Floriculture in Netherlands from 2019 to 2022
The flower market is a dynamic, fast-growing global industry, defined by three major components: growers, wholesalers, and retailers. The Netherlands is an important producer of cut flowers, as well as a key importer from developing countries. Besides being one of the market leaders for cut flowers, the Netherlands is also a main trade hub, especially in the area of Aalsmeer. The country's logistic position within Europe, as well as established international trade ties within the flower industry, make the Netherlands Europe's core for the flower market.
As founders, the Dutch Horticultural Council, Municipality of Almere, Province of Flevoland and the State joined forces for one common goal: to bring together structural innovations and solutions for sustainable and livable green cities in this Expo, and they succeeded. “Floriade not only contributes to the economic value for Almere, Flevoland and the Netherlands, but especially to raising awareness of the importance of a healthy living and working environment. Thousands of inspirations, which visitors took away, make this Floriade a source of knowledge for the future. With Growing Green Cities, Floriade has shown perspective for a sustainable and livable future!”, said Hans Bakker, CEO Floriade Expo 2022.
Floriade welcomed many international visitors from 96 countries. Behind our own country, the main countries of origin of visitors were Germany and the United States. Enthusiasts and high and medium interested people visited the Expo once or several times. The general public visited Floriade on a limited basis. Surveys show that people prioritized other pursuits after the COVID lockdowns. Extremely high inflation also limited the number of visitors.
With an extensive arts programme, Flevoland presented itself to the world and the world to Flevoland. More than 1,000 different performances in many variations were given on the various stages. In The Green House, the horticultural sector showed ultra-modern innovations. These included sustainable and circular cultivation with the application of vertical farming and the use of drones. During the 37 product competitions, growers competed weekly with the best fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants. During more than 1,500 professional events, thousands of professionals were inspired to exchange knowledge to create attractive, safe and healthy cities in the future. From basic examples of sustainable horticulture, as well as other sustainability innovations, the ‘seeds’ have been sown far and wide and planted across the whole world through a continually growing network of no less than 4,000 experts. This green future requires young talent. Through the Floriade Academy, more than 1,750 students have been able to participate in all kinds of Floriade projects. Despite setbacks due to COVID, an Expo-worthy Floriade was created in which 32 countries and 40 national participants were involved.
The Netherlands floriculture market is projected to register a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period (2022-2027). Floriculture is one of the lucrative industries in the Netherlands. Spring is usually the busiest time of year at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction in the Netherlands, the world's blossom trade capital.
The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world’s largest flower auction on the outskirts of Amsterdam into chaos. The cut flower sales volume in the auction has been decreased to 595, 064 thousands and 557,436 thousands in March, and April 2020 respectively than 762,513 thousands and 695,516 thousands in 2019 of the same period respectively.
The Netherlands is the largest exporter of cut flowers around the world. The flower market in the Netherlands is a dynamic, fast-growing global industry, defined by three major components, growers, wholesalers, and retailers. In 2019, the Netherlands export accounted for 47.9% of the global exports in the cut flower segment and ranked 1st in the same year. There is a huge potential for export of floriculture products and is long term driving force, given it adopts improved production technologies. Therefore, the attractive growth in export market is anticipated to influence the significant market growth over the forecast period.
Among the cut flowers, rose accounted for a significant share of the market followed by Chrysanthemum. The largest segment in Netherland is Rosa. This is due to the increased demand from peak days and the adoption of new technologies, the roses production in the country is increasing which is anticipated to boost the growth of the floriculture market during the forecast period. According to the OEC, Netherlands, in 2020, 38% of the cut flower exports from the Netherlands have been exported to Germany, 14% to France, and 48% to the rest of the world.
Growing Export Potential for Cut Flowers
The Netherlands is the largest exporter of cut flowers around the world. The flower market in the Netherlands is a dynamic, fast-growing global industry, defined by three major components, growers, wholesalers, and retailers. The Dutch flower auction, i.e., Royal FloraHolland, is the main marketplace for cut flowers in Europe. Flowers worldwide find their buyers through this auction and the Dutch network of flower traders. It serves as an important trade platform for traders from developing countries.
The Netherlands is the largest producer of cut flowers, as well as a critical exporter to developing countries. Apart from being one of the market leaders for cut flowers, the Netherlands is also the central trade hub, especially in the area of Aalsmeer. The major importers of cut flowers from the Netherlands are Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Federation.
The main export markets of floriculture are Germany, followed by the United Kingdom, France, and Russian Federation. According to the ITC trade map, in 2020, the Netherlands exported 551,098 metric ton of cut flowers valued at USD 4,260,31 thousand. Thus, the increased demand for cut flowers globally is driving the export market in the Netherlands.
Rose segment Dominate the Market
Roses are among the popular flowers in the country. The demand for roses peaks in important days in each year, such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Several supermarkets and florists run special promotional campaigns on days, such as Mother’s Day and offer special Valentine’s Day bouquets to increase their sale volume.
Marjoland and Arend Roses are among the largest rose growers in the Netherlands. The roses are widely grown in greenhouses with LED lighting to produce top quality roses with improved yield. The sustainable and organic production is a key focus point of growers as it is highly preferred by the consumers.
Out of several rose varieties grown in the country, Red Naomi, Red Eagle, Pink Avalanche, and Avalanche plus are some of the most common varieties. The rose production in the Netherlands increased from about 1,127,309 thousand euros in 2017 to 1,137,892 thousand euros in 2020. This suggests the bolstering market of roses in the Netherlands.
If you’re lucky and your plane lands on the Kaagbaan runway at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, your initial view will confirm that the Netherlands is indeed the land of flowers. Even the Eiffel Tower can’t compete with the millions of lights blinking along the endless rows of flower greenhouses, resembling brilliant glass cities. You could get even luckier and catch a glimpse of the colorful patchwork fields made up of tulips, crocuses, dahlias and gladiolas.
The Netherlands produces 1.7 billion cut flowers per year, which represents roughly 60% of global trade and makes it the Silicon Valley of the flower industry.
The Pope expresses his gratitude to the Netherlands for decorating Saint Peter’s Square with flowers every year, and many of the 20 million foreign tourists will do anything to get that coveted selfie in a flower field. Their enthusiasm sometimes makes the flower growers grumble because they have to deploy ambassadors to protect their valuable product and keep the visitors from trampling their flowers. Look but please don’t touch.
The most well-known flower bulb ‘sanctuaries’ in the Netherlands can be found in the region south of Amsterdam, in the uppermost part of the province of North Holland, and in a section of the province of Flevoland. This is where tulips, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths flower from the end of March through the end of May. In summer, they make way for gladiolas, dahlias, carnations, and asters. In other words, tourists can enjoy the view throughout the year.
The reason why flowers flourish here more than in, for instance, the south of the Netherlands is a mysterious combination of acidity, sea air and sand, among other things. In short, the sand dunes by the sea were used to build chic mansions for rich merchants who lived inland over four centuries ago. A gorgeous mansion obviously needed beautiful flowers. The excavated dune soil on which peat had grown was found to be the perfect breeding ground for tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and other flowers.
The humid, salty air, perfect aeration and acidity proved a match made in heaven. And the Dutch climate definitely helps. The cold ‘shocks’ flower bulbs, which they need to grow from a marble to the size of a small tennis ball. Regular rain ensures height and beauty. This is the weather preferred by spring flowering bulbs (such as tulips), whereas summer flowering bulbs prefer the dark. The Dutch themselves prefer to be warm and dry while enjoying the light so they tend to complain about the weather.
It started with a single tulip bulb from Turkey, called the Tulipan or turban in English (tulband in Dutch). It may have been named after the shape of the turbans worn by Turkish men. Dutch merchants who sailed the world in the prosperous 17th century, trading spices and luxury products, brought the tulip bulb home to what was then called the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
The enterprising spirit and infrastructure of the Dutch enabled them to be the ones to put the tulip on the map instead of the Turks. They took the opportunity to develop the tulip trade. We already had waterways and roads for transport, and gardeners became experts at developing new varieties for their wealthy landowners. Often, it was a mystery what flower would emerge. Tulips with stripes and flames on their petals often resulted from virus infections, which was not known at the time but the result was much admired. Tulips became all the rage in 17th century Europe.
Entrepreneurs collaborate with universities, including Wageningen university of agriculture, on biotechnology and molecular DNA technologies, aiming to improve the resistance of their crops to diseases and pests. Our country is also a model of sustainability where it concerns greenhouse building. Solar collectors are installed on the glass roof of greenhouses, deploying the excess energy to provide heat to residential neighborhoods in winter and to help cool the greenhouses in summer.
The Dutch also do a lot of research on substituting natural compounds for chemical crop protection agents. Thrips, the much-feared white insect with ragged wings, is enemy number 1 in the greenhouses. Radical methods were used to combat it in the past, but today the juice of a specific plant is used to kill the insects instead. “It was created through collaboration with seven horticultural companies,” says Haasnoot with pride. They are even using tracking dogs in an experiment to combat an invisible fungus in Amaryllises, a very popular flower. The Dutch are true innovators and will try anything.