Dutch-German joint venture auction now in business

The eight auction clocks at Veiling Rhein-Maas have started running, just over a year after the first announcement that flower auctions FloraHolland (Holland) and Landgard (Germany) were planning to set up a joint venture.

“The first auction day was an historical milestone. With the coming-together of three auctions in one, and with this being a genuinely transnational collaboration, we are reinforcing the floriculture cluster in the whole Euregion,” Veiling Rhein-Maas’ two Geschäftsführer, Aad van den Enden and Franz-Willi Honnen, explained in a brief speech to a packed auction room.

Veiling Rhein-Maas came into being by merging three auctions: combining the German auctions at Lüllingen and Herongen, owned by Landgard, and the Dutch one at Venlo, owned by FloraHolland. Together as Veiling Rhein-Maas, these three auctions represent sales expected to total €250 million, 2,300 customers, 4,000 flower and plant growers, and 400 staff are connected to this new auction.

The local area itself boasts the most important reason behind this joint venture — the drive to concentrate supply in the Euregion area. Costs can be reduced by having a single large floriculture clock — not just in business operations, but equally in the chain, from the perspectives of both suppliers and buyers in the floriculture cluster. Mergers lead to a more attractive and broader supply of flowers and plants in a single, strong marketplace. In turn, pricing will become more stable for growers.

Over the past year the construction of approx. 50,000sqm of new buildings, of which about 40,000sqm consists of box space that will shortly be made available to customers, has been in full swing. Six kilometres of chain track have been laid, bringing the total length to 10 kilometres, with two separate product flows for processing both Danish trolleys for plants and auction trolleys for cut flowers. The infrastructure both within and around the auction building has been adapted to the new situation during the year. New roads have been laid, as well as new vehicle parks for trucks and cars. In addition, a completely new automisation system has been introduced, and FloraHolland’s standardised delivery forms, trolleys, buckets and packaging have been adopted.

Veiling Rhein-Maas not only runs a daily auction with the clocks, but also exploits a large marketplace, with the associated services. By making use of the intermediary services from both parent organisations, logistics services, and modern box space, Veiling Rhein-Maas is creating a future-oriented marketplace where the supply and demand for ornamental plants and flowers can be brought together efficiently. The official opening will take place on 24 January 2011.