Famed Dutch flower auction expects fewer flowers amid high energy costs
Dutch growers will produce far fewer ornamental flowers and plants due to the sharp rise in energy prices, according to Royal FloraHolland, the world's largest flower auction. A spokesperson for the cooperative, owned by flower and plant growers, expects a 40 percent drop.
"We see growers who have decided to terminate their business because of the high costs, but also went bankrupt. In addition, there are growers who had concluded a very good contract for energy before 2022, i.e. before the invasion of Ukraine, and can resell it. That then delivers more than producing flowers yourself," said a spokesperson.
Although it depends on the precise plants or flowers that growers sell, many of them are not worth the cost at current prices. The problem is that they cannot simply raise prices to compensate for more expensive gas and electricity, because their goods are auctioned.
"At the auction clock it is a matter of supply and demand," the spokesperson said. When many growers stop, prices may go up again due to the limited supply, but if a grower is already making significant losses, they will not wait for better times."
The flower sector, which accounts for at least 150,000 jobs in the Netherlands, has been struggling for some time due to the war in Ukraine and increased gas prices. On Valentine's Day, one of the most important days for flower sales at home and abroad, growers already supplied 27 percent fewer flowers. Royal FloraHolland advocates government intervention in the energy market so that gas and electricity become somewhat affordable again.
Reporting by ANP