Coronavirus crisis update

The Coronavirus has caused enormous economic reactions in Europe and Asia. This weekend most of the European countries went in a so called ‘lock down’, in other words, a big part of the economy will be closed. In Holland (and many other European countries) this means that all restaurants, public places, museums, cinemas, festivals, all sports event, etc, will be closed until April 6th. Medical care, such as dentist, doctor, etc are only available for emergency situations (like Corona). Most shops, beside food supply, are closed. Borders between many countries in Europe are closed and most airlines have reduced their operations with 50 – 90 %!

It is a very critical situation. For the flowers and plants business this means that some 50% of all export has stopped, causing an oversupply in flowers and plants, while demand is very low. Dutch auction prices are at minimum levels. It will undoubtedly effect your business as well! And moreover, your customers in ‘lock down’ countries will not be able to make money and pay the bills. And when this is over: you will be forced to supply again, while the old invoices are not yet paid. Not good for nobody.

What can you do? Be very careful who to supply and at what conditions. Make good arrangements on payments and potential delays in payments. There will be payment delays, that is for sure, but better talk about it with your customer and make signed agreements how to solve that, it is better than nothing. Don’t ship just a lot of flowers on a commission basis or with the thought that otherwise you have to destroy them anyway. Better slow down on production and cut costs now, than having a warehouse full of flowers, that can’t be shipped. Airlines will have less freight capacity as well. All in all a bad message, but we are sure that South American farms will be able to survive this crisis. It will be tough, but challenging and the business will come back eventually.

Need help? Make sure you know who you do business with, and know about their current financial situation. Perhaps we can help you to solve difficult situations: the companies that react first, will get paid first. We are there for you. Not an AgroCheck member yet? Feel free to contact us for more information. A membership starts at just $450 a year and can save you a lot of misery!

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