“We work for growers outside the Netherlands and their clients. We prepare their flowers for clock auctioning or for direct sales and we give them strategic advice. More important is that we are the connecting link between the grower and his buyers. Between the grower and his market. Thus we try to contribute to a better output for entrepreneurs in our branch. Because especially for growers, margins are so small that you have to be cost conscious.”
So says Shmulik Kedem. He is the director of Flower Optimal Connection. His company has various possibilities to really connect growers and buyers. We name some of them.
1. Being where the traders are
Flower Optimal Connection has packing facilities at FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Naaldwijk (Florists Clock too) and Rijnsburg, in Herongen (Veiling Rhein-Maas) and Brussels (Euroveiling). From Aalsmeer flowers for both clock sales and direct sales are delivered to Plantion Ede and FloraHolland Eelde.
“At all locations we have our own people, docks and packing facilities”, says Kedem. “We are where the trade is. So in consultation with the growers we can split their supplies over all the markets in the best possible way. To the auction clocks and in direct sales. Our people know the local markets and know the market possibilities for every kind of flower.
Next to commercial advantages this means cost advantages. Because the distribution of a grower’s supply is known before the airplane lands, we can already distribute per market place at the airport. This saves transport cost. For we are flower people. We know that a grower has to work with small margins.”
2. A wide assortment
Flower Optimal Connection works with flowers from Kenyan, Ethiopian, Israeli, Turkish and Italian growers. Kedem: “Since we work with many growers from many production areas, we have the complete assortment of import products. Flowers and greens. We are strong in summer flowers but especially in a gorgeous assortment of roses with large buds. The majority of our roses have buds of five to seven centimetres. This makes us an attractive partner for the international trade.”
3. Complete services
Flower Optimal Connection offers wide logistic and commercial services. Kedem: “We are a partner of Fresh Freight, a forwarder who does declaration and logistic activities at Schiphol Airport and Liege Airport. We can also help our growers with air freight facilities and because of our size we can stipulate sharp tariffs.
Our own web shop is being filled by our growers’ supplies. There clients will find a complete assortment of import products at their fingertips. All of excellent quality. We deliver the product the way the client wants. At the location he desires.”
4. Strategic advice
Shmulik Kedem and his staff realize that the world of flowers is constantly changing. “It’s vital to know the trends and to stay ahead of them. We know the world of breeding. We also know the situation in the production area. So we know which new varieties are available, what their growing qualities are and which locations are best to grow them. With all this product and marketing knowledge we can advise growers about their plantation of new varieties.”
5. Flower people by heart
Flower Optimal Connection breathes flowers. “Many of our people have been working in the industry for years. They are connected to it with their heart and soul. They know the people and the circumstances in which they work. They know what it’s about for a grower, but they also know what’s important for an export company. Flower Optimal Connection is a growing company. We think this is because we succeed in connecting the chain partners. With only one target: helping people to make a living out of flowers.”