Addenda is one of the first growers' associations established in the Netherlands managed by growers. Over the years, the association has become increasingly professional and now has a team of seven permanent employees who keep Addenda running. They also provide member growers with Addenda-branded plant material and have a wide range of Campanula, Hebe, and Maori plants.
But Addenda does more than that. "We cooperate with all parts of the chain and also manage many parts of the chain ourselves. It's a kind of interaction. Growers, breeders, propagators, and Addenda work together to bring the best possible products to market," says Peter Bresser, chain manager at Addenda.
From left to right; Rudolf Hopmans (grower and breeder with Addenda) and Peter Bresser (Chain Manager of Addenda) in the trial field with new hybrids at Natural Hopmans.
Breeders and plant genetics
Addenda also takes care of plant genetics and has breeders who make the plant material for them. One of these genetics suppliers is Rudolf Hopmans of Natuurlijk Hopmans, a breeder and Hebe grower affiliated with Addenda.
Rudolf once started as an arable farmer but got into garden plants around 2007 and then started growing Hebe. This introduced him to planting material and Addenda. It began on a small scale, but now his business has grown considerably, and he has also taken on the breeder role since 2018.
Partly due to his previous work experience as a breeder and study background in plant genetics, Rudolf saw a great future in Hebe and wanted to maintain Addenda's position as the best Hebe producer in the market.
"Addenda has been supplying high-level genetics for years and was one of the first to market a new Hebe variety. When we took over the breeder role, we immediately started professionally, hiring a breeder."
Rudolf is now in his fifth season as a breeder, for which he uses a small part of one of his greenhouses. Furthermore, Hebe is still being grown in abundance, so Rudolf is at both the beginning and the end of the production chain. As a result, he also knows what it is like to be affiliated with Addenda as a grower.
"If something is not going well for a grower, Addenda as a group tries to improve it for that particular grower. This has also made our market position stronger as a group, and a mix of indoor and outdoor production allows us to supply Hebe to consumers for a longer period in a year than competitors."
Outdoor field with Addenda Hebe in June at Kwekerij Natuurlijk Hopmans
Marketing and the chain
Peter Bresser, chain manager at Addenda, also previously worked in cutting production in Kenya and Portugal and has gained the necessary experience in the field. Therefore, keeping an eye on the production chain, from cutting production to sales, is second nature to him. But his job is much broader than that.
"From cutting guidance in Africa at the propagator to guiding rooters in the Netherlands and Denmark, to sending planting material to growers and providing guidance there too. Monitoring and assessing quality are also important for the chain. So it is basically translating information from the market, breeders, propagators, and growers to the rest of the chain so that it can be properly managed."
Supplying high-quality plant material has always been an essential part of Addenda. Meanwhile, value is also added before and after this step in the chain, which is good for returns. "From the creation of new plant material to the shop shelves. We try to influence every step."
"When developing new products, fulfilling consumer needs is our main objective. There are many things that matter to growers, but there are also things that matter to the market. Think about shelf life, discoloration, resistance, etc. Every year our breeders assess about 1,000 new hybrids, of which only the very best are selected."
So together within Addenda, they arrive at the best plant material and regularly look at areas for improvement in terms of efficiency, yield, and sustainability. "Because it is a closed chain, we can monitor everywhere, including sustainability. We have developed a sustainability plan for all growers, and ourselves, where crop protection is also being addressed. The plan is still improved annually where necessary."
Hebe Mucha - a new product group introduced by Addenda in 2021 - Mucha is characterized by the many flowers blooming above the leaves. Mucha is richly filled with purple flowers and fresh green foliage, creating a nice contrast.
Hebe Vinoa is an exclusive compact Hebe variety from Addenda with glossy leaves in a wine-red color combined with purple flower panicles of 3-4 cm. Introduced in 2020.
Last season was difficult for the market. Spring was not a great time in terms of sales, especially after the corona period when the sector was doing very well. Nevertheless, Addenda is not going under; on the contrary, it has grown compared to its competitors.
"A good position in the market, a unique product, and years of building our brand awareness. We are now reaping the benefits of that at Addenda. The products are well marketed, and we deliver a high-quality product. The Addenda name represents that, and customers know us and our product."
Improving returns for growers is a goal of Addenda. However, this does not mean that there will be big growth every year, but rather that you will see the benefits of it over time. This is especially notable during tough times.
"In good times and bad times, we communicate with each other, and together we get through it. It is exactly this focus on cooperation that we see as our added value. We think along with the end customers and are solution-oriented. Growers derive confidence from the strength of our group. They know us well and rely on us. So they can move forward in good spirits," says Peter Bresser.
Shelf appearance of Addenda Hebe in the garden center.
1771 RT, Wieringerwerf
Tel.: + 31 (0) 227 555 434