It takes time
“We start with a very small number of mother plants. Building up the volume takes time. We are now in the process of selecting varieties which must produce cuttings within three years. Flower trials, growing mother plants and possibly improving through selection along the way is time consuming. Don’t forget that with our Belgian Mums you only have one chance per year to pick the really good ones! You cannot try again next week. Having good quality mother plants and picking the correct cuttings is extremely important. We must therefore closely monitor on our premises and, if necessary, make adjustments. At some point the greenhouses in Kenya and Brazil are almost full. How many cuttings a mother plant produces, depends on the vigour of the variety. The number of mother plants we have to supply depends on the amount of cuttings our customers have requested. It is a very difficult task to plan this perfectly months in advance! That is why we ask to order in time. We do our utmost to provide our customers with what they have ordered within the agreed time frame.”
When the cuttings arrive in Oostnieuwkerke (Belgium) for sale, Lore takes over. “I look after the quality, transport and rooting of the cuttings. The cuttings arriving here undergo random checks. They must be exactly 3 centimetres long and are sorted according to weight. They must be uniform!
This is a logical consequence of the automation in the sector. The cuttings are planted mechanically at several of our customers' premises which require the cuttings to be identical. Our cuttings must grow first and then flower afterwards. Therefore, no flower buds may be present. All these aspects are examined visually.” The inspected cuttings (possibly after rooting) go to the customers, although a number of them also flower in Oostnieuwkerke.” This allows us to maintain to our cultivation experience and ensure the continuity of our professional activities throughout the year. At the end of the season, all the flower beds in the R&D department are cleaned and then it is time to grow new mother plants. The greenhouses are systematically filled and the whole process of propagation is repeated.”
Fax: +32 (0)51 22 22 49