VLAM looks back on a successful princely mission to Britain

From 8 to 12 May, the Belgian economic mission to Britain was led by HRH Princess Astrid. The agro-food sector was well represented in this, and VLAM had developed an extensive program for the agro-food and ornamental horticultural companies that traveled with. They look back with satisfaction afterwards, the VLAM task a success.

On Monday, there was a bilateral meeting with NFU (the British Farmers’ Union), together with Minister Crevits, Boerenbond chairman Lode Ceyssens and VLAM. Subsequently, there was a consultation between Minister Crevits and Minister Prentice, her British counterpart, to which VLAM was also invited. Here, among other things, fishing was high on the agenda.

The highlight of the mission was the festive opening of the VLAM Garden in the middle of the park at the Royal Chelsea Hospital. The garden was officially opened at this iconic place on Monday by Princess Astrid, Minister Crevits, General Bradshaw from the Chelsea pensioners and VLAM director Filip Fontaine. Under the eye of a delegation of florists, the ribbon was cut in the original way with garden shears. The garden was designed by the prestigious garden architect firm Peter Wirtz. A resolute choice was made for Belgian patented selections of, among other things, shrub roses, perennials, holly, hydrangeas and solitary shrubs. The aim is to anchor our Flemish tradition in this way and to leave a green ‘signature’ in London that represents the Flemish flower sector.

Opening garden
During the high-level event hosted by Fevia, Filip Fontaine emphasized the quality of our products in the presence of Princess and Prime Minister Jambon. The administration caused by Brexit should not deter small exporters. Under the motto ‘better a close neighbor than a distant friend’, Fontaine stressed the importance of good trade relations.

During the subsequent reception in the presence of HRH Princess Astrid, guests were invited by VLAM to enjoy our strawberries and potato products.

On Tuesday, VLAM went on a retail tour with the Flemish companies from the agro-food sector that traveled with. Almost all dealers were visited with local experts. In addition to the store visits, there were also several meetings with store managers and marketers. This gave companies a clear picture of the broad UK retail spectrum, from discounters to high-end retailers. The trip was much appreciated by the Flemish companies and federations from agriculture, the fruit and vegetable and meat sector.

Very early Wednesday morning (03.30) New Covent Gardens wholesale market was visited with a number of businesses. There were many Belgian fruits and vegetables to discover here. The dealers were very happy with the quality.

Thanks to partners
VLAM was present at the princely mission together with its partners Fevia, Boerenbond, AVBS and FIT and was therefore able to highlight the participation of Flemish companies and represent the sectors even better.

For example, VLAM was a speaker at the high-level food seminar during the mission led by Fevia, and VLAM, Boerenbond and their British colleague NFU were able to pay an inspiring company visit to a large agricultural company in the region. It brought new insights into Britain’s post-Brexit approach and their support for the agricultural sector.

The FIT brought together the UK port authorities in consultation with all stakeholders in Flanders, including VLAM, to better streamline the post-Brexit approach and to get to know the UK’s plans for the future. Finally, AVBS made the necessary know-how and support available for the construction of the garden.

Filip Fontaine: “VLAM is convinced that the cooperation between all these partners leads to a strengthening of each other’s activities. Good coordination in advance between our partners ensured that the agri – food and flower farming campaigns reinforced each other and were at the top of the agenda. For three days. products and relationships provide the best guarantees for the future. “

Source: FLAME

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