Dutch TV channel NPO1 (equivalent to BBC1) followed the plant exports to the UK for themselves last week and visited the London School of Economics to get an insight into the impact of Brexit through Dutch/UK trade.
Javado UK, a major supplier of plants from Holland to the UK, helped the TV crew to follow one of their orders for Alton Garden Centre, Essex, from Honselerdijk in Holland with a consignment of plants.
The tray of Slipper orchids was tracked from the orchid nursery to Javado’s despatch centre in the Westland, then across the North Sea arriving at Alton Garden Centre as the gates opened the next day.
One of the orchids was then taken into central London where Andy Bunker, director of Alton was speaking on the "Preparing for Brexit " panel at the Horticulture Week Garden Retail Summit. NPO 1 asked Bunker questions including "was Brexit worthwhile now the increased costs are unfolding?".
Centre owners and buyers of both groups and independents had praised the level of service, quality and year round plant availability from Holland as being vital elements of their businesses. Bunker described how if the weekend forecast improved he could place an order on his webshop and Javado’s lorry would arrive Friday morning with plants from a dozen or more growers. His experience reflected the story shown to the viewers in Holland which went to air last weekend.
Javado partner Chris Campbell said perhaps this showed that there is just as much interest in life after Brexit in the Netherlands as there is here in the United Kingdom.
Campbell said that he has two minibuses of plant buyers from England and Ireland visited the Floraholland trade fair and specialist Dutch growers this week on a two-day trip.
In 2015 Netherlands exports to the UK were worth 38 billion euros, almost 10% of total exports.
Nikhil Datta, a researcher at the London School of Economics, said the LSE has estimated that Brexit will have a negative effect of 0.75% on the Dutch economy.