Lobby and advocacy 

The horticultural sector is important to the Dutch economy. The Dutch horticultural sector provides jobs for 150,000 people. This figure does not include the jobs provided to secondary suppliers, such as seedsmen, banks, greenhouse builders, etc. The Dutch auction system has proven its worth. Around 60% of the international trade in cut flowers and 40% of the trade in houseplants passes through the Netherlands. Naturally, more than just the auctions are involved. Breeding and propagation companies, producers, auctions, dealers and the retail trade, supported by banks, marketing companies, packaging companies, agrotechnical companies, transport companies and logistics services, knowledge networks, interest groups, research organisations and governmental services form a tight cluster that is the foundation of the Dutch horticultural success.

In 1974, the Dutch cooperative flower auctions decided to join forces and establish the VBN as their trade organisation. In this role, the VBN is responsible for advocacy on the national and international levels.

The VBN conducts national and international political lobbying and advocacy for the auctions Royal FloraHolland and Plantion, and thus indirectly for those auctions’ members (the flower and plant growers). Important topics include:

  • Fiscal legislation
  • Commercial policy
  • Growers’ rights
  • Phytosanitary legislation
  • Crop protection
  • Promotional funds
  • Dutch contribution to international horticultural dossiers in WTO and GLB frameworks
  • Sustainability
  • International horticultural exhibitions

The VBN works closely with a large number of European fellow flower and plant organisations. It participates actively within the European agricultural organisation COPA-COGECA.