Today Florimex filed for bankruptcy. Yesterday flower auction FloraHolland withdraw their credit for the third largest trader of cutflowers and plants. This makes it impossible for the trader to purchase products. Private investor Bencis, owner of Florimex tried to sell the company in parts, but seemed not to be successful so far.

Companies of Florimex are chainstore service provider Sierafor, wholesale exporter Baardse, cut greens importer/trader Greens and cut flower exporter Starkenburg. Florimex also owns companies in Portugal, Spain and Ecuador.

Since the bankruptcy of of the Ciccolella Group, in March, suppliers are much more reluctant to supply traders with products with a long credit period. This made it extremely difficult for companies such as Florimex, with an already questionable financial reputation to remain in business.

Besides that, Sierafor is involved in a court case with ex- employees. The court’s decision to force Sierafor to take back dismissed employees  did not help Florimex in resolving financial problems.

In the beginning of this year Sierafor was not able to deliver a tulip order, which was another set back of € 10 mln and last month one of the largest customers of Sierafor, German chain store Kaufland of € 20 mln changed supplier to Dutch Flower Group. Last but not least Baardse lost the account of furniture giant IKEA and Greens already suspended its activities.

It is unclear if the industry will notice anything from this possible bankruptcy. After the bankruptcy of Ciccolella Group turnover more or less ‘disappeared’ into business of other trading companies and did almost no harm to the industry.

This could be seen as a proof that trading companies in the Netherlands of flowers and plants virtually have no of very little value. The value only exists of the sales peoples and their customers. They can change to another exporter overnight when their company is in financial problems.