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Cut Flowers and Foliage

Exporting roses to Europe

Roses are the number one cut flower on the European market. Imports of fresh cut roses to the European Union (EU) from third countries increased from €588 million to €718 million between 2011 and 2015, and are expected to increase further in future. The main importers in the EU are the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, who together account for about 70% of all imports of cut roses in the EU.

Exporting roses to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a major trade  hub for flowers and the most important point of entry for cut roses from developing countries. Exports of cut roses from the Netherlands were worth €975 million in 2015. The Dutch flower auction is a fairly accessible marketplace. The auction and the Dutch traders offer a sophisticated trade network to the whole of Europe and beyond. Its position in the heart of the European flower business makes the Netherlands an interesting market for exporters from developing countries.

Exporting roses to Scandinavia

Imports of roses to Scandinavia increased from €85 million to €107 million between 2011 and 2015. For Denmark, Sweden and Finland, the main import partner is the Netherlands. Norway imports directly from developing countries, mainly Kenya and Ethiopia. Sales are expected to grow further in the medium term, especially in Denmark and Sweden. Sales of sustainably and socially responsible produced flowers are growing as well, especially in Sweden. This development offers opportunities for exporters from developing countries.

What is the demand for cut flowers and foliage in Europe?

The biggest consumer markets in Europe are Germany, the UK, France and Italy. The Netherlands is the most important importer from developing countries, in addition to being a major producer of cut flowers, with the Dutch flower auctions functioning as the main trade hub.

How do European buyers of cut flowers and foliage think?

The cut flower industry has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, with African countries gaining prominence as suppliers and the Netherlands expanding its role as gateway to Europe and the rest of the world. Due to market saturation and economic pressure in Europe, the sector is now facing a pressing need for reform. Major changes are underway, as mass market retailers have moved forward to take at least one third of the market in just a few years, setting new efficiency and CSR standards.

Which trends offer opportunities on the European cut flowers and foliage market?

Which trends offer opportunities on the European cut flowers and foliage market?

The European market for cut flowers and foliage is expected to grow further in the short and long term future. Digitisation, increasing sales in the unspecialised retail channel and growing demand for sustainably produced flowers are major trends that are changing the flower industry in Europe. Prepare to be a supplier of the future by studying the market trends and the implications for your business.

Exporting foliage to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta and Cyprus

Southern Europe comprises France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta and Cyprus, with a total of 185 million inhabitants. These countries share similarities regarding sales channels, with a dominance of traditional small florist’s shops and street market sales, but also display some remarkable differences. Imports of cut foliage in southern Europe are increasing, opportunities exist for further development as incomes increase, and florists and supermarkets sales and assortments of flowers are improving.

Exporting foliage to Germany

Germany is the largest flower market in Europe. After a few years of decline, imports of foliage are increasing again. German consumers traditionally buy a lot of mixed bouquets at florist’s shops. The increasing market share of supermarkets is a concern to suppliers of mixed bouquets and foliage. Collaboration with Dutch traders that specialise in supplying to German retailers and additional efforts to promote mixed bouquets in supermarkets are an opportunity to increase demand further.

Exporting foliage to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is the main trade hub for foliage in Europe as well as an important producer. Specialised traders import and export foliage and prepare mixed bouquets for sales at retailers and florist’s. This expertise makes the Netherlands a key partner for supplying foliage to the European market. Imports of foliage in the Netherlands were worth € 186 million in 2016, up € 15 million from 2012. With economic growth increasing, it is expected that the market for cut foliage will further improve.

Exporting chrysanthemums to the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) is the largest importer of cut chrysanthemums in Europe. Unlike in other European countries, supermarkets are the main sales channel for cut flowers in the UK. Spray chrysanthemums and Santini are extensively sold as mono-bunches in supermarkets and mixed bouquets. Larger disbud chrysanthemums are popular in mixed bouquets as well. It is expected that the UK market for chrysanthemums from developing countries will grow further in future.


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