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Cooperation plant grower & Paardekooper horti division:

Gebr. Valstar presents a new packaging line for its premium brand Rhythm of Nature

Dutch tropical plant grower Gebr. Valstar revived its Rhythm of Nature brand with the launch of a new packaging line. In cooperation with Paardekooper's horti division, a 'custom-made' transport box and sleeve has been designed.

From left to right, Frank Helmus, Marcel van der Knaap, and Mischa Groothuizen.

"The Rhythm of Nature brand has been around for about ten years, but you can say it got a bit dusty," Mischa Groothuizen, Sales Manager at Gebr. Valstar says. "In collaboration with an external design agency and in close cooperation with the horti team at Paardekooper, who have been our regular packaging supplier for years, we sat down and designed an entirely new look."

No concessions to load factor
The next requirement was functionality. Calathea has big leaves colored in the most fantastic colors and patterns but can also be fragile. In short, a box should protect the plant but at the same time not compromise on loading capacity. Moreover, all pot sizes - from the small 12 and 14 cm to the large 17, 19, and even 21 cm - must fit into standard sizes. "Whereas transport boxes are normally 40 or 50 cm high, or for larger plants 70 or 80 cm, here we went with 45 and 75 cm," Frank Helmus, business developer at Paardekooper, explains. "With these sizes, the plants are optimally protected, and exactly five smaller or four tall boxes can be placed on a Danish trolley."

FSC certified
Next, sustainability of production and distribution is a key issue. The pros and cons of cardboard versus plastic have been debated for years, but the fact is that plastic has negative associations for many consumers. Not only that, more and more countries are taxing plastic imports, such as Germany and Spain. By replacing the plastic tray with a cardboard box, you accommodate customers in those countries. Mischa: "All the cardboard we use is FSC-certified, which guarantees sustainable use of raw materials." Frank adds that Paardekooper also has a wide neutral range in FSC cardboard, such as Euro boxes, Aqua boxes, and blank Danish boxes.

Display function
Finally, the sleeve, but certainly also the box, is important at the shop. The range of calatheas - Valstar produces over 20 different varieties at three locations, collectively covering 10 - 12 hectares - is sold in two lines: the 'basic brand' Living and the 'premium brand' Rhythm of Nature. The new packaging line is exclusively meant for the premium brand Rhythm of Nature. How the plant is finally presented to the consumer is different for each customer: some put it in the spotlights, others prefer to leave it in the sleeve or even in the box. For the latter group, the box is designed so that the front can easily be taken out (the so-called 'perforation window'), turning the box itself into display packaging.

Paardekooper is a 'total supplier' in the field of packaging. Not just cardboard and sleeves but also ceramics, glassware, and added value products, it serves a wide range of clients throughout the chain, from plant breeders to florists. It is also specialized in customer-specific packaging, seeking a unique look and/or functionality. "From purchasing to production and from design to stock management, we have a lot of knowledge and expertise in-house," Marcel van der Knaap, account manager at Paardekooper, says. "We also manage the stock for Gebr. Valstar: we keep stock, and once the bottom is in sight, we notify the grower to prevent he is suddenly left without."

Trade Fair
Last but not least, a number of Gebr. Valstar's company cars have also been styled with the same look. The first batch of boxes was delivered a few weeks ago, the covers arrived last week. With the upcoming Trade Fair at the beginning of November in Aalsmeer, the new look will be presented.

For more information:
Paardekooper horti divisie
Marcel Van der Knaap: [email protected]
Frank Helmus: +31 6 20 43 81 27 of [email protected]

Gebr. Valstar
Mischa Groothuizen: [email protected]

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