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Members put trust in FloraHolland Cooperative Board

The FloraHolland General Members’ Meeting at Naaldwijk voted in favor of a number of proposals, such as the amendment of the Articles of Association to enable product-specific promotion and the level of contributions, commissions, and levies for 2013.

With it, the TEMO levy will become part of the rate structure. TEMO means Temporary Exemption from Member Obligation and creates a level playing field between members who do business through the auction administration and members who cannot do so. The members clearly put their trust in the Cooperative Board by re-electing four board members with a 90% majority.

Members self-determine FloraHolland's direction
Chairman of the Board Bernard Oosterom: "FloraHolland deserves a committed supervisor who, mainly for the sake of its members, is responsible and accountable. Society has changed and now has different demands with regard to control and supervision. Supervisory Board members take their responsibility by, more than before, forming an opinion on the same issues as the Cooperative Board. This has led to a form of duplication. Merging the Cooperative Board and the Supervisory Board will strengthen our governance structure." During the meeting, some members expressed their concern, in that the role of the Cooperative Board would only be to control, and not to deal with policy. Oosterom stressed that the members themselves determine the direction of FloraHolland. Strategic and product subjects will find their way towards the Management Board through the Advisory Councils, which consist of 250 members. The Supervisory Board will remain closely involved and will also take the initiative and make decisions in the interest of the members. The General Members' Meeting will always have the final say.

A members' sounding board group will closely monitor the Cooperative Board in its further development of the plans over the coming months. Early 2013, members' meetings will be organized to introduce members to the process the Board is going through.

Product-specific promotion as an example of member involvement
In 2012, FloraHolland and its members started to operate according to the new advisory structure. This new scheme has been found to increase the involvement, input and say of members, and that member involvement at the auction is channeled along the product line. Concrete changes emerge form the Advisory Councils, including the proposal in favor of product-specific promotion, which the GMM adopted. General Director Timo Huges had the following to say: "Amending the Articles of Association has enabled promotion, provided at least two-thirds of the members' turnover present at a product meeting product are in favor. Whether promotion will indeed materialize is decided by yourselves."

Service provider in a changed market
In view of the market developments and its concrete impact on the role of the cooperative, FloraHolland has become aware of the fact that it is a service provider in a changed market. One of the changes is that our members are increasingly taking the initiative in the sale of their products. Additionally, they are more rapidly making new demands of their cooperative. FloraHolland's ambition - to improve the market position of its members with its services - remains unchanged and the existing spearheads continue to be of major importance. We are building on an international service network and are looking to provide our members with more value and distinguishing capabilities. We are also working to strengthen the central position of the Dutch floriculture cluster in the international market. However, in the changed market, this must all take place more rapidly and with more customization, greater flexibility and more simplicity. This market development demands a more efficient, decisive and blossoming organization in which the role of its individual parts is smaller than in the past.

Important innovations
While FloraHolland has to cope with many operational challenges, we are still able to implement a number of significant innovations, such as initiatives - which are underway - to structurally realize cleaner packaging; a uniform system for remote buying (KOA) for the export locations which will make supply available to larger buyers groups; innovations to strengthen the auction clocks and to optimize the way they function in a changed market; and, finally, the uniform auction trolley, a project the industry can be proud of.
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