Floréac magazine #20 2-2022 : Twenty in 2022

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Foto : ©Floréac | © www.thejoyofplants.co.uk | Unsplash | Pia x bay | e P ex l | Floradania

#20 2-2022


© www.thejoyofplants.co.uk


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Twenty in 2022 We are proud to present the 20th edition of our magazine. And we still haven’t said all there is to say. On the contrary, in fact. We simply wouldn’t have enough ink and paper to reveal all our plans. For example, did you know that Floréac is well on its way to becoming a member of FSI 2025? A new milestone in our history. FSI stands for Floriculture Sustainability Initiative. It was launched by various stakeholders from the floriculture sector who wish to commit to sustainable cultivation. By 2025, 90% of the flowers and plants must be produced sustainably. A vision that we fully endorse. A lot of work is still required to achieve this. You’ll be able to read more about it in edition 21. Twenty magazines: that means plenty of interesting suppliers in the spotlight. Each with their own unique approach and range. Forty stories which clearly convey a passion for the trade and love of the environment. The same applies to van der Velden nursery and Horizon Plants, the suppliers who are spotlighted in this twentieth edition. Coincidence, or not? At Horizon, we came across an old acquaintance: Wouter Busschaert. He spent no fewer than 18 years working for Floréac before making the leap to Horizon. Twenty magazines, each with an average of eight mood boards. If our maths is right, that means we’ve inspired you 160 times. And this summer we are also presenting a host of original ideas, such as a recipe for herbal salt. To spice things up a little. Let’s work together to make it a spicy summer!

Stefaan Duchi CCO



A WEALTH OF FLOWERS There’s nothing like picking what you’ve planted yourself. So why not pamper your customers with a varied and colourful range? Imagine borders full of dahlias, Leucanthemums, peonies, Zinnias, roses, Echinacea, Allium, Salvia, Hemerocallis or Astilbe... Can you already see their eyes light up? A fragrant and colourful flower bouquet in the garden all summer long! And all this opulence won’t just make your customers happy, but also the bees. Tip: combine these plants with seeds and bulbs in your sales outlet to complete the picture.

Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop









PANUDI-19P 5 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop


LUNCH ON A BED OF FLOWERS This summer, we’ll be bringing out the flowers. Literally. Sitting around the festive table together, surrounded by fresh greenery. Clematis, jasmine and Parthenocissus will take the gathering to unprecedented heights. Not to mention all those heavenly fragrances! A colourful touch will be provided by exuberant hydrangeas and dahlias, graceful Salvia, adorable Agapanthus and so on.

Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop


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All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop

supplier in the spotlight

You have slow food and slow coffee, and you also have growers who opt for a slow cultivation process. Horizon Plants is one of them. What do these slow trends have in common? Quality and craftsmanship, that’s what. The best genetic material as a start for extremely strong Kalanchoes and a wide range of houseplants.

Wouter Busschaert


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supplier in the spotlight

Strong Belgian plants keep consumers happy Craftsmanship on the horizon Quality doesn’t happen by itself. Tony Demuynck set up Horizon Plants in 1989. One hectare of Kalanchoes has since grown into 7 hectares of cultivation under glass and 4 hectares of outdoor cultivation. General manager Wouter Busschaert outlines a few pivotal moments. Wouter is no stranger to Floréac. He worked for them for no fewer than 18 years. “I occupied various different positions there. Just before moving to Horizon, I was Sales Manager for France. I also helped to develop this magazine and brought it to the attention of clients,” he says proudly. “Those were happy years at Floréac, but I wanted to be closer to the product. And my roots lie in agriculture. When I saw the opportunity to be at the helm of a growing nursery, I didn’t hesitate.” Quality is in the genes With Kalanchoes, the nursery had already been on a good track for years. Alongside the orchid, this is the best-selling flowering houseplant in Europe. How do you recognise a Kalanchoe from Horizon? “By the long flowering period and intensely coloured flowers. The result of super-strong Danish genetics. To this end, we work together with Danish breeder QUEEN, which is actually the largest in the world.”

random. Quality and consumer satisfaction always take priority. If this requires a more intensive production process, Horizon will be happy to do it. This approach explains their strong position

“In order to survive as a nursery, you must be innovative every day, have the courage to change and to switch.” Wouter Busschaert in the market. “Quality begins with the genetic starting material, which is why we only work with the best Belgian young plant breeders. We grow our Calatheas more slowly than Dutch growers, for example. However, this gives you a plant that is easier to maintain, lasts longer and distinguishes itself from others in terms of leaf colour. Precisely what today’s critical consumers are looking for.”

Surfing on the success of green houseplants About ten years ago, the Kalanchoe was joined by the Dipladenia. An originally southern flowering houseplant that Horizon grows and sells locally. This was the harbinger of the big switch that took place five years ago. “Because we kept on growing and greenhouses were also added, we expanded our range to include green houseplants. Also because we noticed that they were gaining in popularity. Our flagship is the Calathea, a hit in plenty of living rooms. Of the thirty species that exist, we selected fifteen.” Horizon didn’t pick these fifteen varieties at


supplier in the spotlight

Green energy with cogeneration These critical consumers also expect a product to be cultivated sustainably. So how is Horizon responding to this requirement? “For the heating and lighting of our greenhouses, we use a cogeneration system. We use the surplus energy that is released to supply families in the local area. We also have the most stringent MPS-GAP, GRASP and MPS-SQ certificates. We recycle our water. That’s the least we can do. But the bottom line is


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“Quality begins with the genetic starting material, which is why we only work with the best Belgian young plant breeders.” Wouter Busschaert this: if you want to survive as a nursery, you must be innovative every day, have the courage to change and to switch.”

Floréac as a partner on the road Following trends, meeting the needs of clients, switching creatively… Horizon Plants and Floréac have been on the same wavelength from day one. A collaboration that gives them both wings. “I know Floréac like the back of my hand, of course. It remains a loyal partner on the road. Even though I am now working on the product side. By the way, Tony, the founder of Horizon, also worked at Floréac in the distant past. As partners, we know what we can expect from each other. I particularly appreciate the fact that Floréac never goes for quick wins but instead focuses on long-term cooperation. They

supplier in the spotlight

Whe re ? Hulste (Belgium) What a nd how many ? Every year, 7

hectares under glass (houseplants: mainly Kalanchoe but also Chamaedorea, Calathea etc.) and 4 hectares outdoors (outdoor plants such as Dipladenia). Around 7,000,000 plants in total. Employe es ? +/- 20 permanent employees

and 30 seasonal workers Sa l es ma rke t? The whole of Europe, in

particular Belgium and France. Focus on garden centres, DIY stores and the better supermarkets

think along with you, with the future in mind. Conversely, I also brought part of their vision to Horizon. We share the same values.” What do consumers want? Finally, we get to the trends. How does Wouter see the future? “There is still a lot of growth in

the Kalanchoe as a garden plant. And green houseplants continue to do well in trendy interiors. Young consumers mainly look for plants that are less mainstream. To get closer to them, we recently launched a pop-up from which we sell directly to consumers. Ideal for putting out our feelers and finding out what they are looking for.”



A GREEN HEART Hearts always come up trumps. A plant with a heart-shaped leaf will spread just that little bit more love. In shiny green, with serrated leaves that cascade down like a green waterfall. There’s something for everyone. The Alocasia and Caladium will win the hearts of trendy customers. The Anthuriums score well with everyone. Of course in fiery red, but other colours are also doing well. And don’t forget the Scindapsus. What fills the heart also tends to flow from the mouth. Spread the love!

Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop


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SCINDA-H15V 13 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop


DROUGHT PLAN(T) Different times are just around the corner. Dryer. Warmer. Not all plants like this. Some do, though. Take the Sedum, for example, one of the easiest garden plants to care for. It survives dry summers perfectly well. Or the proud Verbena bonariensis. This plant is known to be extremely tough. It’s very hard to kill it. Or the edible Achillea. Not only does it bring colour to the garden, it’s also very popular in the kitchen. There are plenty of drought-resistant plants, as you can see. Explore our selection and feel free to put them in the sun. They’re made of tough stuff.

Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop


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15 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop

supplier in the spotlight

“Ring, ring”, goes the phone when we interview Freek and Martin van der Velden. It seems anachronistic, given that this pot plant nursery grows its Gerberas 100% automatically. Pretty cool for a family business with over 100 years on the clock.

Martin & Freek van der Velden


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supplier in the spotlight

Van der Velden nursery: four generations of potted Gerberas of the highest quality From cut roses and vegetables to potted Gerberas More than a century ago, in 1914, Gerard van der Velden started growing vegetables. A few decades later, he switched to cut roses. It’s clearly in the genes as the nursery has remained in the family for generation after generation. “I’ve been working here since I was sixteen,” says Freek van der Velden proudly. “I had myself declared of legal age so that when I reached 20, I could run the nursery with my father and brother Arie.” Today, history is repeating itself and his son Martin is sitting next to him. His brother Arie has since gone into business himself. The vegetables and later also the roses made way for potted Gerberas. “It’s purely coincidental,” explains Freek. “In 1993, a new lighting technique was introduced in the cut roses sector. This required an additional investment that our company was too small for at the time. At that point, our neighbour’s nursery came up for sale and we took it over. He mainly grew potted Gerberas and so we started to specialise in this area.”

Digitisation as the key to growth This far-reaching client orientation is a trademark of the nursery, Customisation is only possible if you have a lot of hands or focus on automation. And the nursery has invested heavily in the latter. “Our potted Gerberas are grown fully automatically and assessed for 40 different grades via a camera system. The plants then go to the packing stations in line with these subdivisions, where they can be delivered according to the client’s wishes by size, number of flowers, mixed or by colour. This

“We can supply Gerberas in a single colour, which gives us an advantage over other nurseries” Freek van der Velden is why we can supply plants in a single colour, which gives us an advantage over other nurseries.

Compliments from Decorum The second pivotal moment came in 2003. At this point, van der Velden invested in a new, futureoriented nursery. New expansions followed in 2007 and 2018. Today, the nursery is 6.5 hectares in size. “In addition to Gerberas, we now also grow seasonal plants such as Sundayz, Agapanthus and Garvinea. In the winter period, we supplement our range with Helleborus and Poinsettia.” Things are going well for them. Together with around fifty other Dutch growers, van der Velden forms part of Decorum. A quality mark which stems from years of investing in top quality. “We do the utmost for our clients,” explains Freek. “Would the client like a trailer or a single tray, in one colour or mixed? Do they want plants of a certain size...? We can supply anything the client asks for. Nothing is too difficult for us. We are also flexible when it comes to added value.”


supplier in the spotlight Digitisation is one thing, but it’s not easy to achieve top quality. Martin and I keep a close eye on the entire process and make adjustments if necessary.” Minimising the environmental impact Innovation often goes hand in hand with sustainability. So how does van der Velden nursery view this? “We try to grow everything as efficiently as possible and in an environmentally friendly way. As a result, we have all the certificates required. We also reuse all our water and don’t discharge polluted water. Everything is filtered and disinfected. Our cultivation pots are made of recycled material. We use as many paper sleeves as possible, unless the clients requests otherwise. We grow mainly organically. In the summer, this doesn’t always work out and we sometimes have to intervene chemically. But we keep looking for ways to prevent this.”


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“In addition to Gerberas, we also grow seasonal plants so that we can work all year round” Martin van der Velden A permanent fixture at each Floréac open day The year 1993, when the nursery definitively switched to Gerberas, also marked the starting point of the cooperation with Floréac. “I greatly appreciate our cooperation. I enjoy working with like-minded people, people who go for quality rather than the lowest price. In addition, there’s an extremely good click with the team. Every year, when the open days still existed, we really looked forward to them. We had to miss out twice. Once

supplier in the spotlight

because we were stuck in traffic for hours and once because we got the day wrong.” (he laughs) And now, the fourth generation... The future of van der Velden nursery is assured. We ask Martin, now the fourth generation, what he thinks the trends are these days. “Today, as a nursery, you can no longer survive on one crop alone. You have to produce all year round or you will fall by the wayside. That’s why we grow Helleborus in the autumn, Agapanthus from March to May, and Garvineas from week 15 to week 25.”

Whe re ? Delfgauw What & how ma ny ? 6.5 ha of which

annually: 6,000,000 potted Gerberas (10 & 12 cm), 60,000 Agapanthus, 900,000 Helleborus, 150,000 Garvineas (12 & 17 cm), 250,000 Poinsettias Employe es ? +/- 30 to 40 employees +

temporary workers Sa l es ma rke t? Mainly in Germany,

France, Italy, the UK, Belgium and to a lesser extent Eastern Europe. Focus on small-scale green retailers and DIY stores



TO SPICE THINGS UP With green herbs such as chives, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and parsley, you can take things in any direction you like. Have you ever thought about making your own herbal salt? It’s a piece of cake, to mix our metaphors. All you need is herbs, salt and a blender or food processor. And perhaps a little patience. Here’s how you do it: pick fresh herbs. Go for a mix or stick to a single variety, it’s up to you. Put them in a bowl and cover them generously with salt. If you like, you can pop in a clove of garlic to add extra flavour. Now this is where your patience comes in. Or the oven, for a faster result. After 1 hour at a maximum temperature of 50°C, the mixture will be ready. Or after five days, if you choose the slow artisanal way. Then pop it all in the food processor, blitz it up and you’re done! Bring out your best jar and amaze your fellow diners.

Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop


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SAOFFICI-13A 21 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop


YOUR OFFICE IN THE GARDEN? Working in a green environment increases productivity. So why not go all the way and move the desk to your terrace or even your garden? Don’t have a lot of plants in the garden? Take your green colleagues such as the Fatsia japonica or the Aspidistra outside with you during the warm summer months. Feeling low? The colourful Coleus is bound to give you a boost! A tight deadline? Pop yourself down next to an intensely green Hedera. The only way is up, it seems to whisper. In brief, show your customers the added value of a garden office.

Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop


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YUCCA-V070A 23 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop


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new kids on the block



Arrow Aqua o R ots

a C lathea fusion eY llow CAFU-YE 14A

Guzmania Akabar


Vriesea Intenso Salmon VRINSA-12A


new kids on the block


a G rdenia golden crown GA-RGOC 15A

Agapanthus Golden Drop AG-GODR 15A

rT achelospermum Winter u R by TR IRU-17A W


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new kids on the block



Helianthus Tiger yE e HEA-NTE 12A

Lantana Havana Summer LAHASU-TR 13A

Coming up Some things are still certain. Summer is followed by autumn. And that also means the autumn edition of this magazine. With all the details about our FSI membership, as promised. We’ve already reserved a few pages for our supplier Wilwoodii. And as always, we’ll be inspiring you with autumn themes.


If o y u buy o f r a purs ahc e value of € 50 per theme, ew iw ll give o y uar f ee 3 x 67 mc paper poster of the ho c sen theme. Floréac nv Beerveldse Baan 4 9080 Lochristi Belgium T +32 9 353 53 53 F +32 9 355 52 34 info@floreac.com www.floreac.com

ordering possibilities Our online sale: www.floreac.shop fax: +32 9 355 52 34 telephone: +32 9 353 53 53 Or contact your sales representative

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