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Canada: Preparations for visit Dutch Royal Couple in full swing

“Making sure your company looks clean and sweeping the floors is the easy part. All the security preparations, the protocols, the catering, the communication with the Embassies in Ottawa and Washington, the RCMP and the Regional Police is something we obviously don’t do every day”, says Mike Van Steekelenburg, co-owner and Marketing Director of Cosmic Plants Inc. From May 27-29 the Dutch Royal Couple, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, will visit Canada and join in on parts of an economic trade mission with delegates from the Dutch agricultural industry. On May 28 they will pay a visit to CosMic Plants Inc., an orchid greenhouse in Beamsville - Ontario with owners of Dutch descent. "At the moment, the preparations are in full swing. You’d almost forget that you have a day to day business to run".

Upper left: Dutch Royal Couple, Upper right: Inventory with blooming plants. Bottom left: Transport vehicles CosMic Plants and bottom right: Mike and Neil van Steekelenburg, owners of CosMic Plants.

It is a busy period for the owners of Cosmic Plants. "Next to the fact that the company should look spotless, quite a preparation is needed for this important day" says Van Steekelenburg. The security services, for example, have been around almost weekly for the last 4 weeks to check the facility and the area and the Embassy personel has visited Cosmic Plants several times to go over the tight planning. "Everything is planned out to the minute. Moreover, there are instructions for our staff and everyone else who will be present that day. Besides that, there is a lot of media attention. The Royal Dutch Embassy in Ottawa though, is really helpful with it all."

The goal of the visit of the Dutch Royal couple is to thank the Canadians for their pivotal role in the liberation of the Netherlands 70 years ago and to strengthen the trade relations between the Netherlands and Canada. The theme of the visit is: 'Two countries one spirit'. "This also counts for the horticulture industry" says Van Steekelenburg. In this industry, the Dutch and Canadians work closely together. "Many techniques used in Canadian greenhouses come from the Netherlands and many growers have business partners in the Netherlands."

On May 28, after visiting a Canadian University, the Royal Couple will pay a visit to Cosmic Plants in the afternoon. They will receive a 20 min tour from the owners, Mike and Neil. During this tour, all growing processes of the orchid will be presented. "We will show how we start the growing process from the tissue culture plants, to the planting at the potting machine/robot and afterwards, the part of the greenhouse where the orchids are grown to finished blooming plants." That is where - after the tour - Mike and Neil will host a high tea, right at the inventory system full of colour. During this high tea, local entrepreneurs from Dutch heritage have the possibility to share their horticulture experiences in Canada with the Royal Couple and with the participants in the trade mission.

For more information
CosMic Plants Inc.
4228 Maple Grove Road
Beamsville, Ontario L0R 1B1
T: +1 905 562 9389
F: +1 905 562 9390
Email: [email protected]