Addition to productspecification Tanacetum starting 1 September 2016

A proposal has been made to the VBN Steering Group to add to the current product specification the option to make the supply of bunches of 25 stems and grading code L11 (number of stems per bunch) mandatory, after a 3-month implementation period. This proposal was accepted by the VBN Steering Group.


From 1 September 2016 the option will be added to make bunches of 25. The grading code L11 (number of stems per bunch) will be recommended from 1 September 2016 and made mandatory from 1 December 2016. The following condition will be added to the product specification.


Tanacetum parthenium should:


• be supplied in bunches of 5 stems;

• be bundled in bundles of 5 bunches (25 stems);

• be packed in a sleeve.


• be supplied in bunches of 25 stems;

• each bunch of 25 stems should be packaged in a sleeve.


Suppliers have to enter the grading code L11 (number of stems per bunch) themselves to position 5 in their EDF software package.

There will be a link between length and weight for Alstroemeria from 1 January 2017

At the request of the FPC, the VBN Regulations Steering Group has been asked to take a decision about modifying the product specification, in order to improve the presentation and quality of Alstroemeria.


After an intensive process involving several Alstroemeria suppliers (including a survey), buyers, the Product Specifications and Regulations Department and the Product Team of Royal FloraHolland, the primary outcome was a request for a link between length and weight.


This proposal was accepted by the VBN Regulations Steering Group. From 1 January 2017 there will be a link between length and weight for Alstroemeria, according to the table below:



*For bunch weight of 600 g and over – minimum number of spikes per package 60

**For bunch weight of 300 g and under – minimum number of spikes per package 100


This link between length/weight means that suppliers can only provide packages according to the specifications in the table: with a minimum length of 45 cm and a maximum length of 90 cm and the associated weights (minimum). Thus, for example, supplying flowers with a length of 80 cm is only permitted if the stem weight is at least 50 g. Intervals of 5 cm exist for lengths between 45 and 70 cm, and intervals of 10 cm for lengths between 70 and 90 cm. The link between length/weight applies only to Alstroemeria and not to Alstroemeria Florinca.


The grading codes remain unchanged.

Grading code overview

Product group no.






101 003 01












101 003 02

Alstroemeria Florinca









S20 = Minimum stem length

S21 = Weight (average)

S05 = Stage of maturity

S22 = Number of buds


The link below leads to clarification of the quality codes

Overview of quality codes


Reorganization product groups en product codes Citrus from 1 January 2017

As you know, the horticultural sector is currently undergoing radical development in many areas. One of the evident trends in consumer needs is for edible plants. There is also a need to create more clarity in the chain regarding product names and uniformity of VBN coding. After going through an intensive process with various Citrus suppliers, buyers, Floricode, product manager and the Product Specifications Department and involving Royal FloraHolland regulations, the following changes are planned.


The product groups and codes for Citrus will be reorganised. Currently, they are distributed over 4 product groups. From 1 January 2017, there will be just one Citrus product group (3 05 133 01) containing 18 product codes.


In addition, the grading code S91 (common fruit name) has been created. Products are described with their botanical/scientific name. This grading code ‘common fruit name’ will assist consumers and the trade to understand better which product they are buying.

For example: Product code 47754 Citrus sinensis – with S91 set at 001, you can indicate an orange.


From 1 January 2017 the grading codes for Citrus are:


Position Code Description Prescription
1 S01 Pot size Mandatory
2 S02 Minimum plant height Mandatory
3 S46 Number of fruits/bunches Recommended
4 S91 Common fruit name Recommended
6 S77 Edible/inedible Mandatory

You can use the link of which product codes are concerned and the content of grading code S91.

You can examine the quality codes using the link below

Quality codes


For wreaths the grading code S74 (Material diameter) will become mandatory from 1 November 2016

For wreaths the grading code S74 (Material diameter) will become mandatory from 1 November 2016. This has been a recommended code for several years.

The grading codes for wreaths are as follows from 1 November 2016:


Position Code Description Prescription
1 S73 Material height Recommended
2 S71 Product colour Recommended
3 S74 Material diameter Mandatory

Grading code S74 is being made mandatory partly in response to requests from buyers.


To measure the material diameter, the following rules apply:

  • The material in question is measured from outside edge to outside edge;
  • Bare wreaths (not decorated) are measured from outside edge to outside edge;
  • Diameters of decorated wreaths (with foliage, etc.) are taken as the bare diameter plus 5 cm.

The link below lists the quality codes (S74 is the same for flowers and plants):

Quality codes

This attachment has an overview of which product codes are relevant.

CSR certification: Adjustments in quality codes S97 and K07, creation of new codes K14 – K29

From 1 November 2016 the content of quality code S97 (other information on supplier) and K07 (other information on supplier) will be adjusted. Furthermore the new quality codes K14 – K29 will be created to make it possible to specify more CSR certificates in the supply.

The quality code S97 contains the MPS certificates MPS A+, A, B and C (as well as GlobalGAP, FFP and temporary FFP for the time being). Quality code K07 contains all other available certificates and quality marks with the exception of MPS A+, A, B and C. This is to make sure that the MPS certificates will not appear in duplicate at the clock.


The new quality codes K14 – K29 can be used to specify all available certificates and quality marks with the exception of MPS A+, A, B and C. These codes are meant to give the supplier the opportunity to specify as many certificates and quality marks as he wants in the supply.

In the attachment you will find the exact content of the quality codes. More information regarding the implementation of the new codes you will find on the website of Royal FloraHolland.

The grading code S56 (cultivation method) becomes mandatory for Vitis from 1 February 2017

From 1 November 2016, the grading code S56 (cultivation method) will be included for Vitis, with an implementation period of 3 months. The reason for this is the potential occurrence of phylloxera in the ‘own root’ Vitis which does not occur in grafted plants. Phylloxera can cause extensive damage.


The grading code S56 (cultivation method) is recommended from 1 November 2016 and becomes mandatory from 1 February 2017. You must add the grading code S56 (cultivation method) yourself at position 5 in your EDF software package.


The grading codes for Vitis are as follows from 1 February 2017:


Position Code Description Prescription
1 S01 Pot size Mandatory
2 S02 Minimum plant height Mandatory
3 S11 Minimum number of branches per plant Mandatory
5 S56 Cultivation method Mandatory
6 S77 Edible/inedible Mandatory



Via the link below, you can see a list of the quality codes:

Quality codes Plants


The codes to accompany S56 (cultivation method) are:

Code 010 grafted

Code 011 from cutting

Digital version of plant passport number now available

The plant passport number has recently been copied into a digital version. For clock sales and direct sales, it can be attached digitally to the Electronic Delivery Form (EDF).


This new version is a response to a commonly expressed wish of buyers. The digital plant passport is transferred for direct trade via the Electronic Clock Transaction (ECT) and DESADV (ECT for direct trade) to the buyer and on into the chain. This simplifies the checking and guarantee of the plant passports and improves the traceability of products. Along with supplying the plant passport numbers digitally, a paper plant passport must accompany each of the smallest sales units (for example, per tray/box /pot).


Legally required

The plant passport is legally required for certain plants and plant products marketed within the EU. This includes transport and handling within the Netherlands and shipping to other member states. Seeds and end products like fruits, cut flowers, and cut foliage are exempt. The aim of the plant passport is to be able to trace the original producer faster in cases of phytosanitary problems to prevent the spread of plant diseases.


Starting in 2016 in connection with the outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa in the south of Italy and France, which causes e.g. Pierce’s disease in trees, measures were implemented. For example, additional host plants have been included in the list of plants for which a plant passport is mandatory, and more attention is being paid to the use of plant passports. Their correct use has thus become even more urgent.


As Royal FloraHolland we want to remind you again of the mutual importance and the legal obligation to provide both a physical and a digital passport to keep the trade borders open for trade and to do our utmost to keep out Xylella and other diseases.


Recent inspections by NAK Tuinbouw

In April 2016, the NAK Tuinbouw (Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture) conducted passport inspections at Royal FloraHolland. These inspections revealed that the required plant passports were not included in all cases and that not all suppliers were registered. This means there is room for improvement. The NAK Tuinbouw will contact the suppliers who did not meet the legal requirements, and any lots with an incorrect passport or lacking one upon re-inspection will be withdrawn from the market.


For more information, please consult the websites of the NVWA ( and the VBN ( For additional details about Xylella, read the newsletter from NAK Tuinbouw (newsletter). For instructions on how the digital plant passport should be included in the EDF, please consult the relevant software suppliers.

Additions to Xylella host plant list and plant passport requirement from 1st of August 2016

Recently contaminations with Xylella fastidiosa were discovered in the south of Italy, southeastern France and Corsica on plants that had not been contaminated before. These plants were added to the host plant list. For all plants on this list plant passports are legally required in case of marketing within the EU. This includes transport and handling within the Netherlands and shipping to other memberstates. Plant passport inspections will start on the 1st of August 2016. The new host plants are listed below:

• Calicotome villosa

• Cytisus scoparius

• Eremophila maculata

• Genista corsica

• Helichrysum italicum

• Lavandula x allardii (= Lavandula x heterophylla)

• Phillyrea latifolia

For more information regarding Xylella and plant passports consult the NVWA website and NVWA Xylella.

Keep the Netherlands Xylella-free

Keep the Netherlands Xylella-free

There are serious concerns about the further spread of the bacterial disease caused by Xylella fastidiosa from southern Europe. The bacteria, which causes the dreaded olive quick decline syndrome in olive trees, has been encountered in the heel of Italy. Another strain of Xylella was found in the south of France: around Nice and on Corsica, where it has primarily affected the ornamental plant Polygala myrtifolia (myrtle-leaf milkwort).


All strains of Xylella are regulated in the EU and may affect different host plants depending on local circumstances and vectors present, although all strains have a very broad range of host plants which largely overlaps. An outbreak of Xylella in the Netherlands could have major economic consequences for the tree and perennial plant sector, herbaceous plants (including container- and pot plant sectors) and public green. Xylella is not harmful to humans or animals. The included factsheet provides available information regarding the quarantine organism Xylella fastiodiosa and how to prevent the introduction of this destructive bacteria.

New product group Alstroemeria Florinca 1 July 2016

In the FPC meeting held on 24 November 2015, a request was submitted to create a new product group code within the Alstroemeria group (1 01 003 00).


This proposal was accepted by the VBN Steering group. The new product group will be launched on 1 July 2016 and will be given the name Florinca. This new Alstroemeria Florinca product group (1 01 003 02) has modified product specifications compared to the ‘normal’ Alstroemeria.


The cultivars included in this new product group are:

  • Alstroemeria Charmelia White
  • Alstroemeria Charmelia
  • Alstroemeria Ballet
  • Alstroemeria Funk
  • Alstroemeria X-Treme
  • Alstroemeria Paradiso
  • Alstroemeria White Pearls


The Alstroemeria Florinca product group has the mandatory grading codes S20 / S05 / S22. The grading codes will be from 1 July 2016:


Grading code overview


Product group no. Name: SK1 SK2 SK3 SK4
101 003 01 Alstroemeria S20 S21 S05 S22
    Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory Advisory
101 003 02 Alstroemeria Florinca S20 S05 S22
    Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory

S20 = Length

S21 = Weight

S05 = Maturity

S22 = Number of flower buds