Dutch Flower Cluster Summary

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The Netherlands has always been a major player on the world market for cut flowers. Around 60% of the world export market for flowers is traded in The Netherlands, with sales of $16,7 billion of Floricultural products in 2008. The Netherlands started cultivating and growing flowers with tulips from Turkey by the end of the sixteenth century. As a market for flowers emerged, greenhouses of glass, heated by gas were built and in 1908 the first flower trade organization was founded. In 2009, there were two flower auctions (of which FloraHolland is the biggest in cut flowers) trading 20,000 varieties, 3,770 growers, 693 exporting companies and 20+ associations, councils, research centers et cetera. The square meters of greenhouse were declining in The Netherlands, but yield was growing through new production techniques. Production was growing rapidly in competing countries with a more favorable climate and lower cost of labour like Columbia, Ecuador and Kenya, but most of these flowers were still traded via the Dutch auctions and ran through its extensive logistic system. In 2009 44.8 million flowers were sold in 125,000 daily transactions, most of them being roses , chrysanthemums and tulips. In 2011, The Dutch Flower Cluster faces some major strategic challenges. Rapid technological developments, for instance internet applications and remote buying, pose a potential opportunity as well as a challenge for the Flower Auction. Another challenge lies in the changes in the cluster network and linkages. Examples are the emerging competition from African and Southern American countries, and the links with economic development of these countries. Increased prices of fossil fuels put pressure on Dutch growers (natural gas for the greenhouses) as well as on transportation, comprising a large portion of product cost. The Netherlands has always been a major strength in the global cut flower market. In fact, more or less sixty percent of the global export market for cut...
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