certain things may not be done at the expense of diligence or support. "This is the moment to make optimal use of the unique strength of a cooperative."

Watch the video of the Members' Council meeting on 16 July 2020 here:

Source: Royal FloraHolland

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