The programme consisted of a floral arrangement competition, exhibition and a training workshop with floriculture experts from the Dutch agricultural vocational training institute Wellant College, in keeping with this year’s King’s Day theme of floriculture.
The programme was organized parallel to the Embassy of The Kingdom of the Netherlands’ National Day, King’s Day - the birthday of the King of the Netherlands, His Royal Highness Willem-Alexander van Oranje-Nassau. It was attended by H.E. Joanne Doornewaard, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka and Maldives, consultants and expert florists from the Netherlands and Sri Lankan professionals from the floricultural industry.
The event commenced with a keynote address by Ambassador Doornewaard. “The Netherlands is known for its expertise and innovation regarding horticulture and there is a lot of potential when it comes to collaborations between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands,” said Ambassador Doornewaard. “Events like this embody the motto of the strong partnership between the two countries: ‘Sri Lanka – The Netherlands: Old Friends – New Trends’.”
30 participants took part in a floral arrangement competition during the morning session. This was facilitated by floral consultants from the Netherlands, who challenged competitors to create arrangements that melded Sri Lankan and Dutch style. Following this competition, a training workshop for 36 young professionals focused on improving professional capacities aligned with international standards. All participants received an official certificate of participation at the end of the programme.
Floriculture is characteristic of the Dutch economy, with the Netherlands leading the world market with a 50% share in global floricultural products. The industry has flourished for decades, specifically since the mid-1970s when the production and distribution of cut flowers burgeoned in the market. The country’s knowledge and capacity in the industry makes it a viable partner to help Sri Lanka foster its own floricultural industry as a player in the global market.
“Sri Lanka and the Netherlands are long term partners in the economy,” noted Ambassador Doornewaard. “The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands facilitates multiple projects to transfer Dutch knowledge and technical knowhow in order to contribute to the growth of the Sri Lankan agricultural sector. This is one area where we see significant potential for growth and collaboration.”