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Cacti Youngplants back in the succulent market

"We are happy to be back in the succulent market as a family business," says Pieter Koen of Cacti Youngplants. Earlier this year, this cacti young plant supplier took over the succulent production portfolio of Dümmen Orange, which decided to focus on breeding its own genetics. This article is more about Cacti Youngplants, the developments in the market, and their future plans.

Pieter Koen at Plantarium|Groen Direkt 2023, the Netherlands

"Our blood runs green"
Cacti Youngplants was established by Wander Tuinier in 2019 and is currently running it together with Pieter Koen and Wim Braam. They initially focused on the production of unrooted cacti plants and today ship them by sea- and airfreight to customers all over the globe, with their main focus on the US, Canada, and Europe. The men are born into horticultural families and have 40+ years of experience in the ornamental industry.

When looking at the succulent business, Wander has many years of experience already. In 2001, he set up his own business, Wander Tuinier BV, that was specialized in the production and sales of unrooted succulent plants. He set up a young plant production facility in Zimbabwe, and after running the business for more than a decade, he decided to sell the running business activities and IP portfolio to Dümmen Orange in 2016.

But succulents remained a deep-rooted passion of Wander, and when Dümmen Orange decided to focus on breeding new unique genetics, Wander and his team decided to take over Dümmen Orange's exclusive production contract with Zimflora in Zimbabwe, which produce starting material for succulents. So, since June 1, 2023, Cacti Youngplants is also offering succulent young plants to professional growers. "This addition boosted the growth of Cacti Young plants. We now have an assortment of 350+ items."

Wim Braam and Wander Tuinier at Cultivate'13, United States

Zimbabwe: Dry climate for strong succulent cuttings
Cacti Youngplants has committed production partners in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Zimbabwe. All suppliers are MPS-ABC certified, and Zimflora is among the first succulent propagators that received the MPS-GAP certificate, Pieter explains. The production at Zimflora currently accounts for about 50% of their young plants. "It has a very dry climate, which is ideal to grow succulent young plants."

Wander established Zimflora in 2005 together with his Zimbabwean business partners Conrad and Nicki Archer, building it from the ground. Over the years, the production location expanded and is currently feeding 250 Zimbabwean families. At the same time, a daycare and school have been set up, and they even have their own soccer team. On top of that, they are also continuously looking for environmentally friendly solutions. "We are, for example, looking at lowering our carbon footprint. Currently, many young plants are shipped by air, but we are also looking into the options to increase our shipments via sea, which is not only a more environmentally friendly option but also a cheaper option."

Zimflora in Zimbabwe. Click here for the enlarged picture

Short communication lines
Wander is not only familiar with the succulents industry and Zimflora but also the client base, which already existed before the takeover in 2016. And according to Pieter, their clients will also enjoy their return. As we continue to work with Dümmen Orange in breeding, our clients cannot only enjoy the newest and best varieties on the market, communication lines are also very short. We are only with three, so if you call the company, you will talk to one of us right away."

Succulent industry
But how is the succulent market doing? Pieter: "Over the last 5-10 years, it has been growing rapidly. Before Covid, demand was very high but decreased after Covid due to the high transportation costs and decreased buying power. Since then, the demand is fluctuating but increasing. People are looking for new varieties, so a broad assortment of good products is essential. And that's something we can deliver. We are big in a niche market. We are able to customize orders, and we know what's going on in the market to advise our growers." Besides this assortment importance, quality is a very important topic. Pieter: "With our production locations in different climates, we produce the highest quality cuttings of succulents of the market. Therefore, our customers also find their way (back) to us. And we will keep this high quality as standard, of course!"

Future plans
Besides expanding their social and environmentally friendly activities, they are also continuously working on increasing their assortment with new varieties as well as new crops. "A new special cactus variety, hoya, and interesting green foliage products, for example, fits the succulent assortment very well, besides the fact that we are looking into new crops as well."

For more information:
Cacti Younplants
Pieter Koen (production and logistics)
Email: [email protected]

Wander Tuinier (sales worldwide)
Email: [email protected]

Wim Braam (sales North America)
Email: [email protected]