THE PATTERN OF COMPETITION BETWEEN FLORICULTURE IN N.W.EUROPE AND THE MEDITERRANEAN AREAS
The regular consumption of cut flowers, as a normal component of the consumption pattern of the households, is in many countries a comparatively new phenomenon. Conditions required are a relatively high level of prosperity and a high degree of urbanization.
Besides that, a well functioning retail trade and a close connection (in time as well as in distance) between producers and consumers are beneficial to flower consumption.
Cut flower growing, at least in Northwestern Europe, is expanding rapidly. The areas under cultivation in the Mediterranean regions on the contrary do not show a rapid expansion. However the quality of the products from these countries is improving by the use of plastic and glass as protection to the crops.
In principle the production of cut flowers in Northwestern Europe and that in the Mediterranean countries are complementary.
At present Northwestern European growers are more and more turning towards year-round production of cut flowers, which is facilitated by the results of scientific research.
Apart from further quality improvement, flower growing in the Mediterranean region will also benefit by wider spreading of the supply and extension of the marketing period.
In the near future, stronger competition between the two production regions has to be expected and quality will more and more determine the competitive position.
In the total distribution of cut flowers the Dutch auctions and the Dutch distributive trade are of increasing importance. Perhaps it may be desirable to market the part of the production of the Mediterranean countries that has to be exported, via the Dutch auctions.