Frequently asked questions about coronavirus
This Q&A has been drawn up for growers, buyers and other RFH contacts and will be continuously updated as new information becomes available.
Royal FloraHolland is carefully monitoring developments regarding the coronavirus so that we can take steps where necessary to safeguard the health of visitors to and employees at our locations. Moreover, we follow the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO), European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ). If you or any of your employees have been infected and this person has visited one of our locations, kindly inform us immediately.
For all general information about the coronavirus, please refer to the website of the RIVM.
- I am a Royal FloraHolland customer? Can I visit a location?
- Are the auction-room workplaces of Royal FloraHolland open?
- Are we turning away customers from Brabant?
- Will Royal FloraHolland's activities continue?
- Is Royal FloraHolland prepared for a possible outbreak of the coronavirus at one or several of its locations?
- Can tourists still visit the auction building in Aalsmeer?
- What is Royal FloraHolland doing to reduce costs?
- Does the corona crisis affect Royal FloraHolland's decision to make environmental registration and certification compulsory for all suppliers on the marketplace?
Remote buying (KOA)
- What will happen with member sessions planned for March?
- Will the international member sessions continue in May?
- Which measures can I take to avoid getting infected and/or spreading the virus?
- How do I recognise the coronavirus?
- I have symptoms of flu. What should I do?
- I was recently in an area where there is a coronavirus outbreak or where the risk of infection is high. What should I do?
- Can the coronavirus be spread by flowers?
- Where can I go for more information?
- What does Royal FloraHolland think of the proposed support measures?
- What does Royal FloraHolland do for international growers?
- What role does Royal FloraHolland play in providing loans?
- What should I do as a grower if I want to apply for financing?
- What can Royal FloraHolland do for growers and buyers?
We do ask our contacts to avoid the locations and workplaces of Royal FloraHolland where possible.
Are the auction-room
workplaces of Royal FloraHolland open?
The auction-room workplaces of Royal FloraHolland are currently still open. On Thursday, 12 March 2020, it was announced that gatherings/events with more than 100 people (must) be cancelled. For this reason and in anticipation of a possible situation where we may have to close the auction room workplaces, we request buyers to make use of Remote Buying (KOA) during the next four working days (starting 13 March 2020). In addition, we request all KOA users to avoid the auction room workplaces at Royal FloraHolland locations.
What is Royal FloraHolland doing to reduce costs?
Royal FloraHolland is in the process of drastically reducing costs. We are doing this by, among other things, suspending projects and the deployment of external parties and making use of the temporary measure Emergency Fund for Bridging Employment (NOW). This will enable us to reduce labour costs without having to lay people off.
Does the corona
crisis affect Royal FloraHolland's decision to make environmental
registration and certification compulsory for all suppliers on the
Like you, we are concerned about the major consequences of the corona crisis for our sector. Royal FloraHolland is doing everything it can to support growers and buyers in these difficult times.
At the moment, it is still too early to make any statements about the possible impact of the corona crisis on the introduction of environmental registration and environmental certification. We are of course monitoring the situation in the sector and its impact on the business operations of our members and other suppliers. When there is more clarity on this subject, we will inform you and our other members.
In the coming period, extra staff for this purpose will be on hand at the KOA Helpdesk.
Customer service and KOA helpdesk open this weekend!
To answer any questions about the coronavirus and to obtain a connection for Remote Buying (KOA), the Royal FloraHolland Customer Service will be open this weekend.
On Saturday 14 March and Sunday 15 March, we are available from 9:00 - 17:00 via:
- WhatsApp: +31 (0)88-789 89 89
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What do I need for a KOA connection?
The internet connection and the computer on which you are going to work with KOA must be reliable. The KOA software demands a high-quality operating system in combination with the hardware and network connection. We recommend that you install the KOA software on a dedicated PC or laptop. In other words, this computer should not be used for any other purposes and no other software programmes should be installed on it. We do not recommend the use of wireless internet through Wi-Fi. A wireless connection is less stable than a fixed connection.
Different requirements apply to a KOA connection for the Eelde auction. Buyers who do business at Eelde will be informed separately.
What will happen
with member sessions planned for March?
The March member sessions are being rescheduled to a later date. We would like as many members as possible to attend the sessions. There is no great urgency in letting them proceed in the short term and there is also the chance that nationwide measures will be further tightened in the coming days. It is not yet clear if and when the member sessions will go ahead. You will be updated as soon as further information becomes available.
Which measures can I
take to avoid getting infected and/or spreading the virus?
The RIVM recommends following the guidelines below that apply to all viruses that can cause the flu and a cold. It is therefore always important to follow them:
- Wash your hands regularly
- Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow
- Use paper tissues and throw them away immediately after use
- Do not shake hands
In the Netherlands, face masks are only recommended for medical staff. There is no proof that face masks protect people from viruses when they are not ill.
People who are infected with the new coronavirus have a fever and respiratory complaints, such as coughing and shortness of breath. There is a specific test, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), that can determine whether a patient has the COVID-19 virus.
It is important to be aware that there is currently also an outbreak of the common flu in the Netherlands that has infected a lot more people. You should only report to your GP and your direct manager immediately by telephone if you have been to a country where the coronavirus has been widespread in the past two weeks or if you have been in contact with a patient who has had the virus in the past two weeks. You can find the risk areas on the website of the RIVM.
I was recently in an
area where there is a coronavirus outbreak or where the risk of
infection is high. What should I do?
Colleagues who are experiencing respiratory complaints and have been in a risk area in the past two weeks, or have had contact with a patient who has the coronavirus, must immediately report to their general practitioner and their manager by telephone. You can find the risk areas on the website of the RIVM.
Coronaviruses spread via humans and animals. They cannot survive long outside of the body. Other coronaviruses do not spread in this way, and the RIVM has no reason to assume that this coronavirus (COVID-19) is any different.
FloraHolland's activities continue?
There are no notable consequences for our activities. Royal FloraHolland is closely monitoring all developments regarding the coronavirus and following the recommendations of the WHO, the RIVM, ECDC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) in order to keep employees and visitors to our various locations safe and healthy.
Is Royal FloraHolland prepared for a possible outbreak
of the coronavirus at one or several of its locations?
Royal FloraHolland is well prepared and is closely monitoring developments regarding the coronavirus and following the recommendations of the WHO, the RIVM, ECDC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) in order to keep visitors to our various locations safe and healthy.
The Visitor Centre at Aalsmeer is closed until further notice.
Growers and buyers who have specific questions about their activities in conjunction with Royal FloraHolland can contact their account managers or the Customer Service on (+31) (0)88 789 89 89 on weekdays between 05:30 and 17:00 (Fridays until 16:00) During the weekend of 14 and 15 March, the Customer Service is open from 09:00 - 17:00 on WhatsApp +31 (0)88-789 89 89, or you can send an email to email@example.com.
What can Royal FloraHolland do for me in the event of
Unfortunately, for our growers and buyers with acute financial problems, we cannot act as a lender ourselves, in any form whatsoever. The government's package offers a solution to this problem. You can apply for emergency credit from the bank.
What does Royal FloraHolland think of the proposed
We are very positive about the Government's support package for companies that are severely affected by the corona crisis. We are also in favour of setting up an emergency fund for floriculture. This emergency fund is necessary to at least partially compensate for the economic damage. We are discussing this with the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
What does Royal FloraHolland do for international
For our international growers in Africa we are in contact with the country organisations EPHEA in Ethiopia and KFC in Kenya. In Germany we are in contact with the sector organisations: ZVG and BGI. There is also consultation with our Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The Dutch government is working on an action plan for international trade and it explicitly includes ornamental plant cultivation. Royal FloraHolland has requested that specific funds be made available for Kenya and Ethiopia. The Minister has promised to look into this.
What role does Royal FloraHolland play in providing
In consultation between banks and Royal FloraHolland, it has been agreed that providing credit to growers and trading companies is a task for the bank. Assessing and providing credit is their expertise. This is in line with the position taken by the Dutch government, which has extended the guarantee to banks. This allows banks to grant emergency loans to companies with reduced risk.
What should I do as a grower if I want to apply for
If growers or trading companies need financing, we advise them to go to their bank. The bank needs annual figures and a liquidity forecast. The banks can then quickly assess whether and how much credit they can provide. Royal FloraHolland has agreed with the Dutch banks not to include member loans in emergency loans.
What can Royal FloraHolland do for growers and buyers?
Royal FloraHolland has a duty to safeguard its own survival, in the interests of all growers, buyers and the entire sector. Our role is to connect growers and buyers so that they can get the most out of the market. This is important for now, but certainly also for the period after the crisis. We have already started to reduce our costs and investments, while continuing to make important strategic investments.
In this context, Royal FloraHolland has also decided not to switch to early payment of member loans to Dutch members. This decision was shared with the financial committee of the Council of Members and the Supervisory Board. Our foreign members are in a different situation and do not always have the support of their governments and banks. Royal FloraHolland is currently taking stock of their situation per country.