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Auction rooms to disappear in 2017

Royal FloraHolland is preparing for the new 'af-tuin veilen' auctioning system. In the coming years, the logistic flows of plants and flowers is going to be disconnected from the auctioning process. They will already start closing the auction rooms at the auctions in Naaldwijk and Aalsmeer in 2017.

In the ‘Het Nieuwe Veilen’ programme, part of the FloraHolland 2020 strategy, FloraHolland made a definite choice for the ‘af-tuin veilen’ auctioning system. This means that in the near future, plants and flowers will still be in the nursery when they’re auctioned. The next day, plants and flowers that were sold at the auction will be delivered to the customers. The actual moment of auctioning will continue to be in the mornings.

The consequences of the switch to the new system will already be visible in the coming year. The stands at the auctions in Aalsmeer and Naaldwijk will disappear, said Lucas Vos at FloraHolland’s General Members’ Meeting last Thursday. Aalsmeer and Naaldwijk will get virtual auction clocks. Eventually, the clocks of both branches will be merged into a national virtual clock.

The fact that there won’t be any auction rooms anymore in Naaldwijk and Aalsmeer also indicates that they will go ahead with Image Auctioning for plants. As per the 1st of January, all suppliers are required to include images of the plants or flowers they deliver to the auction.

The clocks at FloraHolland’s branch in Rijnsburg won’t go virtual yet. “But that doesn’t mean that it will never happen”, emphasised Vos.

The reason why FloraHolland is virtualising the auction process, is that distribution through physical clocks has become too expensive.

FloraHolland is also working on the launch of a 24/7 online transaction platform: FloraMondo 2.0, a global digital platform for the sales of plants and flowers. Vos: “With FloraMondo 2.0, growers stay in charge of prices and information.” A first version of FloraMondo 2.0 will go live in 2017.

The auction’s main role will be to assist growers and customers with the intricate logistics process. The order units in the floricultural sector are getting smaller and smaller. That leads to a more expensive and a more complex logistics process, both for auction clock sales and for direct sales. FloraHoland expects that the trend of smaller orders will continue. The auction is planning to make the process more efficient with the help of robotization. The first tests with robots in the auction’s plant and flower sorting process will take place in 2017.

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