NL: "The Westland didn’t grow thanks to those growers isolated on their own little island"

In a series of portraits, Royal FloraHolland interviews members of the cooperation an entrepreneurs involved in the flower business. In this column, Freek Jansen (35), grower of indoor plants and flowering seasonal products in the Westland area, talks about the FPC balcony and terrace plants.

"Ten years ago, my twin brother and I took over the company from our father. A real family business, in other words. It is not as if I knew from an early age: this is what I am going to do. That came later, during my studies at HBO. Then my brother and I saw how beautiful and dynamic the horticultural sector is.

We are continuing the course which our father set with corporate social responsibility. Sustainability is high on our list of priorities. We are committed to this on all fronts and are conducting experiments. Informing consumers is also important to us, even if they do not buy plants directly from us. We hope that our brand will be adopted by exporters. Because their customers are asking for it again. So that we can better inform the consumer about all the things you can do with your plant. And what kind of care the plant needs. We make the connection between our nursery and that beautiful plant in their living room. Plants we are very proud of.

You can only profile yourself in this way if you tell the story of your company well, I think. Communicating your pride still happens too little in our sector. I think that more growers should be allowed to show their identity. Show what makes you and us unique!

The cooperative provides the connections that we cannot do without: between growers and exporters, for example. It is a large organization. Sometimes I think, in proper Westland dialect: let's step on it. Then things proceed more slowly than we would like. But anyway, I then say: put your shoulders to the wheel and we'll make something of it. Of course, major changes cannot always be achieved in one go.

I have been with the FPC Chamber Plants and Flowering Season Products for over a year now. I just think it's very important to speak to colleagues. And to function as a source of information for our product group throughout Royal FloraHolland. If necessary, we can really put some weight behind it. Of course, I am busy enough with our company. So I wouldn't have to dedicate myself to the cooperative in this way. But growers who remain on their own little island, that's not how Westland grew. To keep our sector healthy and future-proof, we have to keep connecting."

Source: Royal FloraHolland

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