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Getting acquainted: 5 questions for Rob Tas

15 February 2023

A conversation with Rob Tas, Manager of national and international relations at Flower Council of Holland since December 2022

After spending years in Brazilian retail and European agrifood, Rob has now landed in Aalsmeer. This new role is taking him to every part of the sector. We asked him five questions to introduce himself.

Rob Tas manager (inter)nationale relaties bij Bloemenbureau Holland
How are things going so far?
“I’ve mainly spent my time getting better acquainted with the sector, people and companies. And, of course, the IPM really worked in my favour. But there were so many stories and faces. Fortunately, I still have all the business cards.”

What do you remember most about these stories?
“The passion of these professionals was rather impressive. Especially nowadays. The energy crisis is having a huge impact on their daily activities. It’s interesting to see how each of them is finding their own solution. Do they save on energy costs or focus on investments? Do they switch to a different crop or an alternative scenario? In fact, I visited a grower today who has continued to pursue his long-term strategy and is even daring to consider expanding. This is not only impressive but also inspirational.”

Is this your first experience with horticulture?
“No, not entirely. I spent my childhood among the tulip growers in the north of North Holland, and earned my first pocket money topping tulips at the age of ten. The culture there is a little different than in Westland or around Aalsmeer, but one thing is definitely the same: growers never throw in the towel.”

And since then?
“I worked for Ahold in the Netherlands, and spent 12 years in Brazil. After the supermarket chain was sold, I discovered the true meaning of entrepreneurship. The new investor wanted to double the number of shops. And this meant pioneering, finding new locations and developing shops. It was all hands on deck in every respect. I recognised the same drive and creativity in the professionals I have met in the past few weeks. When I returned to the Netherlands, I ended up in the agrifood sector, where I set up the European marketing framework for a Brazilian orange juice producer. Orange juice is not a flower, of course, but the sector does have a number of parallels with many horticultural companies. For instance, it is a seasonal product, the sector serves as a link in a large international supply chain, and there are similar challenges in terms of logistics, changing consumer preferences, sustainability and the power of retailers. I also see lots of family-run businesses in horticulture, some of which have developed into global players.”

And now you have arrived at the Flower Council of Holland. What are you looking forward to the most?
“Collectivity in the sector has resulted in significant and substantial developments. This includes the many innovations that are being energetically pursued by joining forces. In my role at the Flower Council of Holland, I want to bring people together so that we can learn each other’s stories and pass them on. This is one way for us to help shape the reputation and image of the sector. Listening, connecting and solving problems together: it’s a process I really enjoy.”

Want to get to know Rob better?
Rob would love to hear from you and can be reached via rtas@bloemenbureauholland.nl

February 2023