Andre Westerdrop

NL: Low prices cut flowers? Not for delphinium!

Prices for cut flowers in The Netherlands have been under pressure in recent weeks, but not for delphiniums. Andre Westendorp, who grows the stems in the open air on a modest acreage near Emmen, The Netherlands, is content: "We are very pleased. There are many orders and if there are many orders, that means cash is coming in."

Next to Delphinium, Westendorp also cultivates some hellebores, but now all the attention goes to the first one. According to him, this exclusive product - the supply is limited and stems are relatively costly - is gaining popularity. With his enthusiasm for the product and its own breeding program (the name Kissi is only used for these varieties), it is likely that he has a role in it.

In principle everything is auctioned. When the trade has a demand for the product, one is willing to pay well for it. If there are few orders, then that price may be slightly less. "But so far it's fine this year. At the same time, this is also one of the times when it has to happen. The season has just started and usually has two peaks: now, and in about 10 weeks. In between, it is important to sell the product gradually."

Inside vs outside
Delphiniums are grown both inside and outside. Andre chooses - after having experimented with different crops - for the full soil. According to the grower, delphiniums grown outdoors are of a more potent quality: the stems are firmer and the colors are brighter. However, you are more weather-dependent and you cannot stretch the season, but it is still possible to guarantee a stable and regular supply. Even now, when according to Dutch standards it is particularly dry. "Another stroke of luck is that we just invested in irrigation last winter. We bought a Priva computer and doubled the number of drop hoses."

Florists clock
All products are auctioned, as mentioned before. This happens to a large extent on export clocks, but for a small part also at the Florists Clock in Naaldwijk. This clock will close soon, and Andre is fiercely against it. "For us it was a beautiful way to sell just a few buckets and small quantities of slightly deviating flowers. On this clock we were always able to sell the flowers nicely. In Naaldwijk, one is looking for exclusivity more often and is willing to pay more for it. Why it has to stop – it’s a great pity."

For more information:
Westendorp vof Delphinium en Helleborus
Andre Westendorp
Hoofdweg 19 b
7871 TB Klijndijk
T: +31(0)591 580043
M: +31(0)6 58873932

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