The basis for FleuraMetz was laid by a few remarkable pioneers in the Dutch flower trade.
At the end of the 1960s, Ton Zonneveld and the brothers Jan and Co Berkhout started Berkhout-Zonneveld flower company at Beverwijk auction, exporting to wholesalers in Bremen and Hamburg. In the mid-seventies, the rapidly expanding company, which was now called Fleura, relocated to Aalsmeer. In 1978, under the management of Hein Kalter in Hannover, the first Cash & Carry opened under the name H.B.I. (Holland Blumen Import). Interestingly, this was in fact an acquisition of one of Fleura’s wholesale customers. who was unable to fulfil its obligations. Under the management of Co, who looked after the Dutch company Fleura, and Hein, who was leading H.B.I. the turnover and numbers of H.B.I. facilities in Germany grew steadily.
At the end of the 1970s, Gerard Metz started delivering cut flowers to florists in Antwerp from his base in the former Westland Flower Auction (the Netherlands). In the mid-eighties, trade in Antwerp started to stagnate, so he had his eyes set on Paris where he supplied cut flowers and pot plants directly to the florist, bypassing the local wholesaler. The company started to expand and by the end of the 1980s, Gerard Metz B.V. had approximately 250 customers, making him one of the larger operators in the Parisian region.