Monday 27 March 2023

Flower bulb exporters develop ‘electronic passport’ for tulips

Two Dutch bulb exporters are trying to establish a sort of electronic passport for bulbs in order to ensure growth markets such as China and India are open to them, the Financieele Dagblad says on Monday.

Companies VWS from Broek op Langedijk and Jan de Wit & Zonen in Enkhuizen are developing a digital registration system which follows the bulbs from the nursery to delivery.

This, they hope, will make the export process more transparent and therefore improve the confidence of foreign governments in Dutch exports. Countries like India and China are sometimes closed to Dutch tulips, lilies and other bulb-based plants because of fears about plant diseases, the Financieele Dagblad says.


In a recent report, Rabobank warned bulb exporters and traders to be aware of the risk of limits on exports to Asian and South American countries.

‘Our flower bulbs are subject to tough restrictions,’ VWS director Piet Sijm told the paper. ‘So the markets are sometimes completely closed. At the same time, the closed borders offer opportunities. The quality demands placed on bulbs will increase and that can be to our advantage.’

Some 80% of VWS exports – totalling between €14m and €18m a year – go outside the EU. The company focuses on countries outside the EU because of stagnating European sales, the FD says.

The Netherlands exports some 3.6 billion flower bulbs a year. Around 20% go to the US.

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