The Dutch Auction
As a florist in the UK our flowers (especially in the winter when we cannot source British flowers), come through the Dutch flower auctions. The largest of these in the world is held at Aalsmeer Flower Auction. Around 20 million flowers are sold every day with peaks like Valentines Day seeing a 15% increase. More than half the world's flowers are bought and sold at the auction. The auction starts at 6am every morning Monday to Friday. By mid afternoon the flowers are out for delivery around the world.
For anyone used to auctions, this is a topsy turvey way of buying flowers! The price starts high and works it way lower. A buyer will pay the high price when they have a client (a florist) who desperately has to have that flower - this is usually for weddings where a bride wants a specific rose variety!
It is a fantastic place to visit and you watch the activity from two elevated walkways high above the busy warehouse.
The New York Times