Maurice Nagtegaal - Planning
A few weeks ago I traveled to southern Spain on my own. On behalf of VDH, I have looked at how the flower trade in Spain works and I have also visited a large number of companies with whom VDH cooperates. We are very active in the Chipiona region and load flowers here every day for customers in the Netherlands, England and Germany. Certainly when spring sets in, the demand for flowers increases.
For example, there are few flowers available in the Netherlands at this time of year. Many Dutch growers therefore decide to send their flower bulbs to Spain, so that they get the necessary hours of sunshine to grow. These flowers are then brought back to the Netherlands. All of this has to do with the climate difference between the Netherlands and Spain.
The climate is not the only difference between the Netherlands and Spain. In Spain you do not have to expect any ultramodern greenhouses and the number of flowers is only clear when there is actually loading. On the loading day we only get what is to be loaded around 02:00 p.m. and even then this is not certain. All this has to do with the quality of the flowers.
These flowers are cut on day A in the morning hours, in the afternoon they are collected and loaded in the evening for transport to the Netherlands. On day C they must then be back at the auction early in the morning. This means that our car may not stand still for a moment, until the moment is there when the flowers are released. All this is accompanied by the necessary pressure and stress, but let this be precisely what we at VDH see as a challenge.
It was a very instructive and beautiful week for me. Being able to experience from close by why there is such pressure behind this trade and some things (such as the numbers) remain uncertain for so long. It was also interesting to see how people work in this country and I even took the opportunity to work for a few days within the company of a client of ours. Finally, it is of course nice to be able to meet those who you often have on the phone in person. Of course I was able to enjoy the Spanish life a bit and that made this trip a huge success.