The Best Way to Celebrate Valentine's Day (Well, it is the best to me at least)

clylbw

Well-known member
454 4
I have finally found out the best way to celebrate Valentine's Day - trade flowers in Aalsmeer, Netherlands, the world's biggest flower market.

Sorry for being so unromantic, but each time I see some promotions on flowers/gifts/special offers for Valentines', I can only see lots of ££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££
£££££££££££££... :cheesy:

Dutch flower market blooms in Valentine frenzy

(http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040210/325/elomp.html)

AALSMEER, Netherlands (Reuters) - Prices are soaring on the world's biggest flower market as Dutch traders bid for millions of blossoms ahead of Valentine's Day, the rosiest date in the floral calendar.

Trade starts before dawn at the sprawling auction warehouse at Aalsmeer outside Amsterdam, which sells more than 19 million flowers and two million plants a day in 12,000 varieties. Turnover almost doubles in the week before February 14.

"It's the busiest week of the year," said Adrienne Lansbergen, spokeswoman for the Aalsmeer flower auction. "We are a kind of Wall Street for flowers. Prices in the auction set prices for flowers worldwide."

The Netherlands has long been the centre of the world flower market, exploiting its historical trading ties, damp climate and fertile soils. Today, its biggest export markets are Germany, Britain and France. Eastern Europe is growing fast.

The Aalsmeer auction rooms resemble trading pits for other commodities, only the smell is sweeter. Rows of traders sit opposite a clock face which counts down the price for a lot of flowers until a bid is made. The sale is done in seconds.

Activity was particularly frenzied in the rose auction hall on Tuesday where traders snapped up crates of buds in countless shades of red, pink, yellow, orange, white, and even blue.

FLOWER POWER

Johan Ammaraal, a rose trader for 21 years from Bloominess flower exporters, bought about 45,000 stems on Tuesday. His favourite is the deep red, velvet-petalled "Grand Prix" which fetched some 2.30 euros a stem, up from 80 cents last week.

"Today the prices are really high because it's one of the last trading days before Valentine's Day," he said.

But he said business was slightly down this year because Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday, so fewer bosses will be ordering bouquets for their staff in the office.

The rose is the most popular cut flower at Aalsmeer, selling 1.74 billion stems in 2002, followed by the tulip, which sold 600 million and the chrysanthemum at 474 million.

Wolfgang Struensee, director of Bloominess, said his staff would arrange 42,000 bouquets this week for sale in Germany and Norway, double the normal number. Other busy times are Mother's Day, Christmas, Easter and Norway's national holiday.

"Sales in Germany should be better this year because the mood is good," he said.

The Aalsmeer auction, a cooperative founded in a local cafe 92 years ago, ensures quality at a testing centre that examines the vase life of flowers that often must travel long distances. Its enormous high-tech warehouses ensure speedy logistics.

"What you see here can be for sale in a small village in the Swiss Alps tomorrow. One of our advantages is the distribution system," Lansbergen said. "Being fast is very important in the flower business. A fresh flower is only fresh for a few days."
 
 
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