First full day in Amsterdam touring the prestigious Aalsmeer Auction House and exporter Hilverda de boer during our 2013 Study Abroad trip to Holland & France!
First morning in Amsterdam, our group was off at 6:00am to the town of Aalsmeer where the world’s largest flower auction has been lactated for over 100 years. From this building (which is also the largest indoor facility in the world and can actually be seen from space) over 22 million stems are sold on a daily basis. With these numbers the efficiency and logistical prowess of the auction was remarkable.
Starting with the Clock, this is where each flower from every grower is presented to the buyers for purchase. Hundreds of Dutch men sit in this room ready to bid on the right flowers at the right price as directed by their client. Each day the price of the flowers can fluxuate depending on the quality and demand. Once sold and purchased, the flowers gets whisked away on carts and conveyors to reach the right distributor depending on where they are headed in the world.
Aalsmeer Auction is actually owned and operated by the growers themselves thus enforcing a great system of quality control. Representing about 6,000 growers, the members make sure the best products are grown in order to make the most money at their own auctions. This way they are thoroughly invested in the system and try to grow the best flowers possible.
Sold Flowers on their way to the distributor.
Coffe break on the auction floor!
After walking through the auction floor, we headed over to the testing center, where they test new varieties of flowers on a grower’s behalf. In this room they create different temperature and climate simulations to see how the flowers would fair in transport, in a flower shop and in the home. They also test for quality such as longevity, openness, how may leaves fall off and the wilting stages. The information gathered will be sent grower to help give confidence in the new flower variety, or if it should be tweaked someway in the growing process.
After visiting Aalsmeer, the group headed over to the exporter Hilverda de Boer where we learned what happens to the flowers once sold, and how they are distributed all over the world. Visiting our good friend Sander, we were able to gain access to their amazing cooler and purchase flowers directly off of the carts from auction!
Sander from Hilverda de boer with the most beautiful pink hydrangea!
Shopping at Hilverda!
For more images of the Aalsmeer market and our first day in Amsterdam visit our facebook page HERE!