Rabo Horticultural Barometer
In the first quarter of 2018, the Rabobank NL horticultural barometer showed a satisfactory score of 7,32. This figure is mainly related to price forming in many subsectors being comparable, or better, than in 2016. Cucumber, yellow bell peppers and Gerber prices were, however, under pressure. At the end of 2017, prices for Moth Orchids also suffered. Challenges in 2018 include rising labour costs, which is partly due to fewer labourers being available. Besides the increased cost of using payroll companies and employment agencies, the shortage on the labour market is the reason for increased labour costs.
According to Rabobank, it is important to be aware of and prepare for the possible Brexit consequences. They advise companies to map out how a hard Brexit will affect their companies, even if they only have indirect dealing with the United Kingdom. Can your company withstand a 10 - 15% drop in prices due to less demand? Or, are your customers able to develop markets in other places? See the Brexit step-by-step plan.
There is considerable consolidation occurring in the horticultural sector, This increase in scale is being driven by various market developments such as market growth, year-round supply, the shortening of the chain, reaching critical mass, and access to retail markets. Other reasons for this consolidation is the required investment in Research & Development, internationalisation opportunities, and personnel being offered development opportunities.
There is a notable increase in the number of investors. A recent example is the collaboration of two investment companies with Stoffels, the largest tomato company in Belguim. The growing interest of investment companies shows that the larger horticultural is becoming attractive to private investors from a profit point of view. For horticultural companies, this means opportunities for rapid growth of a way to ensure business succession.
Dümmen Orange X McHutchison
In late 2017, Dümmen Orange (an ornamental cultivation breeding company) took over two American companies (McHutchison en Vaughan's). These companies are active in the trading and distribution of starting material for ornamental cultivation.
Fusion of Dutch vegetable plant cultivators
Special Orchids X Celine Colours
The Cymbidium nursery, Special Orchids, acquired Celine Colours. Now, Special Orchids can supply the large-leafed cymbidium, which are used for cut flowers, year-round.
Large-scale market opportunities
Flamingo Horticulture X Butters Group
The British-African cut flower company, Flamingo Horticulture, has bought over the Butters Group. This will give them access to several large retailers in Great Britain.
Acquisition opens doors
Selecta One (German head office) acquired Topcolor Breeding's kalanchoe varieties. This gives a foothold in the potted plant chain.
Van den Bos FLowerbulbs X Stolze
Van den Bos Flowerbulbs took over the preparation company, Stolze.
Horticulture is also having to content with higher sustainability demands, in foodstuffs horticulture as well as ornamental cultivation. The fact that consumers are finding sustainable products increasingly important is evident from the rapid growth of the organic sector.
Over the past five tears, the sales of organic foodstuffs have increased by an average of ten% annually. In contrast, the foodstuffs market, as a whole, has only grown by 1% per year. Rabobank expects the organic sector's market share to further increase in the coming years: from the current 3% to 7% in 2025. This is still small when compared to other countries. In Germany, this sector's market share is more than 4% and in Denmark, it is more than 8%.
'Milieukeur' makes its appearance
Growing interest in geothermal energy
This is why Rabobank is involved, as a financer or source of knowledge, in almost every project pertaining to the use of geothermal energy in Dutch greenhouse horticulture. Besides the 14 doublets that are already operational, there are eight more in the preparation phase. Recently, Rabobank decided to make EUR20 million of risk capital, in the form of subordinated loans, available for projects aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and the dependence on fossil fuels. This was needed because although the government supports these goals, it is their increased regulations that are causing delays in various geothermal projects.