Tuesday, June 25, 2013

FloraHolland: Day 17: Monday June 17, 2013

We had to wake up very early in the morning ready by 6.40 am to go to the FloraHolland (the world largest international trading platform for Flowers) at Aalsmeer a neighboring town to Amsterdam.  We arrive there some minute to 8am because the flower auction is open to the public between 7am to 11am in the morning. We had a guided tour throughout the entire facilities of FloraHolland. Isabel, our tour guide took us from the Visitor Centre, we walked across a gallery which is 600 meters long through which we saw the flower displayed both sides of the building. We came across the auction complex close to the end of the gallery. We saw how the flower is been brought to the auction halls coming before the auction clock.
As we walked along the gallery, she narrated the brief history of FloraHolland to us. FloraHolland was founded in 1911 as a cooperative company. It has about 5000 members and a collection of about 20,000 different types of flowers. They get flower from all over the world including east Africa country like Kenya.  We saw the live Dutch auction system where flowers are been auction on the clock and the direct sales display room of the flowers. We were shown another auction room with 12 clocks and it was interesting to known that the rose flower auction utilizes three of the clocks.

The logistics is very interesting to me because of its high level of efficiency. Immediately after auction, the flowers are  moved around through the use of mobile carts and with the next 3 hours will be available at the local market. We saw the distribution center and the busy flower market logistics. Another interesting part of the tour is the quality testing center for the flowers which helps them to safeguard flower quality and improve it wherever possible. We traveled by bus back to  Amsterdam and got to the hostel at noon. Later in the evening, we chilled out with Mark for celebration of his birthday.