Royal FloraHolland

Consultation sessions membership model: from ‘one size fits all’ to segmentation

All Royal FloraHolland members are given the opportunity to contribute ideas and have their say about the membership of tomorrow. The Membership Leading Team therefore organised consultation sessions at the end of August to assess the problem definition regarding membership.

The Membership Leading Team (LT) - consisting of 12 growers and suppliers - is tasked with developing a new membership model in cooperation with members and Royal FloraHolland. During the consultation sessions, they assessed the problem definition regarding membership and presented ideas about the segmentation of growers as the basis for a new model. The consultation sessions were originally scheduled to take place in March, but were postponed due to the coronavirus crisis. The sessions that took place at the end of August were largely digital. The Leading Team was very pleased with the attendance and can look back on a successful first consultation of the members.

Why a new membership model?
The current 'one size fits all' membership is no longer adequate. You can see a continued increase in the differences between growers, and that the floriculture market is changing. Large and small growers, more and more direct trade and international trade - just a few of the reasons why the existing model with two contract forms no longer fits.

The strategy of Royal FloraHolland also asks for a different view on membership. They are developing themselves from a physical auction that relies on the clock to a digital B2B platform where trading is done 100% digitally. For this reason, new services are being developed for ordering, payment and deliveries, such as digital auctioning, which are all made possible via this platform. Integrating these services and the corresponding rates in the membership model is therefore a logical next step.

Recognition and discussion
During the consultation sessions, the Leading Team members assessed the problem definition among the participants. There was a lively discussion. "Membership appears to be a difficult and complex matter. There is so much to be considered," observed LT member Job van Egmond. "Members recognise the need to take a close look at the membership and the rates. At the same time, they are calling on us to continue taking a critical look at what the cooperative is doing and whether it is doing that well. Does the cooperative add value? Where can costs be saved? Simply tinkering with membership is not enough." It was clear that the members think the cooperative is important. "We all have a cooperative heart and want to find a solution together to ensure the cooperative remains strong," according to one of the participants.

The participants agreed that the differences between growers are becoming greater and greater. The Leading Team assessed this by presenting 5 types of growers, which were recognised. During discussions in small groups, it became clear that there should be more flexibility in the membership. Participant: "You want to have as many members as you can to share the costs. That's why our membership should be attractive to as many types of suppliers as possible." By approaching the membership from different groups of growers, the added value of the membership can be increased, or that's the idea in any case. LT member Goos Hofland "It was very nice to be able to spar with that many members with regards to membership and to see if growers agree with the segmentation line." Job van Egmond added: "This shows that we, as the LT, are on the right track."

What now?
Developing the different problem-solving approaches has to be done carefully and is connected with the new services that Royal FloraHolland is developing. The Leading Team is taking its time to do this well, which includes the involvement and assessment among the members. This is why the deadline for a new model has not yet been set. Royal FloraHolland will possibly find a solution for a few pressing issues so the auction can implement these in 2021. As soon as there is more clarity about the course of the process regarding membership and rates, they will share this information.

Source: Royal FloraHolland

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