On 11 April 2018 the formal closure of the most extensive EU logistics research project ever, CORE – Consistently Optimised REsilient secure global supply chains – took place in Brussels. Seventy partners from government, business and education worked together for fours years on different CORE sub-projects. Royal FloraHolland – a cooperation of more than 4,000 plant and flower growers – took part and worked on the development of a so-called smart and secure trade lane between Kenya and the Netherlands.
Roel Huiden, Senior Supply Chain Consultant at Royal FloraHolland, was involved with CORE from the beginning and looks back on a successful participation. “Not only did we optimise a number of logistics processes but we also accrued know-how and experience about international logistics and have built lasting relationships with parties such as the Dutch Customs organisation and the NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority). Further it became clear that an effective trade lane could bring us enormous savings. Digitising the phytosanitary certificates that are required for flower imports are an example of this. Throughout the whole chain, this part can save several hundreds of thousands each year.”
Royal FloraHolland is becoming more international and therefore participated in the CORE project. Through the years the members of the cooperation are no longer from the Netherlands only, but also active in countries such as Israel, Kenya and Ethiopia. “CORE appealed to us because it was a practical demo-project, aimed at tangible improvements in all processes in the logistics chain”, Huiden says. “Moreover it was wide-ranging with input from many different parties, including various knowledge institutions and government authorities. Contacts within these organisations are becoming ever more important for us as our international activities grow.” Royal FloraHolland chose to focus on the transport flow between Nairobi, Kenya and Amsterdam Schiphol. “This is one of the major flows with nine million boxes of flowers annually coming to the Netherlands on 2,000 flights. Over 100 growers in Kenya and air carriers are involved in this process. The aim is to move the flowers from the Kenyan greenhouse to the European florist in four to five days.”
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