The Unique Flower Auction At Aalsmeer

The Aalsmeer Flower Auction or Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer in Dutch, takes place in the town of Aalsmeer in North Holland near Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, and is by far the busiest and largest floral market in the world. Everyday 20 million flowers arrive here from all over the world. Whilst a large majority of the flowers sold here are from the Netherlands, many come from far off places like Ecuador, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The warehouse itself, where the trading takes place, is the largest building by footprint in the world, covering 518,000 square meters or 243 acres.

Flowers arrive the night before the auction, at around 10 PM, and are cooled and sorted during the night. The auction starts early morning. Carts of flowers are presented to the buyers, one at a time, while they bid on them. The flowers get bought and distributed almost immediately. By late afternoon, all the flowers will have moved out and the warehouse prepared for the next round.