Mark hails from the Emerald Isle but has been living in the land of cheese and deep-fried-indiscrimi...
Dutch Flower Power still going strong19 February 2013, by Mark McDaid
In the week leading up to Valentine's day FloraHolland, the world's largest flower auction, has processed over 100 million roses, 100 million tulips and 100 million other flowers, one and a half times more than at any other time of the year.
Some 20 million house plants are also sold during this period and while a portion of these products are destined for the Dutch market, the majority is dispatched to Western Europe via Dutch exporters. Germany, the United Kingdom and France are more-often-than-not the recipients of these floricultural products as they are the three countries who celebrate Valentine's day more extensively than any other in Europe.
While in the Netherlands and countries to the East buyers tend to go for mixed bouquets, in France and the UK a bunch of the same flower is still the most popular option, with the rose at the top of the list claiming a 60 percent share.
Roses and tulips with a red or pink hue remain the most popular choice among those buying for their Valentine, but many other products are sold in much larger quantities during this time of year, namely the Chrysanthemum which comes in at third place having sold some 23 million units.
The Dutch dominance of the worldwide flower market is remarkable, as statistics released by Holland Trade reveal.
The Netherlands holds a 24 percent share of the worldwide trade in horticultural products and an incredible 50 percent share of the trade in floricultural products. However, the Dutch are even more dominant in the trade of bulbs worldwide with an incredible 80 percent share.
Photo by Flickr user jimberda
With retailers and traders counting their profit following the recent Valentine's binge, gardeners and flower enthusiasts will not have to wait long to pollinate their passions as the Holland Food and Flowers Festival in Enkhuizen begins at the end of this month.
Though the country finds itself officially in recession once again, Dutch flower power remains strong and this past Valentine's holiday will give flower traders and retailers a welcome boost as we move into springtime.