Aalsmeer Flower Auction, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer is the world’s larges floral auction with some 20 million flowers and plants auctioned off daily to buyers placing bids electronically from around the world, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer is the world’s larges floral auction with some 20 million flowers and plants auctioned off daily to buyers placing bids electronically from around the world, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

We departed the ship in Amsterdam early (7:00 a.m.) one morning to drive to the suburb of Aalsmeer (near the Schiphol airport) to watch the early morning auction of flowers at the gigantic warehouses of Royal Flora Holland.

 

All of the flowers are delivered daily for the auction that starts early in the morning in the two auction halls [see photograph, below], Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All of the flowers are delivered daily for the auction that starts early in the morning in the two auction halls [see photograph, below], Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

Royal Flora Holland is a co-op company owned by its members/growers with a series of auctions of cut flowers and plants.  The organization is the world’s largest and handles more than 90% of the Dutch trade in cut flowers and plants.  Royal Flora Holland has five locations, 38 auction clocks, a national agency and 3,050 employees in the Netherlands and abroad.  The export auctions are located in Aalsmeer, Naaldwijk, and Rijnsburg and there is an auction for the domestic market in Eelde.  Royal FloraHolland functions as a nonprofit organization and brings supply and demand together.  Growers, based in the Netherlands and abroad, bring flowers and plants to the auction.

 

An auction hall in Aalsmeer where the bidding is done electronically in a Dutch auction – prices start high and descend until a bidder “raises his paddle” (electronically), Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

An auction hall in Aalsmeer where the bidding is done electronically in a Dutch auction – prices start high and descend until a bidder “raises his paddle” (electronically), Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

At the warehouse, the products are stored in cold storage until the time of auctioning has arrived.  For auctioning the products are inspected by inspectors who assess the flowers and plants for freshnessand maturity, damage, pests and the like.  There are four grades, from best to worse.  Every day the auctions start at 6:00 a.m. in the auction room with the buyers, the flowers and plants on large carts, and, on the walls on projected screens, the auction “clock”.  Each clock has an auctioneer who controls the auction process.  The auctioneer opens the bidding with a starting price which falls down until one of the buyers presses the purchase button.  The “clock” indicates the price at which the lot was purchased. [See our photograph, above, of one of the auction rooms.]

 

After flowers have been purchased, they are moved around the warehouse to delivery points where they are trucked to the buyers, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

After flowers have been purchased, they are moved around the warehouse to delivery points where they are trucked to the buyers, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

 

A world map showing the two main cut flower producers’ (Netherlands and Colombia) distribution and primary national customers, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A world map showing the two main cut flower producers’ (Netherlands and Colombia) distribution and primary national customers, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

 

Pallets of flowers are moved both by automated tracks in the floor and by hundreds of “scooter” drivers, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pallets of flowers are moved both by automated tracks in the floor and by hundreds of “scooter” drivers, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

Close-up of two pallets being moved by “scooter” drivers, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Close-up of two pallets being moved by “scooter” drivers, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

 

An educational poster for visitors to the auction warehouses with the most popular flowers and plants, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

An educational poster for visitors to the auction warehouses with the most popular flowers and plants, Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

 

How many soccer fields are the equivalent to the gigantic warehouses of the Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer facility?  Try a bigger number… Two-hundred-twenty soccer fields.  Yes, 220; Amsterdam, Netherlands

How many soccer fields are the equivalent to the gigantic warehouses of the Royal FloraHolland Aalsmeer facility? Try a bigger number… Two-hundred-twenty soccer fields. Yes, 220; Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

 

Hundreds upon hundreds of rose bushes in the organic greenhouses of Rozen & Radijs, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hundreds upon hundreds of rose bushes in the organic greenhouses of Rozen & Radijs, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

Later in the morning we stopped at Rozen & Rajijs (Roses & Radish), a family business located in Aalsmeer, Netherlands, not far from the Royal Flora Holland Aalsmeer flower market and auction warehouses, for some coffee and apple cake and then a tour of the organic rose gardens with the proprietor who is the third generation rose grower.  For several generations, the family behind Roses & Radish have grown fresh roses in countless varieties.  During presentations in the greenhouse nursery we learned from the proprietor about his decision six years ago to go back to revitalizing the old greenhouse soils so that he could continue the family tradition of growing roses, but now organically, relying on natural nutrients and worms in the soil instead of chemicals.  The results are much healthier roses with natural fragrance that have a long life as cut flowers.  We bought a dozen and brought them back to the ship and were surprised at their longevity!  This is clearly a business of “love” in a very competitive market.

 

A beautiful red rose before it is picked for sale in the organic greenhouse of Rozen & Radijs, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A beautiful red rose before it is picked for sale in the organic greenhouse of Rozen & Radijs, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

We bought a beautiful, fragrant dozen organically-grown white roses for our apartment on the ship at Rozen & Radijs, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

We bought a beautiful, fragrant dozen organically-grown white roses for our apartment on the ship at Rozen & Radijs, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

We also bought a beautiful white orchid for our apartment at Rozen & Radijs, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

We also bought a beautiful white orchid for our apartment at Rozen & Radijs, Aalsmeer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

4 thoughts on “Aalsmeer Flower Auction, Amsterdam, Netherlands

  1. What a wonderful place to visit, the colours are amazing. Hope you and Robin are having a wonderful time! David and I just came back from Brazil and are staying in London for the summer (if I can call this cold weather summer…). Are you coming to London with the ship in early July? Let us know if you are, would love to see you. Lots of love to you both xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful!! Steve

    On Fri, Jun 3, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Where in the world is Riccardo? wrote:

    > richardcedwards posted: ” We departed the ship in Amsterdam early (7:00 > a.m.) one morning to drive to the suburb of Aalsmeer (near the Schiphol > airport) to watch the early morning auction of flowers at the gigantic > warehouses of Royal Flora Holland. Royal Flora Ho” >

    Like

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