Full article in JPG format: page 36/37 & page 38/39
On an average day at the Aalsmeer flower auction in the Netherlands – long considered the flower capital of the world – some 20 million stems will change hands. During peak holiday periods trading in the country, which handles around 52% of global volume, is even more frantic.
The week running up to Valentine’s Day 2015 saw an estimated 200m red roses and tulips, 100m assorted other varieties and 20m pot plants exported by truck and air from Amsterdam. Many of those flowers had just arrived from Nairobi, which despatched 45 aircraft freighters to the Dutch capital that week alone.
It wasn’t always this way. While few exporters emerged from the global economic downturn unscathed, shippers of price-elastic, discretionary goods bound for Europe were particularly hard hit...