For two years now, De Ruiter has been trialing their varieties at Anniroses in Tabacando. They moved to this location because of the altitude. "We wanted to bring all varieties to the conditions most farms are in", says Juan Pablo Rengifo, Sales Manager at De Ruiter Ecuador Roses. Currently, they are building a new office and expect it to be finished in about three months. FloralDaily had the opportunity to check out their new and differently laid out test and show greenhouse and learn more about their selection process.

Show and trial greenhouse 
The show and test greenhouse of De Ruiter is based at the 17 ha Ecuadorian rose farm Anniroses in Tabacando. It covers an area of 1.6 ha and is located at an altitude of 2,900 meters above sea level. The altitude was one of the main reasons for their move. "At our previous location, we were at an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level, an altitude that is lower than that on which most farms are based - 70 percent of the production area of roses is at an altitude of 2,900 meters. So, in order to show them how the varieties will grow at the majority of farms, we decided to look for a location with a higher altitude." Now, they are trialing and showcasing their varieties on a higher altitude, at Anniroses, and are currently building their office at this location. 

From left to right: Örjan Hulshof, Heather Macaluso of SAF (also attending the Expoflores tour), two rose growers from Mexico, María Fernanda Chauca of Expoflores, Oscar Peters, Juan Pablo Rengifo and Juan Jose Salas of De Ruiter.

Differently laid out test and show greenhouse
The layout of the test and show greenhouse of De Ruiter is a bit different. "Usually, the commercial varieties and codes are presented separately; the commercial varieties in the show greenhouse and the codes in the trial greenhouse", explains De Ruiter's Director Oscar Peters. "In this greenhouse, we decided to plant them interchangeably and therefore open up a bit of our process to the ones visiting us." 

And this transparency is also visible when seeing the beds. All the specs - like color, head size, stem length productivity and so on - of the variety in the bed are listed on a display at the beginning of the bed. Moreover, also a bar chart of the length distribution is visible on this display. "It shows the productivity in percentage per length." 

Selection process
So, when visiting the show and trial greenhouse, the selection process is ongoing. Annually, from the 100,000 crossings made in the Netherlands, approximately 3,500 codes are trialed in this greenhouse and usually 10 to 15 varieties remain, explains Peters. "It is a tremendous process of 6 to 7 years on average." 

Oscar Peters explaining the selection process

And, the 'scary' thing is that it is not about what you select, but what you throw away. "It might have been a winner." So, to avoid such situations, De Ruiter has got into more interaction with the chain and its growers. "When you understand the chain, it will result in a better portfolio."

Juan Pablo Rengifo showing Born Free, a new red rose variety that was introduced recently. 

Marketing concepts
After selecting, trialing and commercializing the right varieties, De Ruiter's job is not done. Over the last years, they focused more on pushing their varieties towards the end of the chain and created marketing concepts around their varieties. For the South American varieties, for example, they created the 4x4 concept - consisting of four main colors (red, white, yellow, pink) - and for the East African market the "Colour" big five concept - starting with De Ruiter's five successful Red rose varieties in East Africa, today in Kenya they also have the white, yellow, pink and orange Big Five. "In line with what De Ruiter stands for, creating flower business, it is, next to strategizing with our stakeholders on future global market trends, essential to introduce marketing concepts", says Örjan Hulshof, Sales and Marketing Manager at De Ruiter.

De Ruiter and its concepts will also be present at the IFTF in Vijfhuizen,the Netherlands. During this exhibition that takes place from November 7-9, many of their varieties will be on show and displayed per continent in a 147 m2 open stand design where De Ruiter welcomes their guests during three days. "We have created a static and creative stand design where beside growers also wholesale companies, importers, retail companies and flower stores feel drawn to take a look at the products, concepts and designs while enjoying a snack and a drink." 

For more information
De Ruiter