Netherlands: Growers support Bloemenbureau Holland, but trader votes falter

The online vote organized by Bloemenbureau Holland this month for the introduction of a General Binding Declaration (GBV) generated very broad support among growers but not enough votes from the trade to be carried through.

"From the growers, the support is large and convincing. In addition to more than enough votes being cast to be representative, a very large majority of growers voted in favor of collectivity," notes Flower Bureau director Yvonne Watzdorf. However, due to an insufficient number of votes cast by the trading companies, the criteria set in advance by the Ornamental Horticulture Trade Association were not met before an application for the introduction of the GBD could be submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality.

In talks
In the run-up to the support test, Royal FloraHolland (RFH), VGB, and a number of larger trade parties explicitly and publicly expressed their support for retaining the collective activities of Bloemenbureau Holland. Due to the support of growers, the Bloemenbureau, therefore, says it has no doubt that "the importance of sector communication, consumer promotion, and consumer research is seen" and is confident of finding "a form that suits everyone" in the near future.

Between March 27 and April 7, growers and traders could vote online on an AVV for collective activities of Bloemenbureau Holland. Over 3,900 companies received an invitation to do so from the research firm Motivaction. After checking the validity of the votes cast and the weighting by turnover categories, it turned out that the number of votes cast by trading companies was insufficient to pass the application for the GBD.

Moral appeal
No announcements are being made about the vote distribution. RFH itself says in a reaction that it is disappointed with the result and expresses its hope that the collective promotion has a future because it "assumes that the trade endorses its great importance anyway." The cooperative decided to stop collecting a few years ago on the more principled view that other platforms do not do so, RFH is therefore more expensive, and 'free riders' can benefit with impunity.

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