Young plant nursery Vreugdenhil Young Plants has recently acquired a new greenhouse in the Dutch town of Bergschenhoek. Underneath more than four hectares of glass, the picking vegetable plants for the concept Pick & Joy are grown. After the 10th week, those plants will make their way onto the windowsill or terrace, but also into the vegetable garden as the current concept is now also consciously focusing on that market segment. Chantal van Kester from the marketing department provides us with an update.
A look around the new greenhouse in Bergschenhoek. Vreugdenhil Young Plants searched for a large contiguous glass surface and could, after an update, start growing Pick & Joy it in this greenhouse.
Not only did the year mark the use of the new greenhouse, but also the addition of new cocktail tomatoes, basil plants, and a new strawberry plant to the Pick & Joy product line. After the first introduction of a picking tomato plant in 2005, the product line has expanded to include over twenty different varieties. Twenty-two, to be exact.
The past year was a good one for the concept, which should not come as too much of a surprise after all of the attention given to healthy and locally produced food during the corona time. After all, there is nothing more locally grown than a plant from your own windowsill or garden. “The product got taken right out of our hands. That’s how fast it went”, Chantal reminisces. “After a somewhat slow start, things started to run smoothly.”
The first plants of this season will be brought to market in the 10th week. “This will be done in small quantities, even though we have managed to scale up the season throughout the years by starting earlier and ending later. Especially after the beginning of April, larger quantities will become available.”
All picking vegetables are MPS-A+, MPS-GAP, MPS-SQ, GlobalGAP, and GRASP certified and are grown in a recyclable plastic pot.
Vegetable garden market
Around ten percent of the plants from the product line end up on the Dutch market. The rest is sold in a majority of European countries. Traditionally, the plants know how to find their way to the at-home consumers, where the plant is placed in the kitchen or on the windowsill. The picking vegetables are also suited for outside on the balcony or terrace. “But we have also been moving into the vegetable garden market”, says Chantal. “Just like the large fruit and vegetable buyers, consumers buy young plants from us which they then continue to grow at home, so they don’t have to seed and cultivate themselves.”
The new greenhouse will be filled steadily over the next few weeks, though we still have to wait and see what the season's start will bring. In many countries, garden centers are still closed. “Luckily we have a diverse range of distribution channels and our product can also be found in supermarkets and hardware stores. We have also had a lot of pre-sales already, but it always remains suspenseful to wait and see how things will unfold.”
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Vreugdenhil Young Plants