Rabobank has urged retailers in north-west European countries to follow the model of UK supermarkets for flowers in order to revitalise a 'stagnant' floriculture market.

A study by the agriculture office of the Dutch bank shows there is still a 'huge gap' in floriculture sales between supermarkets in the UK and those in other countries in north-western Europe. Rabobank has called for the supply chain to form more partnerships in order to tighten the gap and for suppliers to tailor their services more appropriately towards retailers' flower offerings.

“The increasing segmentation of the market will offer new opportunities to suppliers, and the most potential for additional sales will be through the supermarket channel,' said Cindy van Rijswick, Rabobank analyst.

She continued: “The example of floriculture expansion in the UK has shown that this is possible, even though the category might be complicated. A well-organised supply chain and proper category management are key factors contributing to the success of the floriculture category in supermarkets.'

Rabobank has called for more European retailers to define properly their flower categories in order to increase supplier correspondence and allow suppliers to work in the role of 'facilitator'.

Cindy van Rijswick concluded: 'To build a strategic relationship and develop the floriculture category to its full potential, suppliers should take up the role of being a true facilitator.

'Facilitators link growers to retailers, make agreements on volumes and prices if needed, and take care of imports, transportation and packaging.'