News of: Monday, February 14 2005,

Dutch flower bulbs welcome again in Russia

After a boycot of almost a year, Russia will admit Dutch flower bulbs (and other agricultural produce) again, starting February 15.

The flower export from the Netherlands to Russia (worth EUR 500 million per year) was prohibited by the Russians, because they had found harmful insects on the bulbs.
All Dutch plant imports were suspended, December, after California thrips-small but very injurious insects-were found on some.

Although the Dutch exporters protested the measure, and denied there was a problem, it took the government months of negotiation with Russia to solve the problem.

The agreement is a great relief for flower traders, as this means export can be restarted before March 8, International Women's Day, one of the most important days in the year for florists.

'Moscow florists don't sleep from the 4th of March until the 8th of March,' Zakalinsky said. 'We live in our shops. During this time, we don't have husbands, wives, children. We are married to 'floristry'.' (source: Moscow Tribune).

The new agreement means that Russian inspectors will come to Holland (paid by Dutch merchants) to check the flower to be exported to Russia.