It was not hugely spectacular, the last physical auction cart of plants at Royal FloraHolland last Friday. Nor was it a moment to get excited about. After more than 100 years of physical auctions, however, you do not let such a moment pass unmarked, thought Henk Spaargaren of trading company Florink Nederland. He bought this last trolley and donated the Buxus plants it contained to Aalsmeer's historical garden. "A cart like this should not go unnoticed and the plants can be sold for charity," said Henk.
Henk Spaargaren with his 'last physically auctioned plant cart'.
At Flora Futura, however, there is little enthusiasm for the future beyond physical auctioning. "The changes that Royal FloraHolland is currently accelerating as part of its new strategy are causing a great deal of frustration and complaints," it says in a press release. "There are many complaints about the auctioning itself but certainly also about the logistic changes. Delivery times are currently, in the quietest time of the year, dramatic."
"It may well be that you don't receive flowers or plants you purchased until the afternoon," Henk knows. "That means it becomes impossible to take them away on the same day, much to the annoyance of the customers."
Flora Futura is pleased with Henk's move, which underlines the fact that it is a shame to dismantle a successful clock that has been in operation for more than 100 years. According to Frank Timmermans, chairman of the trade association Flora Futura, "what is currently going on at the auction has little to do with the agreements made with Royal FloraHolland. Developments around the clock should be at least comparable or preferably an improvement on the old situation for the users. What we see happening now has nothing to do with a promising future."
For more information, please contact Frank Timmermans, chairman of Flora Futura, at firstname.lastname@example.org.