Challenges Affecting Flower Imports from Israel to the Netherlands Amidst Current Events

by Anna

The commencement of the high season, a traditional period lasting from September to spring, is underway in the Netherlands. However, this year has seen a notable decline in the import of flowers from Israel, primarily attributed to the ongoing situation in the region. Arnona van Faasen, responsible for overseeing the import of Israeli flowers at Aviv Flowers based in the Netherlands, sheds light on the current challenges.

The prevailing events have deeply impacted Israel, with a ripple effect extending into the flower trade. Arnona shares that the violence has left a profound emotional impact, with many individuals personally affected by the unrest.

One of the key logistical challenges lies in transportation. Presently, flowers are exclusively transported through Israeli airlines such as ELAL and CA.L, as other airlines have suspended operations to and from Israel. This shift has created a disruption in the regular supply chain for the flower trade.

Labor shortages further exacerbate the situation. The closure of border posts with Gaza since October 7 has prevented thousands of workers, including those from Arab and Thai backgrounds, from commuting to their workplaces in Israel. The imposition of a state of emergency and the conscription of many men into the army have also contributed to the labor deficit. Additionally, the return of students to school has further reduced the available workforce for nurseries.

While volunteers have stepped in to assist, Arnona emphasizes that their efforts cannot fully compensate for the substantial shortages. This has led to a delayed start to the supply chain this year, with certain products arriving later than usual, and some remaining entirely unavailable. A comprehensive assessment of the situation is anticipated by the end of the month.

Aviv Flowers, a significant player in the flower trade, has been exporting flowers from Israel since 1972. Originally part of the state-owned company Agrexco, Aviv Flowers became an independent exporter in 1992, specializing not only in flowers but also herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Despite the challenges, Aviv Flowers maintains its position as the leading supplier of Israeli flowers to Dutch, German, and Belgian auctions, emphasizing resilience amidst the current uncertainties.


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