Floréac magazine #19 1-2022 : Here’s to a healthy and colourful year!

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#19 1-2022


Pantone announces ‘Very Peri’ as colour of the year 2022

© www.thejoyofplants.co.uk


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Here’s to a healthy and colourful year! When you read this, it might be freezing cold. Or, who knows, an early bird might be singing merrily in the garden. These are strange times. One thing is certain, however: the shops are getting ready for spring. Pine green, oxblood red, silver and gold are making way for fresh shades such as Genuine Pink. Also known as pastel pink, this has been proclaimed the loraltrendycolourof . 20 Colours can sometimes say more than words. And if there’s one shade that brings people together, it’s pastel pink. “This trendy colour emphasises that equality is more important than ever, whether we are talking about gender, race, orientation or ideology,” I read on Thursd, the platform that selected the trend. In these polarising times, that says it all. By the way, pastel pink goes particularly well with that other trendy colour: Pantone Very Peri, a blue hue with a vibrant violet-red undertone. So get to work with all these fabulous colours! You will find plenty of inspiration in this magazine. Ideal for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and any other special occasions. Floréac is not only preparing for the change of seasons, a whole new era is dawning. So we are more than a little pleased with the arrival of our new CEO Benoit Strauven. You can get to know this enthusiastic man on page28. Strauven subscribes wholeheartedly to our motto ‘Innovating Horticulture Together’ and wishes to focus even more on taking care of customers. Taking care of customers is also the common thread for our suppliers in the spotlight. OK Plant provides its customers with total concepts, with the ever-glorious orchid in the leading role. And Van Son & Koot is unveiling a first! All good news for getting 2022 off to a great start. So put on those Genuine Pink glasses and let’s all raise a glass to a healthy year!

Stefaan Duchi CCO



GROW YOUR OWN The terrarium remains an eye catcher, which is only logical. Microworlds in a glass jar appeal to the imagination. What’s more, you can create them yourself. A DIY trend that can be seen in many Instagram interiors. Give your customers a helping hand with a suitable range: dark green moss, Fittonia in every colour under the sun, fresh green nest ferns… Plants that also look great in terracotta. So natural, so timeless. In short, a must in any sales outlet. Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop









CALAMX-06A PILLMX-06A FIELTI-06A VAREMX-06A 5 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop


USE GREY TO DRIVE THE GREY AWAY Think grey is boring? Think again. You can take grey any which way you choose! This evergreen colour, as it were, makes the Anthurium shine even more brightly. Grey is both timeless and trendy. Combine it with dark green houseplants such as the Euphorbia trigona, which has made a comeback. Or go for quirky decorative pots. Grey is certainly not boring here. Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop


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GPVDMX-SP07A 7 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop

supplier in the spotlight

Jungle or ethnic? City nomads or people who prefer the quiet life? There’s a suitable range for every target group. This is the underlying philosophy of Kolibri Company, the private label of OK Plant. With the ever-glorious Phalaenopsis in the leading role and timeless green plants as the supporting act. All against a backdrop of matching pots and other home accessories. Enter the world of the Dutch nursery!

Desiree & Rob Olsthoorn


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supplier in the spotlight

OK Plant puts orchids in the spotlight Powered by plants Every year, OK Plant produces over 4,700,000 high-quality orchids and 1,300,000 seasonal products. Numbers that are enough to make you dizzy! Add in the matching decorative pots and trendy home accessories and you have a success story that started back in 1990. This was the year in which Rob Olsthoorn and his partner Desiree took over the nursery from his father in De Lier. In the beginning, the focus was on the Saintpaulia or African violet. In 2004, Rob was given the opportunity to purchase a much larger plot. A tipping point. Rob and Desiree felt that there wasn’t much future in Saintpaulia and found a fabulous alternative: the Phalaenopsis. At the time, it was a big trend in pot size 12. They wanted something else and started experimenting with 9 cm pots. But size isn’t everything. A highquality plant also deserves high-quality added value. With this plan in mind, they began to lay the foundations of a new construction project. A decision that has certainly borne fruit for OK Plant. The company really took off and new acquisitions followed in 2011 and 2016.

““Why not combine orchids with green plants? This idea, coupled with matching decorative pots and other home accessories, was a match made in heaven” Thijs van der Valk

Creative cross-pollination So what makes your range so special? Thijs van der Valk, Commercial Manager, explains. “In addition to 101 varieties of orchids, we also produce green plants. A few years ago, we saw that the popularity of orchids was declining and that green plants

were becoming very popular. So why not combine the two? This idea, coupled with matching decorative pots and other home accessories, was a match made in heaven. A strong new consumer brand was born: Kolibri Company, a crosspollination between Little Kolibri Orchids, Little Lizard Greens and trendy decorative pots from our Kolibri Home collection.”

Eight interior atmospheres Marketing Assistant Lotte van Marrewijk picks up the thread. “What really characterises us is our creativity. Not without good reason, our marketing department has three employees who explore the market looking for the very latest interior trends. We also use an external agency to keep a close eye on the trends for us. We then translate all these trends into eight different interior atmospheres. We immerse customers in these different atmospheres in our showroom, to ensure that they return home with tons of inspiration.” Taking care of customers This customer orientation is an important driving force for OK Plant. Thijs: “We like to think along with our customers. We offer a total solution. Our Mix & Match displays are a concrete application of this: ready-made sales units with orchids alongside matching pots. Consumers will find


supplier in the spotlight

everything in one place and can therefore compile their own composition à la carte. By presenting plants and pots together, we are responding to the need for customer convenience. Pop a sales unit in the store, including the watering system, and you’re done. This is a good example of how we want to make things easier for our customers.” “We also support our customers by means of in-store communication,” continues Lotte. “For example, we provide them with POS material such as mood boards, banners and


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Thijs van der Valk

flyers. We also offer distinctive collections, each with its own unique story.”

natural light. We use sandwich panels during the cultivation phase, thus saving 10 times

“When Saintpaulia came under pressure, Floréac helped us to come up with ways to make these plants more attractive again” Lotte van Marrewijk Next Generation Growing OK Plant is not only innovative when it comes to creating and marketing the range. Innovation also means sustainable cultivation. For example, they have all the MPS certificates and participate in the PlanetProof programme. And that’s not all. Lotte: “We also apply Next Generation Growing (Het Nieuwe Telen). This innovative cultivation strategy means that the greenhouse is dehumidified using dry outside air. A saving of 15% energy compared to regular dehumidification systems. We also keep the heat out through the use of special external screens on our finishing greenhouses. On days when it’s not too sunny, we can open them and allow our plants to enjoy

more energy than with glass. We also recycle 100% of our feed water and our 950 solar panels generate 285 KW of energy. To give you an idea, this is enough to supply up to 80 households.” Good collaboration with Floréac OK Plant has been working with Floréac since the start. To put it even more strongly, the fact that they now have such a strong range of plants and decorative pots might even be due to Floréac. Lotte explains. “OK Plant started out growing Saintpaulia. Floréac was one of the biggest clients at the time and when these plants came under pressure, they helped us to come up with ways to make them more attractive again. This marked the start of a range

supplier in the spotlight

W h er e? Branches in Naaldwijk, Maasdijk

Lotte van Marrewijk

and ’s Gravenzande, 10 ha in total H ow many? 5,700,000 high-quality orchids, 1,300,000 seasonal products and 1,200,000 green plants per year W h at? 101 varieties of Phalaenopsis in pot sizes 9 & 12 cm, green plants in 6 & 9 cm, Primula, Addenda, Aster, Cyclamen in 12 cm Employees ? +/- 180 employees Sales mar ket? The whole of Europe, in particular Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Focus on specialist green retailers, garden centres, cash & carry

of decorative pots. We even had a special tote bag developed at the time. By means of personal communication and brainstorming, we sowed the seeds of a bond of trust that still exists today. You just know that they will keep their promises.” The following anecdote reveals that there is certainly a click between the two parties. A few years ago, OK Plant was invited to visit Floréac to get to know the company better. Due to an incident on the road, the journey lasted six hours instead of the scheduled two hours. All the same, everyone still enjoyed themselves. Time flies when you’re having fun!

New products for Kolibri Finally, Lotte looks ahead at the trends. “I think that customers want even more relevant information and content. We are also seeing that sustainability and socially responsible consumption are high on the agenda. Consumers are living more consciously and want to know where their plants come from.” The story of OK Plant is still far from over. At the beginning of this year, OK Plant expanded its range to include 12 cm Phalaenopsis. A fruitful result of the acquisition of Leerdam Orchids. Kolibri Orchids has therefore gained a new addition to the range, and Kolibri Home now offers a new range of 12 cm decorative pots. 11


JARDIN SECRET Green fingers but no garden? Go for an indoor garden. With soft green Adantum Fragrans, soft and feathery asparagus, sunny yellow Anthuriums, fresh green Dieffenbachia vesuvius… Mix & match is the message. Want things a little cooler? Add a rugged Aloe Vera or tropical Catopsis morreniana to the mix. A little bit of spring in the home. Who needs a garden when you have a secret garden? 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


HEALING YELLOW Easter is yellow. It always has been and always will be. Yellow is happy and positive, it represents a new beginning and gives hope. Yellow brings spice to the picture, so be generous with this colour. Present daffodils in a decorative pot with a cheerful touch. Easter flowers in a jolly watering can? Why not, life is serious enough as it is. An orchid in a ceramic egg? An excellent idea! The only thing that matters is having customers go home with a big smile on their face. Amen. 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

© www.thejoyofplants.co.uk


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HAPPY EASTER While daffodils brighten up the interior at Easter, violets switch things up a gear outside. In shades of bright blue, purple and even black. They look best displayed in wicker baskets, wooden boxes and ceramic pots. Or hanging in a zinc container. Fun and frivolous. That’s all you need! 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

“Yes, it’s a time-consuming hobby,” laughs Sebastiaan van der Heijden, co-owner of Van Son & Koot nursery. With 36 hectares of Japanese maples and other garden plants, this might sound like an understatement. Yet among all these plants, people come first. A heart-warming story, as well as a first!


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supplier in the spotlight

Van Son & Koot brings more biodiversity to your garden Van Son & Koot nursery originally saw the light of day on 1 January 1999, following a serendipitous turn of events. Arjan van Son from Kaatsheuvel was looking for a partner and Jim Koot from Boskoop was looking for a larger plot. There was an immediate click between the two, as both grew garden plants and offered a different range. A winwin situation! In 2014, Arjan left the company and Sebastiaan van der Heijden took his place. Today, he runs the company together with Jim Koot and Jordy Gijsbrechts.

Essen and so on… So what is Van Son & Koot’s secret? Sebastiaan: “Our philosophy! We put people first. Our team is the most valuable pillar of our company. We give our people the chance to develop and grow. For example, we recently launched the Van Son & Koot Academy. We consider it important for everyone to feel good here. For people to work with passion. Every now and then, we do let our hair down though. A good example: we always end the busy spring period

““We put people first. Our team is the most valuable pillar of our company”

From 5 to 36 hectares “Van Son & Koot grows more than 100 different plant species,” says Sebastiaan van der Heijden. “Our emphasis lies on the Acer palmatum, better known as Japanese maple. There are as many as Sebastiaan van der Heijden 1,000 species worldwide, and we grow around sixty of them ourselves. We stand out as a result ofournewvarieties,aswellasourdiMerent with pot a party. Every year, it feels like a victory. That sizes and growth habits.” By way of illustration, feeling of ‘Together, we pulled it off!’. We actually Sebastiaan shows us various examples. Intense celebrate quite a lot: Saint Nicholas gives our shades of red, yellow, brown and green that appeal employees’ children a treat, and on Fridays we to the imagination. sometimes drink a beer together. All these things ensure social cohesion.” As well as the Japanese maple, Van Son & Koot also grows other garden plants. With shrubs such as the Skimmia, Eucalyptus, Camellia and Hydrangea, they offer their customers a complete range. “We want to remain innovative and surprise our customers all year round with a range that is out of the ordinary. As a result, we travel all over the world in search of new varieties and also use agents who put out their feelers on our behalf. In addition, we breed new varieties ourselves. Every year, we innovate with a wide range of products. This allows us to remain relevant to our customers.” A party every spring This innovation is certainly bearing fruit. Their selections are winning many prestigious awards, such as ‘Plant of the Year’ at the Chelsea Flower Show, ‘The Glass Tulip’, ‘Best Novelty’ at IPM


supplier in the spotlight Sustainable breeding A sustainable approach to employees is a cornerstone of the company. How do they extend this sustainability to the nursery? Sebastiaan: “This year, we launched our own breeding company Botanic Experience, which specialises in the genetics of garden plants. In concrete terms, our breeders seek out plant species that no longer need chemical control. We also have the highest attainableMPS-GAPA+certiNcate and use organic pesticides. We deploy natural plant enhancers, which are fungi that we add to the soil to make the plant stronger. In addition, we recycle and reuse water.” A first: Nature 2 Nature On the subject of sustainability, with some pride Sebastiaan tells us about a new plant concept: Nature 2 Nature. “By means of the above measures, we are contributing to a better climate. However, we are also taking things a step further: we also want to use nature to promote biodiversity. This spring, for example, we are introducing a range that is particularly attractive tobees,ladybirds,butterlies.”andbirds Collaboration on solid foundations Sebastiaan has already indicated that collaboration is important, so what about a partner like Floréac? “This year, we will have been working together for 20 years. A partnership that continues


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to grow thanks to its solid foundations: mutual trust and respect. We have already developed various strategic plans together, such as the logistics key. This is a tool that allows us to draw

“This spring, we are launching a new plant concept: Nature 2 Nature, a range that is particularly attractive to bees, ladybirds, butterflies and birds” Sebastiaan van der Heijden up a detailed schedule together with the client to ensure rapid and fresh deliveries. We also put together client-speciNcranges for Floréac. We complement each other well. Just like in a 20-year

supplier in the spotlight

Whe re ? 36 hectares spread between

Kaatsheuvel and Bleiswijk (NL) How ma ny ? 5,000,000 plants annually What ? 60 different varieties of Acer

palmatum and a wide range of patio and garden plants Employe es ? 65 permanent employees.

Between 10 and 80 seasonal workers throughout the year

marriage, however, we do have the occasional clash. But these clashes always lead to insights that take us a step further.” Paving slabs out, green in Growing together, that’s how it’s supposed to be. How does Sebastian see the future? “Society is greening. You can see this everywhere. And that’s a good thing, too. COVID-19 has only served to accelerate this trend. People are buying more plants and are increasingly replacing their concrete driveway with plants. Another development that I believe will develop further is the switch from

chemical to biological crop protection. These are all evolutions that I encourage. I can also see various challenges ahead of us, such as rising commodity prices, as well as the increasing scarcity of labour. However, I would rather end on a positive note. Van Son & Koot is doing well and we are continuing to grow. Not just in terms of size and hectares, our employees are also developing their skills. We’re ready for it all: digitisation, automation, robotisation, business intelligence… Bring it on!” 23


SPOTLIGHT ON AIR PLANTS We all know what parasites are, of course. But do you also know what Epiphytes are? These are positive organisms that can grow on other plants. In contrast to parasites, however, they don’t extract nutrients from their host but take them from the air instead. The most famous Epiphytes are the Orchid, Bromelia, Anthurium and Tillandsia. The latter can even grow on telephone wires! Surprise your customers with these tropical flowering superheroes! Did you also know that Epiphytes greatly enhance each other if you present them together on a display table? This allows you to create a Jungle feeling and bring a piece of the rainforest to your store. Relax and rely on the expertise of Epic Plants, a collaboration between Karma Plants, Stofbergen Plant Company and Logico.


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


COLOURFUL AND GREEN A massive hit on Instagram? That would be green houseplants with brightly coloured veins. Take Fittonias and Caladiums, for example. Truly striking plants with deep green leaves in sharp contrast to pink, red or even white veins. Or the other way around: pink leaves with a green border. Big, small, creeping, hanging, they come in all shapes and sizes. One person might spot a mosaic, another a skeleton. In brief, there’s never a dull moment with these colourful plants in your home. Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop


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KERAM12-130A TRTRIC-11A SYNGRD-14A All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop



Werner Krott

Benoit Strauven

Benoit Strauven appointed new CEO of Floréac Good news: as of 15 November, Benoit Strauven is the new CEO of Floréac. Time for a brief introduction! Broad experience and world view After studying at Solvay Business School, Benoit Strauven established a career abroad in sales management and consulting. He then worked in Belgium as CFO and CEO of Hoorebeke Timber and as CEO of Matermaco. In the past two years, he has served as an executive coach for various CEOs and management committees. Over the years, he has developed a strong preference for family-run trading companies. “We are both pleased and proud to have found a new CEO for Floréac. The arrival of Benoit Strauven will allow us to guarantee the continuity of our management and lend a considerable extra boost to our new dynamic and strategic focus,” says Werner Krott, CEO of Floré nv. Lightening the load for garden centres and DIY stores


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Strauven wholeheartedly subscribes to our motto ‘Innovating Horticulture Together’ and wishes to continue lightening the load for garden centres and DIY stores by working with Floréac to optimise the commercial and logistical tasks, or even relieve clients of these tasks entirely. From purchase and distribution to increasing the visibility of plants in the store, collaboration is still key. “Collaboration ensures cross-pollination and leads to new insights and surprising twists and turns. And I mean that in very broad terms: collaboration in a team between sales and logistics, between the Belgian and Dutch platforms, between growers and clients. Being close to each other ensures a sense of connectedness. And yes, even intimacy. It involves working closely together with partners. For example, how can we help our clients to develop a commercial range for their own customers? Or, within Plantify Partners Europe (PPE), retaining Floréac’s strong identity while at the same time exchanging knowledge and encouraging crosspollination,” says Strauven.

new kid on the block



Leptospermum scoparium Larouge LESCRD-12A

Narcis Lucky Number NALUNU-12V


Streptocarpus Pretty Turtle 29

new kid on the block


Hortinno Azajoy® AB-29AZAJWIA

Stachys ‘Summer Sweets’ STSUSW-17A 30

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Hortinno Azajoy®


Rodgersia pinnata ‘Chocolate Wings’ ROCHWI-17A

NEW uddleja butter A




ittle mi

Coming up Are you already looking forward to our next magazine? Quite right too! In this edition, you can find inspiration with our new themes, enjoy delicious herb recipes, read all about our supplier in the spotlights ‘Freek Van De Velde’ and discover what else we have in store…


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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