Valentine's rush at Dutch flower auction

The world's largest flower auction, FloraHolland, has processed over 100 million roses, 100 million tulips and 100 million other flowers in the week leading up to Valentine's Day. In addition to flowers, more than 20 million house plants are sold in this period too. Some plants and flowers are destined for the Dutch market, but the largest proportion is bound for the Western European market via Dutch exporters. The flowers come mostly from Kenya, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Israel and Germany.

Main export countries

Valentine's Day is celebrated across Western Europe, but nowhere more so than in Germany, Britain and France. These three are the main export countries for Dutch exporters. In the Netherlands and in countries to the east, consumers tend to go for mixed bouquets. However, those celebrating Valentine's in Britain and France prefer bunches of just one type of flower and, for 60% of them, the rose is the only choice. Valentine's Day seems to be gaining popularity in East Europe.

Large share

The Netherlands has an exceptionally large share of the world trade in horticultural products, at 24%. In trade in floricultural products worldwide, the Netherlands is dominant with a share of 50%. In bulbs, the Dutch enjoy an 80% global market share.

Source: FloraHolland,