European market set back by fuel costs and strong euro

High fuel costs, a strong euro and competition from horticultural industries in South America and Africa have combined to hit the European market hard.

Floris Olhof said the strong euro dampened trade - photo: HW
Floris Olhof said the strong euro dampened trade - photo: HW

This was the message from exhibitors at international plant trade fair Plantarium 2008, held in Boskoop, the Netherlands, last week.

Netherlands auction co-operative FloraHolland held its autumn trading fair at the same time and manager of products and market services Floris Olthof said growth would not meet expectations this year. "We will be achieving less than one per cent growth this year and that is a disappointment," he said.

"The Dutch growers have more competition from the growers of South America and Africa and the weather this summer has also affected things."

The euro has been rising against the pound and making products from European growers more expensive in the UK, which Olthof said had also dampened the market. "We don't think the strength of the euro helps us to increase trade," he added. "In the past (few) years trade to the UK was increasing very fast, particularly in cut flowers and pot plants.

"But this year it is not increasing at all and that is down to the (strong) euro against the pound."

Boskoop-based grower Kwekerij Daylight managing director David Bakhuijzen said he agreed the strength of the euro had impacted on trade: "The euro being so strong has affected my trade with the UK - it makes it more expensive but gardening is still a popular thing."

Despite the exchange rate issues, some exhibitors said that high fuel costs were having an even greater impact.

Walter Blom president Walter Blom said: "The euro is very strong but it hasn't really hit us; it is when you deliver the finished product to the UK that it's very expensive."

Partner Susanna van Zoest of Andre van Zoest, which supplies hydrangeas to the UK, said transport costs were extremely high but they were trying to combat the problem by packing more plants onto a trolley.

Plant Publicity Holland managing director Jan Haberts said some growers were trying to become less energy dependent by investing in technology such as ground heat pumps.

He added: "It is short-term thinking when you look at the exchange rate; we need to think creatively."

- See vox pop, p19.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sisyrinchium

Sisyrinchium

This huge but slightly odd genus offers multiple choices for the rock garden or alpine house, says Miranda Kimberley.

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.


Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

At the time of writing - a few days after the general election - sterling has weakened and we still have no idea of what Brexit means.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles