Aalsmeer Flower Auction

Segment: Aalsmeer Flower Auction
Episode: 12
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
TX Date: 9th May 2020

When you’re in Amsterdam on your Viking cruise through Europe, make sure to check out the Aalsmeer Flower Auction.

  • Aalsmeer Flower Auction is a horticultural must-see on your Viking cruise through Europe, bringing supply and demand together by means of an auction clock.
  • This is the world’s largest flower auction. They have an ingenious system of selling the plants from nurseries – traders bid against the clock to pick up the freshest flowers.
  • Every day here sets the world price for flowers and plants – the clock starts at a certain price and starts going down. The first buyers in secure the best plants, and commodity plants sell at standard industry rates.
  • There are 20 million flowers and decorative plants sold to commercial buyers each day, with an astounding 4.6 billion Euros worth of flowers sold annually. The plants are sold through garden centres, chain stores, florists and for commercial purposes.
  • The first auction was held in 1911, moving through several locations over the next 60 years as the popularity grew. They moved into their current purpose-built building in 1972 – with a floor area of 518,000 sq metres, it is astounding.
  • There are around 280 battery powered scooters hauling shuttles of trolleys, as well as a miniature railway, all used to haul each day’s 20 million flowers around the building.
  • The range of flowers sold here is extremely divers, coming from Europe, Australia, Ecuador, Columbia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Roses make up 28% of all sales.
  • There are guided tours starting each morning at 7am, or you can take a self-guided tour – there are information panels across the elevated Visitor’s Walking Gallery.
  • At the end of the Gallery lies the auction room, where all plants and flowers are sold across 38 auction clocks. Small and large batches of plants are sold within seconds.