Dutch flower and plant exports fall due to inflation and Brexit

Flowers waiting to be shipped. Photo: Lauren Comiteau

Dutch flower and plant exports have fallen for the second year in a row as inflation and Brexit continue to take their toll, according to wholesalers organisation VGB.

Cut flower exports are down 5% to €4.2 billion while the export of plants fell 3% to €2.6 billion, the VGB said on Tuesday.

“We sell a luxury product and consumers are being more careful about spending,” said VGB director Matthijs Meskin. But Brexit too is a problem with sales to Britain, the second biggest Dutch export market down 7%, he said.

The British economy is now performing poorly and that means consumers are less likely to buy flowers and plants, he said. More export rules and checks on disease are also playing a part.

Meskin said the sector is also concerned about measures to stop labour migration, which would be a severe blow to growers. “We need to talk to The Hague to make sure we can continue to use migrant workers in future,” he said. “Without them, we can’t grow and trade our products.”

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