Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Flower Auction, June 17 (Day 17)

I literarily dragged myself off the bed on Monday because I was so exhausted and had to be out of the hostel by 6:45am to catch a bus to Flora Flower auction outside of Amsterdam and learn something about the Dutch auction, we got to the bus stop in time to catch the bus to Aalsmeer and got to the auction at about 8:00 am. The building was a massive building from the outside and we could only imaging what went on inside, but we were soon to find out. On getting in we received an audio guide that the guide would use to communicate to us while we were taking the tour. Trey pulled a surprise Happy Birthday shout into the guides microphone for Mark whose birthday was today. The Auctions were still going on when we got in, the path for the tour was an elevated area where we all could see the activities going on, on ground we saw the logistics of the flowers from where they first are to where they are moved to once it was sold. The Floraholland is a corporative owned by the 5,000 growers who are members of the corporative. To be a member the main criteria was to “pledge” 100 % of your production to the corporative. The corporative was created in 1911 and has been thriving since then, We saw the 3 large rooms where the reverse auctions were conducted, I had expected a room full of people screaming out numbers but was surprised to see rooms of people sat down behind a computers and a large screen in front where we could see the price of products go from high to low until someone feels the price is low enough and click on a button to buy it, any flower not bought that day was burnt and those bought got to the buyers within two hours of purchase. The whole auction processes had definitely been perfected by these guys, but was threatened a few years ago by another large flower auction that sprang up in Saudi Arabia, but couldn’t survive. We went into a place i would call their “flower showroom” where people who bought in large quantities could place their orders, the showroom had a large variety of flowers from all over the world, they were incredible. On our way out Dr V bought raw Herring, which was good but the taste needed some getting used to, I definitely would try it again and think anyone who is up for a new taste challenge should go for it.