When you are in the spotlight, your steps are followed with a magnifying glass. This is what has been noticed with regard to Floriculture at the beginning of the energy crisis. Growers were cornered and crying out for help. The reaction of some politicians in The Hague was not to throw a lifebelt, but they raised the question of whether greenhouse horticulture would not be better off being disconnected from gas. A satirical TV program asked and answered the question of whether we would not be better off stopping flowers altogether. Fortunately, consumers think differently. Flowers and plants remain popular. There's demand for sustainably grown products increasing. And despite all the lobbying, politicians in The Hague are still not sufficiently aware of the importance of Floriculture for the Dutch economy. There is still a lot to explain, both to politicians and consumers. As far as the latter is concerned, this applies not only to the Netherlands but also across the border. The importance of collective promotion is, therefore, not up for discussion. Bloemenbureau Holland fulfills an important task, and there should be no doubt about that.
Current system is not fair
For years, Royal FloraHolland has been collecting remittances to BBH from growers and buyers through the trade turnover that goes through us. Mind you, it only concerns the turnover through Royal FloraHolland. That is only part of the total trade between growers and buyers. And that's where the shoe pinches. The collection by Royal FloraHolland runs efficiently for growers and buyers. But the system is not fair because part of the market contributes to BBH and another part does not. These free riders are a thorn in my side. Perhaps they will say they want to contribute but don't know how. Also, it remains odd that some growers and buyers contribute only part of their sales, while others do 100%. No solution is possible within the current system through Royal FloraHolland. The company cannot levy on sales that do not go through them. Only a method where the whole product group, growers and buyers, contribute is a fair system. That's what they told BBH three years ago. After a lot of discussions, the best solution chosen was the general binding declaration (AVV).
In everyone's interest
With an AVV, Royal Flora wants to strengthen the foundation of BBH. Collective promotion will then get the support it deserves. The vote on the AVV is not about the method of funding or collection. The support test is about whether we all support the collective promotion. If the answer is yes, then there is support for the AVV. Our sector has become great because growers and buyers have come together. Both need each other. Both have a strong interest in ensuring that the Floriculture story is communicated powerfully to consumers. By doing so, the company ensures that consumers continue to buy flowers and plants both in the Netherlands and in other important sales markets.
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