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Richard Bonnet, New Fashion Flowers

Dutch greenhouse to double daffodil production in Thailand

Dutch daffodils in October? Yes, last week, the yellow version of this flower took center stage in Bangkok, Thailand. During the cremation ceremony of Thai king Bhumibol on October 26, 200,000 of these flowers were used, and the demand for next year is expected to skyrocket. "Next year we double the production, and we therefore need to add an additional greenhouse here in Ban Pong, Thailand. Also this greenhouse will be a Dutch one", explains Richard Bonnet, owner of New Fashion Flowers Limited, a major bulb company in Thailand.

The team of New Fashion Flowers with the picture of King Bhumibol and daffodils.

Daffodils in October
Having a daffodil flowering in October is unusual, so how was it possible for New Fashion Flowers to achieve this? "Together with Dutch bulb breeding company W.F. Leenen & Zn, we were able to prepare the crop. Leenen grew the daffodils in Australia and New Zealand, and treated the bulbs in the Netherlands in such a way that they would start blooming in September. They created an artificial winter by cooling them for 12 weeks in the Netherlands and for about 4 weeks in the cooling container on sea, on their way to Thailand. There, they were grown to finished flowers in our conditioned greenhouse that is managed by my brother-in-law, Dirk Thukrua."

Left to right: Jaco Leenen (WF Leenen & Zn BV), Nuth and Richard Bonnet (New Fashion Flowers) and Dirk Leenen (WF Leenen & Zn BV)

High demand
Since the passing of the Thai king, on October 13, the daffodil has become a very popular product. "After his death, the Thai people heard about the story that he, during his courtship, gave his girlfriend a bouquet of yellow daffodils every weekend. He was fond of daffodils, and for this reason, people started to create them out of paper to lay next to his portrait. They made daffodils out of paper as there were no real daffodils on the market", says Bonnet. And for this reason, Bonnet expects the demand for real daffodils to increase. "This year, we only produced daffodils for the cremation ceremony on October 26, but we expect to receive requests from consumers in the coming years. The king will be remembered on October 26, and as the Thai people have seen that there are daffodils available, they will certainly purchase them. For this reason, we decided to continue producing daffodils for next year and even double the production."

Extra greenhouse
This year, at their 2,000 m2 greenhouse, New Fashion Flowers was able to grow 200,000 daffodils, which is at the same time the maximum amount they can grow in this greenhouse. So, in order to realize a higher production, another greenhouse is needed and Bonnet decided to add another 5,000m2 used Dutch greenhouse at their location in Ban Pong. "We will remove this greenhouse from the location of W.F. Leenen & Zn and ship it in parts to Thailand. There, we will use it to test new varieties and to increase our production volume."

At WF Leenen & Zn BV in the Netherlands.

400th anniversary Netherlands-Thailand
And more daffodils will decorate an event in Thailand. "On December 1, a gala dinner for the Dutch embassy and the Thai Chamber of Commerce will be organized where the 400th anniversary between the Netherlands and Thailand will be celebrated. "The theme of the evening is white, and we will therefore supply white daffodils with a yellow goblet."

Foothold in Asia
For New Fashion Flowers, it all started at the Horti Asia in Bangkok, which took place in March 2015. Since then, New Fashion Flowers has gone through lot of new developments and is now one of the major bulb suppliers in Thailand. "At the Horti Asia, we introduced the King Bhumibol tulip, which boosted our tulip sales. Over the last years, we've expanded our assortment and are now representing two Dutch bulb suppliers: Van den Bos Flowerbulbs and Laan Tulips.

For more information
New Fashion Flowers
Richard Bonnet
E: [email protected]

W.F. Leenen & Zn BV
Jaco Leenen
Loosterweg 51f
2215 TM Voorhout
T: +31 252 212531
M: +316 2260 1173
F: +31 252 783190

E: [email protected]