During the Customer Platform meeting held in September, the trade parties expressed their positive intention to help pay for the promotion of flowers and plants. They agree on having joint authority over how the money is spent.
As Servaas van der Ven, commerce manager, says, "We must do more joint promotion to realise growth in the market."
The trade has faith in the FloraHolland 2020 strategy and thus wants to contribute to its promotion. In addition, the trade feels that FloraHolland is more transparent, which leads to better relations.
€6 million for promotion
The trade is expected to invest €6 million in promotion next year. Added to the €8 million that growers are raising via FloraHolland, the total budget in 2016 amounts to €14 million. The trade will transfer its contribution to FloraHolland. Growers and dealers will decide jointly how the budget will be invested. During the General Members' Meeting on October 15, the members of the Association of Wholesalers in Flower Nursery Products (VGB) expressed their opinions of the plan. They are currently proponents of a promotional contribution.
In 2012 the joint promotion of trade and growers came to an end because of a disagreement about the manner of contributing. At that time, the trade's contribution went through FloraHolland. Another topic discussed during the Customer Platform was the Experience Center in Aalsmeer. "It must become the standard bearer of the horticultural sector, where tourists can become acquainted with our flowers and plants," explained Servaas. It must be an international inspiration centre for parties from within but also outside the horticultural sector. Visitors must be stimulated to spend more on flowers and plants. "The Experience Center will resemble Corpus in Leiden; it will be just as interactive. Visitors will be able to like or dislike new products. We shall use this information in the chain and share it with growers and breeders."
Attractions with international allure
How many visitors does FloraHolland expect will be attracted? "300,000 consumers per year. Amsterdam already draws the most tourists in the country. And they are looking for attractions with international allure because the city itself is overburdened, and that is why FloraHolland was approached." Is there a link with Keukenhof? "Probably one will be established. For example, there could be one ticket for both attractions." The cost of the Experience Center amounts to €28 million, financed partly by banks, market parties and the public sector.
Talks about this centre are currently being held with banks, the developer, government departments and the Amsterdam Economic Board. "There is great enthusiasm being expressed, but ultimately entrepreneurs must be prepared to invest as well. We shall just have to wait and see if that happens," says Servaas. "We can look back at a positive Customer Platform which focussed on the future. We are working together on the aim to get more consumers to spend more on flowers and plants!"