On the 28th July 2016, Florint and Green Team Consultancy+ will be organizing an open debate around Brexit. The debate will be organised in order for the sector to gain a deeper insight into the Brexit situation and the challenges that it poses, both for the UK and Europe. The debate will take place at Florint and Green Team Consultancy+’s offices in De Kwakel (near Aalsmeer).
On the 24th June 2016 a political and economic bomb went off, and dominated headlines around the world. Britain had voted to leave the European Union, with a tiny margin: 52% electing to leave the EU and 48% to remain a part of it.
Brexit now puts the UK flower market in a very a–typical situation. Almost all of its flowers are imported from abroad. And the greatest share of imported cut flowers and plants comes via Dutch producers and exporters.
The lack of understanding of what will happen to those imports/exports, both within the UK and to the UK, has left our sector puzzled. What will the consequences be? What will the market now look like? What will the state of play be for florists, wholesalers and supermarkets? The first part of the debate will have us looking into this issue from a British point of view.
We will also be looking at it from the opposite side: how will this new puzzle fit in to the rest of Europe? Ultimately the consequences, whether positive or negative, will also rearrange the map and business models for exporters and growers. What is likely to happen in the UK will have consequences, and may even create opportunities, elsewhere. The second aim of our debate is to look into this wider perspective, and to understand the florist demand within the European market.
But, ultimately, Brussels will have a lot to say, as the negotiations have to start there. So that is our third point of departure. From there, we will be able to look into a more defined timescale, with experts on the ground in both Brussels and London measuring when and how these shifts may happen.
The debate will start with our key speakers. Mr. Brian Wills-Pope, the chairman of the British Florist Association (BFA), will be informing us of what is currently happening in the UK flower and plant sector, with special insight into the consequences of Brexit. Mr. Mike Bourguignon, the association manager of Florint, The International Florist Organisation, will be able to provide a better understanding of the changing shift of the European market in light of Brexit.
Finally, Mr. Henk van Ginkel, official Government Representative for the VBN (the Dutch Flower Auctions Association) in Brussels, will clarify the European political perspective on Brexit. The meeting will be chaired by Mr. Mark Ward, President of Florint and former President of the BFA, and Mr. Marcel Groen of Green Team Consultancy+.