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“Sustainability is a journey and a prerequisite for consumer confidence”

17 July 2023

Anne van der Wal recently took on the role of sustainability manager at the Flower Council of Holland in order to close the gap between the sector and consumers. She has noticed that many businesses already invest significantly in the sustainability of the sector. However, it appears to be difficult to effectively inform and reach consumers about these efforts. Anne wants to offer support in this regard on behalf of the Flower Council of Holland, so that consumers also learn about the sector’s sustainability-related plans.

Bloemenbureau Holland Anne van der Wal

Flower Council of Holland as link between consumers and the sector
“Fortunately, the sector is very open and willing to work together, which is not only conducive to this process, but also necessary to reach consumers. Businesses also recognise the need to implement company-oriented changes in order to meet changing social expectations. The Flower Council of Holland plays a unique role in this as a link between consumers and the sector. Our consumer campaigns and communications can explain the efforts being made by the sector when it comes to sustainability, while we can use newly obtained consumer insights to inform and support professionals in the sector,” says Anne van der Wal. 

Consumer sentiment survey
To obtain these consumer insights, Van der Wal frequently conducts studies on behalf of the Flower Council of Holland. These consumer insights offer an insight into knowledge about the sustainability of the sector. A follow-up survey to the 2022 survey was carried out recently, with a distinction once again being made between flowers, house plants and outdoor plants. This was done at the request of the sector. The topics highlighted in the follow-up survey were:


1. Packaging
2. Sustainability labels
3. The effect of flower and plant-related communication on the consumers’ image of the sector

A summary of the results and specific insights obtained in each country will be available in the near future.

Roundtable sessions with professionals
Besides consumer sentiment, the sentiment of business professionals is also gauged continuously. To do so diligently, various roundtable sessions were recently organised with growers. During these sessions, discussion took place about the impact of sustainability on society and entrepreneurship. The Flower Council of Holland wants to use these sessions to share consumer insights so that professionals are assisted with their business operations. Anne explains, “First and foremost, we want to help professionals share and understand consumer priorities, so that they can apply these findings to their own operations. As for the exact details, we are in continuous dialogue with the sector, especially growers and traders.”

International workshops
We will be organising international workshops after the summer, where the most important consumer insights will be presented to business professionals. According to Van der Wal, it is important for such knowledge-sharing and dialogue to take place continuously: “At the end of the day, sustainability is a shared journey and a prerequisite for consumer confidence.”

Read more about this subject:
> Consumers and sustainability