Aalsmeer Flower Auction
by Barry Marshall on January 19th
To its 25,000 residents, Aalsmeer in Western Holland may well seem like a peaceful and scenic place to live with its many lakes and historical gardens. To everyone else, Aalsmeer is home to the largest flower auction in the world, the epicentre of horticultural business.
The building in which the auction is held is, at over 846,00 square metres, the second largest building in the world, and welcomes over 3,500 member companies who come to trade on an international level. Whilst a large majority of the flowers sold here are from the Netherlands, Israel, Kenya and Zimbabwe are just some of the other countries that also contribute to the 7 billion cut flowers and 150 million plants sold here every year.
The importance of Aalsmeer within the world marketplace cannot be underestimated, as it sets the official prices for flowers and plants around the world depending on what happens at the auction. The auction begins when each cart of flowers is presented to the buyers, one at a time. As soon as the carts are displayed, the infamous Aalsmeer clock starts ticking down from 100, and as the time falls, so does the price of the cart; the first person to make a bid gets the cart and they have been known to sell within hundreds of a second. Buyers don't have to purchase the entire cart which is compiled of a number of crates, but the bidding continues until everything is sold.
Whether you're a flower grower, wholesaler or simply a tourist in the area who wants to experience one of life's most fascinating daily occurrences, the Aalsmeer Flower Auction doesn't disappoint.
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