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Buyers keep pushing for improved cold chain management in the flower industry

The European flower industry is increasingly realising the full impact of effective cold chain management – and the risks of deficiencies in this key area. Better cold chain management, to them, means higher quality, less risk, less waste and more profit. Demand for cold chain protocols and service level agreements is growing. Particular supermarkt chains, whose role will continue to grow, are doing tests and developing new and higher standards themselves. They are changing the very nature of flower trading by introducing closed supply chains involving just the growers and themselves. Continue reading

Assess, benchmark and optimise your cold chain performance with FlowerWatch and Hortiwise

happycustomersSatisfied customers and optimised profits are within the reach of every player in fresh flower supply chains around the world. The key is uncompromising cold chain management. FlowerWatch, in cooperation with Hortiwise, has developed a method of using that key to perfection.

The result: optimised supply chains, guaranteed vase life or shelf life extension by several days, satisfied customers, an improved branch image and, of course, maximum profitability.
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EU’s first Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region goes live

The interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) concluded by the EU and four Eastern and Southern African states (Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe) took effect on May 14, providing duty and quota free access to the EU market for these countries as well as opening their markets to European exports over the course of the next 15 years.

Furthermore, the Agreement covers provisions on rules of origin, development cooperation, fisheries, trade defence and dispute settlement. This EPA is a substantial improvement for Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe on the unilateral trade agreements they enjoyed so far because it encourages regional integration and strengthens a partnership approach with the EU, which in turn brings economic and political benefits that individual countries cannot achieve alone.
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Kenyan horticultural exports to EU might face taxation

Europe has issued a fresh warning of possible revenue losses for Kenya should the East African Community (EAC) fails to reach a trade deal soon.

“Kenya risks taxation on its exports to Europe by virtue of economic strength if the trade talks stall”, Mr Bernard Rey, head of the European Delegation told players in the horticulture sector. “EAC should realise the risks of the current situation of uncertainty. Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, all are least-developed countries, will enjoy duty-free quota access to the EU markets even if the EPA (economic partnership agreement) is not signed,” Mr Rey
said. “But Kenya will risk seeing tariffs imposed on a good number of exports to Europe including horticulture products”.
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EU legislation: What exporters need to know about REACH

REACH is the chemical legislation of the EU that came into force on 1st June 2007 through Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006. REACH will establish a new single regime throughout the 27 EU Member States for existing and new substances and requires manufacturers in the EU and EU importers of substances/preparations to register them. The Regulation itself counts almost 900 pages besides the many other documents, guidance papers and opinions that can be found on Internet. Continue reading

Growing importance of Remote Buying (KOA) in the EU flower trade

In The Netherlands, growing numbers of commercial companies are choosing remote buying to purchase their products on the auction. As with image auctioning, where the product is not physically present at the auction clocks, with remote buying (KOA), auction buyers need not be sitting in the stands.

Often, the wholesale companies have established a special dealing room on their company premises for this purpose. In the comfort of their own offices, anywhere in the world, they can buy online on all the FloraHolland auction clocks. Growers, who supply the products, can see in real-time on the Internet how the buying process is going. Continue reading

Exporting new flower varieties: How to acquire a VBN product code?

Almost 20,000 different plants and flowers are traded by name at the Dutch flower auctions, each identified with their own product code. On average, 20,000 new products enter the market each year. The codes are used in every transaction concluded at the auction. Financial and logistical handling by the auctions is based on the product code system.

The product codes are initially used by the parties involved in trading through the auctions: growers, purchasing traders and the auctions themselves. Product codes can also be used to identify or communicate about a product throughout the chain, from processor to retailer. The current product code database for cut flowers, house plants and garden plants can be found on the FlorEcom site.

Would you like to receive assistance in acquiring a product code? ProVerde has experience in all aspects of introducing new floricultural products on the European market: registration, market introduction, promotion. Continue reading

New logo selected for all EU organic products

The European Commission has officially announced the winner of the EU organic logo competition. Over the past two months, some 130,000 people have voted online to choose the new organic symbol from three finalists. The winning design is by Dusan Milenkovic, a student from Germany, who gained 63 % of the overall vote for his “Euro-leaf” logo. From July 1, 2010, the organic logo of the EU will be obligatory on all pre-packaged organic products that have been produced in any of the EU Member States and meet the necessary standards. It will be optional for imported products. Other private, regional or national logos will be allowed to appear alongside the EU label. The organic farming regulation will be amended in the coming weeks to introduce the new logo into one of the annexes. Continue reading

FloraHolland auction rates 2010

FloraHolland is budgeting a small decrease in turnover of 1.5 per cent for 2010. “By being thrifty we can ensure that the auction does not become more expensive while modernizing sufficiently at the same time,” said Financial Director Erik Leeuwaarden at the recently held general meeting. The rates for members will remain largely the same in 2010.The basic commission will be 1.4 per cent.

Sales via FloraHolland Connect will be 0.1 per cent cheaper for members. The clock commission will stay at 2.3 per cent. The auction is working towards further harmonization of the various rates. Lot charge will be decreased at Naaldwijk and Rijnsburg. Continue reading

The EU market for certified timber and timber products

The EU market is the largest consumer and importer of timber and timber products in the world. On a country level, however, a different picture exists: global imports are led by the USA; Japan is also a major importer, but its role in the global timber trade is declining; China, on the other hand, becomes an important player in the timber market. The latter mainly imports raw materials and exports finished timber products. In doing so, China takes the lead in the global furniture trade, hereby strongly affecting the market share of traditional low-cost furniture exporters, such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

The EU construction sector is the most important market sector for timber and timber products and uses up to 70% of all timber consumed in the EU, followed by the further-processing industry (most notably the furniture industry). The DIY market segment is of less importance, although its market share in sales of timber and timber products is steadily increasing. Continue reading