In the Da Lat region in Vietnam in a ten hectare greenhouse called Apollo, Taiwanese company Royal Base grows both cut orchids and pot orchids. They sell their products under the brand name Sunpride.
South-East Asian Market
“We started around 2003,” says marketing and sales manager Robert Wang, who focuses on the South-East Asian market. “Now we have got a whole line of products, from flask plant, to young plants, pot flowers, and cut flowers."
Around 60 percent of their cut orchids is exported to Japan, which is Royal Base’s main market. There is a huge market for orchids.
Robert Wang on the HortEx Vietnam 2018
Cut Orchids and Pot Orchids
About fifty percent of their cut orchids are white, the other fifty percent consists of all kind of different colors, like red, yellow, and other special spot or stripe pattern. “The customer likes different colors and different flowers, but our biggest product is the white cut flower. In Japan it is used for funerals, for example.” The other 40 percent is sold locally and worldwide.
The pot orchids find their way to Dubai, Vietnam and the rest of South East Asia. “At this moment, for our company, the pot flower sales is not as big as the cut flower demand,” Robert says. That is for the simple reason that they last longer after purchase. About 30 percent of the total production of Royal Base consists of pot flowers.
The company is one of the biggest and most modern companies in the region. “We have got plans to expand our greenhouse. We have ten hectares now, but maybe next year we will have 12 hectares.”
In order to grow orchids in Vietnam there are some challenges to work with. The humidity is too high, for instance and this is why Royal Base invests in modern techniques. “We have to make it dry so the fungi and bacteria won’t grow so easily and we can grow a better quality product.”
At the HortEx Vietnam trade show in Vietnam the company showed some special orchids.
Robert tells us about his favorite flower - a new one in the collection - that is spray-painted gold and silver. It takes two hours per stem to paint them delicately, and it’s sold to niche markets in Dubai and Japan. Royal Base sells their products via wholesale markets, but that is not suitable for the high end products like this.
Sheena pot plant
The same goes for their newest pot plant, presented in a luxury package, easy to carry away. The variety is from Japan, bred by a Japanese breeder, Sheena. "They let us grow their flower to find out how it is holding in Vietnam. To sell them we want to connect with the final customers."
In Vietnam it is difficult to find the connection with the department store. The market in Vietnam is growing, but the rules and the channels are not ready for it,” Robert explains. "We invest in our contacts in the industry to reach out to the final customer as well and build on our Sunpride brand to open up marketing this way."
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Royal Base Corporation