At a time when modernisation of greenhouses is needed to cope with the challenges of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and combating foreign competition, investment by Dutch cut flower producers is at a low level. The number of growers in the Dutch cut flower sector is going down and after decades of being in an untouchable position, auction FloraHolland is beginning to show cracks.
Fewer growers, bigger nurseries
Rose production used to be the flagship of the Dutch cut flower sector. But those times are over. At its peak in 2000, the rose production area was close to 1000 hectares, with hundreds of growers. Now, the rose production area is about 320 hectares and the number of growers at around 120. The reasons for the nosedive are the growing production volumes and increasing quality of roses from Kenya and Ethiopia, which flood the European market. But also, growers from Ecuador and Colombia increased their sales to Europe when their sales to the U.S. market were decreasing due to the financial crisis. The production area of other main flower crops in the Dutch sector, such as chrysanthemum and tulips, are facing less foreign competition. As a result, their production levels remain quite stable.

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