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Millions of flowers Destroyed and Millions of Eurosper week losses in Dutch Flower Industry: the COVID-19 Heartbreaking Analysis

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

What else could have been identified heartbreaking other than to destroy Tulips in a country where they are as much a symbol of national identity and also heart and minds of the citizens. The floriculture industry is the third export sector in Netherlands and approximately 35% of global exports. The export of flowers and plants only amounts to 6.2 billion euros.

Amidst the Corona Crisis the Tulip Trade event gets cancelled, Opening to visit Kuekonhof has been cancelled and all the picking gardens for charities has been cancelled. The most dynamic and highly organised trading sites for flowers in the world known as the Royal FloraHolland auction house at Aalsmeer, near Amsterdam, reports that they have never come across such a crisis. The flowers are seen scooped and dug in huge pits or else seen dumped in the auction yard. "The only solution is that we destroyed them," said Michel van Schie, spokesman for Royal Flora Holland. "This is really the first time that we have to do this”.

This was the Peak time to sell flowers as Mothers Day is around the corner. The COVID-19 crisis has hit hard a long way that they had to destroy their flowers and the auction has been stopped reports Royal FloraHolland. The Tulip growers start their harvesting from January to May and this crisis is coming right in the middle of the season, when they start earning their money. The usual turn over in this period is supposed to 150-200 million euros per week but since the last week, the prices have been already lower and dropping up to 50 percent.

The shutdown of shops and businesses caused by the coronavirus outbreak sweeping the world will have "dramatic" consequences, says Prisca Kleijn, head of the Royal Association of Bulb Producers. Reports of Dutch tulip grower PronkTulpen BV in Avenhorntold Dutch newspaper De Volkskranthit that since last Thursday the exportshave been completely stopped. 12 million were already exported and the remaining 8 are worthless." Therefore, he opened the doors of his greenhouse last Saturday, where people (no more than the limited number of 100 people) could pick tulips (300,000 were ready to be harvested) for free. Not all were harvested, so still some had to be thrown away. We really do not have an idea how these crisis situations can be dealt with. Some Emergency loans from the government and banks and other forms of financial support, healthy businesses will soon fall over.

Amongst all these news there is positive news coming from China that many companies are open again and the demand for flowers is increasing again. Flower markets are opening again in more and more cities and the number of visitors is increasing every day. Spring seems to be having a positive impact, and with an important 'flower day' on the agenda (May 20, the 'Chinese Valentine'), expectations are positive. (Source: Flower Plant News)

Images courtesy: AFP pic

Information courtesy: Free Malaysia Today, RoyalFloraHolland Floral Daily

The Article is a review of the stories compiled by various news agencies.

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