“Starline Flowers steps into a larger coat”

A couple of years ago, we spoke with Joost Petri about the growth and flourishing of his then-new venture, Starline Flowers, which primarily focuses on the import of Italian seasonal flowers. Are things still moving up, and is the trade from Naples and its surroundings still booming?

“Product availability has increased,” says Joost, “but that has two sides. It means new opportunities, but it also means it becomes easier for others to bring goods here. There are many brokers who consolidate products from growers and sometimes even offer them at the level of 1 Danish trolley.”

Undoubtedly, this is interesting for some but, as can also be observed, not always. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have a raison d’être, of course. The fact is that our brand recognition is growing, we continue steadily on the path set out and are consolidating. And we’re doing quite well, I would say. Our share of Italian trade has tripled or maybe even quadrupled in the past two years.”

Growing pains
That’s great, but it also brings logistical problems. “You have to keep more people satisfied, on this side as well as that side,” Joost laughs. “For that reason, we’ve recently moved to a larger box within the auction hall. Additionally, Wesly, with whom I started the company, has recently decided to do something else, so our team has to step up even more.”

Building Relationships
Where Starline has an advantage over the competition, according to Joost, is with its connections on the ground. “As far as possible, we try to advise our suppliers regarding cultivation, gradations, and quantities. Obviously, that’s not easy, but we’re building a good relationship, being a reliable partner. Through this, growers are also more willing to listen to your questions and advice.”

Work to be done
Currently, the trader is at the tail end of the spring trade. “While January is traditionally a bad month for everyone, it’s very busy for us. Now that the Dutch flowers are starting to come in, things are slowing down for us again, and the challenge is to attract enough trade. The fact is that in recent years, we experienced a quieter period from now until September, and one of our challenges is to change this.”

30% more
Finally, there’s no lack of ambition. “We want to grow bigger and bring in 30% more next season. At the same time, costs are rising; rent, new staff, and all necessary expenditures are increasing. Therefore, we also need a larger volume. In addition, we are a growing company in many respects and are therefore weighing up investments to be made. The main goal is to consolidate, build our brand recognition, and always guarantee a tight and solid product.”

For more information:
Starline Flowers
Joost Petri
[email protected]