Robin van der Meer and Lisanne Fabriek, Florist Holland:

"Merger will bring us a lot of advantages"

From September 2019, Florist Holland and HilverdaKooij will merge. The new name isn't clear yet (although it will probably be a combination of both names). What is clear, is that the merger should increase the sales and market share of their own varieties and that florists will have to play a major role in that. Lisanne Fabriek and Robin van der Meer of Florist Holland tell us more.

Lisanne and Robin among the gerberas

"We're marketing our products in a whole new way", Lisanne says. "We do this by developing new strategies, trying to look further than grower and trade. We try to get through to the final links in the chain, all the way to the florist, because the florist has a lot of important information for us as breeders. Initial sales figures come from the growers or through exporters/wholesale, but the florist can tell us more about the varieties. Which varieties are doing well, are more exclusive varieties in demand, which products have potential? The exporter is our friend, but due to the lower amounts they might not want to order the exclusive varieties the florist wants to use to distinguish themselves. Also, the florist has a better view of regional differences, and based on that we can adjust the introduction policy. Finally, we expect to be able to tell more through the florist and to give inspiration about using the gerbera, for instance that the well-known wire hasn't been needed for a long time now.”

Breeder combines market and cultivation information
In addition to the focus on the florist, partnering will also combine a lot of market knowledge. "If we want to know how our varieties are performing, we'll have to go after it ourselves," Robin says. "At florists and in the trade, we collect a lot of information about the market, like we do at growers regarding cultivation. By combining that market information with the grower's knowledge of cultivation, we get the tools to breed even better varieties. Now as Florist Holland, and after the merger with the HilverdaKooij assortment as well."

Pim Vork

Implementing improvements
Finally, the cooperation between Florist Holland and HilverdaKooij is a concrete consolidation in comparison with the competition. "Customers don't just switch to another provider. On the one hand that's good, it means they have faith. On the other hand it hinders innovation and introduction of new varieties, especially because the gerbera market only has two other large suppliers. That sometimes makes it difficult to convince the market that our product is even better. Which it is, naturally," Robin laughs. "By merging with HilverdaKooij and with the bigger range we'll present, it will be easier to move existing and new customers."

Stein Schouten

These two changes, the merger and the strong focus on the florist, are to guarantee sustainable growth for the new company and also create new opportunities to introduce more new varieties.

For more information:
Florist Holland B.V.
Dwarsweg 15
1424 PL De Kwakel
T: +31 (0)297 328 229

HilverdaKooij B.V.
Mijnsherenweg 15
1424 CA De Kwakel
+31 (0)297 38 20 38

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