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'New digital choice for the floral industry'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand’s thriving floriculture production has been hampered by a monopoly until now. The launch of 4Mooi, a digital B2B floral trading platform has launched to transform the industry putting control back into the hands of growers and flower re-sellers.

4Mooi owners, Jason and Conny Kiteley, experience first-hand the difficulties caused by the auction system while operating their wholesale flower business Fresh Cut Flower Wholesalers. This was only exasperated during the two Covid lockdowns where the sector experienced uncontrolled fluctuations, seeing many florists fulfilling orders at a loss, and large amounts of excess stock going to waste.

The mainstay of flower trading in New Zealand is through a Dutch auction, in which the price starts high and works its way down. Bidders get only a few seconds to bid on the flowers before they are sold. Despite this, each Auction requires 3 to 4 hours of dedicated time investment and are difficult to predict. Very few consumers understand that the local friendly florist may be getting up at 4 or 4:30 am to attend auctions. We want to give them the certainty of supply and to give them their life back.

Focussing on the customer, 4Mooi also offers a curated selection of wholesale giftware and floral supplies, again efficiently connecting businesses.

The industry locally is estimated to be worth $70million, which incorporates a lot of very hard-working florists and growers. During the first Covid lockdown, "we thought we really need to create change - create a better way. Where growers and sellers can directly connect, cutting out the waste". And what better way to do this but online. Allowing products to be showcased at set prices and available to all flower resellers 24/7.

They have seen a trend of more trading bypassing the auction system. Critically, 4Mooi assists here with its reach, efficient processes and payment management. This enables Growers to focus on growing and Florists to focus on product creation and their customer.

With a lot of belief and patience, 4Mooi emerged and is starting to ramp up both sellers and buyers. The attractive offer is enticing new and emerging growers, because of the easy entry and simple no-risk business model. "We have growers coming forward with one or two varieties and a tight or fluctuating harvesting cycle," says Conny. Because of their timings and quantities, they can’t always get the auction system to work for them. The online marketplace allows them to not only offer products and build their profile but to test and research easily. "We are also understanding flower resellers needs better with emerging changes to demand".

The beauty of 4Mooi is that it’s transparent. You can see what others are selling and at what price, it creates a more even transactional landscape, without the volatility. It reduces freight movements, and therefore CO2, by suppliers sending goods directly to buyers. It creates more control and a better understanding of what buyers and sellers are working towards.

"I am immensely proud of 4Mooi and the journey we have undertaken," said Jason. "The support we’ve received has only reinforced the need for more choice. But also, the underlying intent to do things better, to make things easier for everyone in the industry".

Digital innovation has never smelt so good.

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