This year’s annual Suppliers' Day for the Flower Wholesale division of Dutch Flower Group (DFG) was held on 18 September 2013, this time in the OZ Export building in De Kwakel. The Flower division of DFG, comprising five specialised trading companies (OZ Export, Hamifleurs, Holex, Premier & Blenheim and Ed de Groot Bloemenexport), had invited sixty of its growers on this occasion.
This year the growers were inspired by the theme ‘virtualisation and online business’ and questions such as ‘How can a grower target the sales markets even better?’ and ‘How can partnerships be intensified in order to better serve international customers?’
Four speakers followed the opening by divisional director of Flower Wholesale Marco Vermeulen, the first of whom was CEO at DFG, Marco van Zijverden. He talked about the market developments that affect this industry. He also discussed the key current developments within the ornamental plant cultivation sector. Marco believes that “Close cooperation between the industry and the growers is vital.”
Luc Ribberink, purchasing manager at OZ Export, combined his speech with an explanation of what exactly a virtual marketplace is and what growers need to consider when selecting suitable connections. He injected life into this theoretical explanation by drawing a parallel with a practice we have long been accustomed to: selecting items to sell or buy on Marktplaats.nl or eBay. These are, after all, also virtual marketplaces.
Marco was followed by two guest speakers, the first of whom was 'Internet cowboy' Ronnie Overgoor. Ronnie gave an interesting presentation about online business and stressed that the internet is important for all generations and offers many opportunities. Jesper Kärrbrink, CEO at EuroFlorist, then provided a practical explanation of how his company has built its own virtual business and the virtual marketplace via which the EuroFlorist organisation now delivers flowers across Europe to an extensive network of affiliated florists.
During the final part the growers were divided into small groups and taken on different virtual tours within flower companies in our chain and invited to participate in constructive discussions on this theme.
Marco Vermeulen summarised the day as follows: “The whole chain agrees that the further virtualisation of our industry is taking on increasingly bigger forms. Therefore the message for all chain partners is that we should seize this opportunity to strengthen our position in a transparent manner together”.