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Turbulent year for FloraHolland, but members show undestanding

During the FloraHolland GMM of 12 December in Naaldwijk, The Netherlands, the members agreed to a number of proposals. Those present agreed to the proposed contributions, commissions and levies for 2014. In the context with FloraHolland's new governance structure, which will come into effect on 1 January, voting took place on the 11 Supervisory Board candidates and the 5 candidates for the GMM committee. All of them were approved by the members.

Movement in the sector

The market in which the members of FloraHolland operate is changing and is under pressure, which is why we have seen a lot of movement within our members' companies and throughout the chain. Rens Buchwaldt, General Director observed: "It is up to FloraHolland, your cooperative company, to support and simultaneously steer those movements. Above all, we must serve in the best interest of the collective. With so much individual movement and so many interests, it will not be an easy task. We will seek the advice of the FPCs, our advisory councils and also the working groups. We will also consult our chain partners, such as in the Collective Floricultural Transporters consultation body, in our consultations with the management of the VGB and also with the Santpoort Consultation initiative."

Necessary measures

FloraHolland will undertake initiatives to support its members in the growing direct sales trend and in further customizing the clock. In 2013, the organization announced that it would be taking the steps necessary to be able to do this. FloraHolland will give the company more commercial focus, and ensure that the products and sales of its members feature more prominently than was previously the case. Due to the accelerated reduction in clock sales resulting from members selling their supply directly, fewer employees are needed. In addition to natural turnover, the organization will be streamlined to incorporate 200 fewer full-time positions.

Financial implications

The normal operating results are expected to turn out somewhere at or above zero. The cost of taking these measures is €20 million. Together with a revaluation of €10 million on land in Naaldwijk, this will mean a loss of €30 million. FloraHolland wants to cover the €20 million required for the reorganization by retaining half of the members' 2013 liquidity contribution. Financial Director Erik Leeuwaarden had this to say about it at the GMM: "€20 million is an enormous amount of money. We would have preferred not to have to turn to you to cover it, but we cannot deny that this item is the result of choices made by the members. In accordance with the Articles of Association, the liquidity levy of 1% that all members are required to pay is intended to cover losses."

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