Every year roughly 1,200 to 1,500 new flowers and plants are bred and cultivated by growers. New types of cut flowers contributed massively to the flower industry. However, during the last decade the number of flower growing companies in the Netherlands decreased year by year. In 2006 there were roughly 2,300 growers, compared to approximately a 1,000 in 2016. This development can also be seen among bulb growing companies. The Netherlands had to deal with a loss of approximately 320 bulb growing companies between 2006 and 2016. A decrease in the number of growing companies in the country reflected the development of competition in the form of other emerging markets. Countries like Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya and Ethiopia are making their mark on growing flowers, and are seen as big players in the market. They are among the leading live trees, plants and flowers suppliers to the Netherlands, Kenya being the number two import country, with an import value of roughly 322 million euros in 2017.
The leading export markets for Dutch floriculture are European, with Germany, UK and France among the top three countries importing flowers from the Netherlands. The value of live trees, plants and flowers exported from the Netherlands increased rapidly by roughly three billion euros between 2007 and 2017.
As mentioned earlier, the Netherlands is known for its main hub for cut flowers. Royal FloraHolland, one of the largest auction companies in the world, saw the Rose sales volume of cut flowers amount to approximately 3.2 billion, whereas the Tulip reached a sales volume of roughly 1.9 billion.
The rise of developing countries as flower growers and the shift of wholesalers towards these countries is a challenge for the flower growing market in the Netherlands as well as the local economy. However, developments in e-commerce could result in a positive impact on the Dutch flower growing market, with the opportunity to complete direct sales with the consumer instead of using an intermediary such as a wholesaler.