For more than a hundred years, Euroveiling has been the top auction house for carefully grown flowers and plants from Belgium. Innovative, competitive and with sustainable business practices. Every day, these wonderful products from Belgian growers find their way to buyers and satisfied consumers through the cooperative. Euroveiling is an important, almost indispensable link in this chain. As commercial director Sim Echelpoels points out, ‘We are the driving force behind exclusive and carefully grown Belgian products from the ornamental plant market. And we are proud of that!’
Since January 1 this year, Sim, Johan Peeters and Raf Moeyersoons have formed the management team of Euroveiling. The auction has a unique position in Belgium, serving some 60% Walloon and 40% Flemish customers. The men took over from outgoing director Roger Fierens, who retired. ‘Johan, as director, is responsible for administration and financing, Raf is operations and facilities director, and I am responsible for commerce,’ explains Sim. ‘We are a complementary team, the three of us work very well together. It’s great fun to work in a hectic industry like ours. And, really important given our working hours, no one suffers from morning grumpiness!’ he adds with a laugh.
Local is phenomenal
Before Sim took over as commercial director, he worked for the Agora Group in the Netherlands, Italy, France and other countries. ‘I enjoyed my job and gained a lot of experience from it’, says Sim. ‘But I am delighted to be back home. In the end, the place you come from is still the best place to live and work. As far as I am concerned, the same applies to the flowers and plants from Belgian soil. What could be better than marketing these locally?
Staying close to home is beneficial on many levels. Not least, it makes a positive contribution to the ecological footprint. As a company in the green sector, we feel we have a reputation to uphold and have thus taken various measures to minimise our footprint. This includes solar panels on our roofs and LED lighting in our premises. With some 3.5 acres of buildings, that puts quite a bit of pressure on the company. We have also looked closely at our waste policy and use sustainable and preferably recycled materials when we construct or renovate our buildings.
Through the cooperation with Container Centralen, we have also made real progress in our sustainability vision. Reusable transport items make a significant contribution towards sustainable logistics. With Container Centralen, we are delighted to have found a partner who recognises our objectives and supports them with materials. They make it easy for us by maintaining high-quality trolleys and plates and, when they reach the end of their useful life, recycling them responsibly. They also contribute to our innovative strength, for example, through a solution for the multi-use of flower barrels. In addition, they offer convenient and efficient solutions such as a secure pool through scanning tags attached to the carts. These are great concepts and we love working with them. »
Focus on quality
After the focus on sustainability, in the years to come Euroveiling will shift its focus to quality. ‘Quality may seem like a vague concept at first,’ Sim continues, ‘but under that heading we have formulated a number of concrete spearheads. Of course, we have always delivered quality, but we are now ready for the next step. Once we have fulfilled our sustainability goals, we want to make significant progress with the qualitative growth of our employees. We have 50 permanent employees, and also use a flexible team of about 70 other workers. We expect all of them to take on a collaborative role and do all we can to facilitate this. Aside from actively encouraging them to share their ideas on how things could be done differently and better, we are also going to invest in education, training and skills. This could include customer friendliness and service orientation, for example. This will benefit our customers and, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re doing it for.’
‘Of course, part of that quality drive is the pleasant professional partnership we have with Container Centralen,’ Sim continues. ‘It’s fantastic to start the future with such a professional party. Our regular contact is developing and we really benefit from their networks and marketing systems. They support us in our ambitions, and that suits us just fine’.
From clock to commissioner
Euroveiling, with minimum commission for grower and buyer, offers maximum services. The auction also offers a range of buying and ordering options. These can be physical or digital, in the early morning or late evening, on site or at an external location or a mix of all of them. Whatever suits the grower or buyer. From an old-school clock sale visit (or digitally from the comfort of your armchair!)
in the early morning at the keenest market prices, to placing an order late at night via one of the commission agents. ‘Whatever channel the customer wants, we ensure that the flowers and plants are purchased at the best price. And of course, they are stored in optimal conditions so there will be no loss of quality. We do all this to maintain our reputation and put it into practice each and every day. And we hope to carry on doing so for a long time!’