An Interview With André Vreugdenhil

All you want to know about the world of Begonias

The commercial director of Koppe Begonia, André Vreugdenhil, is always looking for new ways how to make it easier for begonia growers. In this interview, Andre gives an insight into the world of creating, selecting, and marketing begonias globally. He also shows the three introductions of Koppe, which will be shown to professionals in floriculture at the Flower Trials 2022.

André Vreugdenhil: “I see the role of Koppe Begonia mainly as a facilitating one; we give market insights and help growers perform. From the trade viewpoint, what are they looking for, and how to anticipate their wishes and expectations as a grower, but we also have lots of consumer information, about what a potential begonia buyer wants to see when purchasing flowering or green potted plants as begonias.”

Koppe Begonia Creates 40K Seedlings Every Year
The company Koppe Begonia cross-breeds around 40,000 new seedlings every year. Of which this year only three varieties will be introduced to the markets.

Begonia Halo
In their search for the best red begonia plant, this is exactly what they are looking for. A plant that grows faster whilst needing less warmth and light, gives a grower the advantage of up to two weeks less production time. The variety ‘Halo’ which will be introduced at the coming Flower Trials is such a variety.

Begonia Rana and Appleblossom
At the Flower Trials, there will be two other introductions. One is from the famous Koppe Rilona segment, called Rana. An orange begonia with a pink-red edge around the flower that has the advantage of growing compact naturally, not needing inhibitors at all, or just a very little. 

Flower Trials 2022
At the Flower Trials, Koppe shows the facilitating role they have in the whole process in the world of begonias. Besides the fact they give important market information and their expectations for the future, they also give cultivation advice on how to grow, and which variety to choose, for which purpose.

Next Halve of 2022
André’s expectation for the coming months is that, although he sees it has been a very good start to the year until March, it will be a bit more challenging for the third and fourth quarters of 2022. Because of the uncertainty about the markets in Eastern Europe due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the demand for profit in getting plants has diminished quite a bit. This is also reflected in the price level. And then, the risen prices for resources in general, next to the rises in gas prices, also make an impact.

André Vreugdenhil continues: “Next to this I also believe that how consumers are buying flowering plants has changed a bit. People are happy to go out to visit restaurants and bars again, making the need for flowering plants less important to them with regards to the last two years."

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