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You really need to get up early to see all the action at FloraHolland in Aalsmeer. This is one of 2 locations in the Netherlands where plants and flowers that come from all over the world are traded on the open market and then sent to florist and other flower sells worldwide. FloraHolland is located across the street from Schiphol airport.DSC08551It is best to arrive by 7:00 AM to be able to watch the flower auction. Traders bid against a clock. We didn’t get there until 8 and it was a bit late. Orders were still being filled but we missed much of the excitement.DSC08546 DSC08547 DSC08548Since flowers are perishable, they must arrive at the location, get auctioned off and then distributed as quickly as possible. Using a voice system, the flowers are driven to a spot where the customer’s purchases are located. According to the company, on an average, clients receive their products 90 minutes after purchase.DSC08586 DSC08522 DSC08540 DSC08590The flowers come from the Netherlands, Africa, Latin America and countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Holland is the most important exporter of plants and flowers in the world. The grower is responsible for the quality of his products and for the grading information of the plants and flowers that he has put on for sale. DSC08585 DSC08523 There is also a Product Quality Knowledge Center at FloraHolland. This is their research facility. They are interested in improving the flowering products, for example, how to get a cut flower to last longer in the vase. They share all information with the growers because that way, everyone wins.DSC08584 DSC08528 DSC08532 DSC08526DSC08525DSC08537