Floréac magazine #22 4-2022 : Christmas special

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magazine #22 4-2022 Photo : ©Floréac | © www.thejoyofplants.co.uk | Unsplash | Pixabay | Pexel | Kaboompics
floréac magazine2

Side by side

Innovating Horticulture Together. This will remain our slogan for the months ahead, and it feels more relevant than ever. We put a particular emphasis on the word ‘Together’. These are challenging times, and it is extremely difficult to predict what the future will bring. But one thing is certain: we must get through it together. Shoulder to shoulder. You can continue to count on Floréac. We are making every effort to remain your reliable link in the chain, despite the challenges. We are here for you in dialogue, in trust, in partnership

Why am I so certain of this? Because we have stood for fair business, transparent communication, high-quality service and a strong product range for years. We believe that this will continue to make all the difference.

In fact, when we look ahead to the future, we believe that we will come out of this even stronger than before. There are reasons why claim to be ‘innovating horticulture’. In the words of our grower in the spotlight, Joram Kuijvenhoven (JK Plant), “The sector is often faced with major challenges. In the past, we have always found an innovative solution.” Ron Fransen of Levoplant also tells an optimistic story in this magazine.

However, the impact of the energy crisis is not the same for everyone. We fully understand that many people are being hit very hard. Business is close to the bone for many of our partners at the moment, or worse still. And this crisis is also leaving its mark on our employees, both mentally and financially. As a result, we are focusing on people more than ever before. We understand and try to help where necessary, so that our partners and colleagues can keep going.

That’s the true meaning of lightening the load. Sharing the same concerns and taking care of each other. Checking that everyone is still with us. Your colleagues in the fields, in the greenhouse, in the office and on the shop floor. Your friends and loved ones at home.

Taking care of each other also means inspiring each other, so we have filled this magazine with tips and positive stories as usual. About working together, shoulder to shoulder, even beyond the walls of the individual organisations.

Happy reading! We’ll be in touch soon, Benoit Strauven CEO



‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ by John Lennon is playing in the background. There is plenty of red, gold and – of course – green all around. Traditional colours that make you long for Christmas from bygone days. Back when things were simple. Bring Christmas back to its essence and pamper your customers with simple compositions in harmonious colours. An intensely red Anthurium in a deep red ornamental pot. Or an arrangement with a mixture of dark green foliage and festive accents in gold or silver. That’s all you need!

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The freshness of a forest. The purity of wood. Mossy scents and earthy colours. A Christmas star that sparkles in the pitch-black night. Can you imagine it? A series of mini scenes in an arrangement. Imagine hyacinths in wooden baskets. Ceramic pots with intensely green plants surrounding a white candle. Robust wicker baskets that pair a robust cactus with a mother-of-pearl bauble. As long as you can still see the wood for the trees, everything will be fine.

6 theme
Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop
7 COUPE-§MA128A AMARYL-WA103A AMARYL-WA103A COUPE-§SP174A HYACIN-MA05A HYACWI-SP06A HYACWI-SP511A HYACIN-SP111A KALAMX-§SP02A HYACMX-§HP002A HYACMX-§HP004A HYACMX-§MA010A HYACMX-MA02APIGLAU-SP04A HYACMX-§SP002A HYACMX-§HP011A COUPE-§SP176A COUPE-§MA123A COUPE-§GL053A COUPE-§HP040A COUPE-§MA119A COUPE-§MA125A All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop

Levoplant would rather go deep than wide. Large volumes at species level. The best variety selected by flower size, foliage and plant quality. How do they keep their promises? By being the first to invest in automation. And by keeping their customers and suppliers close. Director and co-owner Ron Fransen and salesman Rick van Vliet give us a glimpse behind the scenes.

8 floréac magazine SUPPLIER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Ron Fransen

Levoplant: a Phalaenopsis pioneer for more than 30 years

Ambitious family-run company

Levoplant has been a pioneer in Phalaenopsis and Cordyline australis for over 30 years now. However, the actual seed of the company was sown in 1969. It was then that Leo van der Voort and his wife Anneke first created the nursery on a plot of land measuring 7000 square metres. Today, the nursery is spread across over four sites and covers an area of no less than 14 hectares. “The company has grown steadily,” explains co-owner Ron Fransen. “Leo and Anneke started out in Wateringen. In the 1990s, the company moved to the Maasland area and added branches in De Lier and two in Honselersdijk. Today, with our most important crop, the Phalaenopsis, we achieve a market share of 6 to 7%. We are the market leader for the Cordyline australis.”

Selection by activity, flower size, foliage and potto-plant ratio

Sales employee Rick van Vliet explains this process in more detail. “We put a product range team onto this task. This team was composed of representatives from management, but also from the sales department and the cultivation team. We also started to make better use of our relationships with suppliers. They think along with us in terms of exclusivity and varieties. This allows us to deliver large quantities on a weekly basis, selected by flower size, foliage, colour and plant quality. Thanks to this continuity and reliability, we can in turn fulfil our promises to customers such as Floréac every week.”

Large volumes at species level

Let’s go back to the early days when they started growing Phalaenopsis. Levoplant wanted to become the largest producer of a complete range of Phalaenopsis at species level. A high-quality range, available in large volumes all year round. How do they keep this promise? Ron: “In the late nineties, we started to specialise more in large volumes at species level. Although we produced around 100 different varieties per week in 2008, we have reduced this range to 22 varieties. That is an intensive selection process stemming from years of research.”

First nursery with fully automated cultivation system

Keeping promises. Reliable deliveries. Dispatching the right volumes and the right plants every week. This requires watertight planning. Levoplant owes a great deal to its fully automated delivery system.

Rick: “In the early 2000s, we were the first to use cameras and robots. That was back at our site in Maasland.

At our main site, we have taken this a step further.

“Thanks to this continuityandreliability, we can in turn fulfil our promisestocustomers suchasFloréacevery week.” RickvanVliet

Every day, we dispatch around fourteen to fifteen thousand plants from here. About 48 to 54 weeks pass between the potting and delivery of a plant. The system closely follows all the developments and adds codes. The codes that belong together end up on the same supply belt. That means that when an order is received, we can select the right varieties with the right plant characteristics extremely quickly.”

Data and transport Ron continues. “Data is extremely important. That’s why we give every pot a code. It’s invisible to the naked eye but can be read by the computer. This gives us a reliable wealth of information. We use the data to improve cultivation, assess our varieties and link them to sales figures. This is also innovation. And that’s not all: to provide our customers with even better service, we have taken transport into our own hands. We have invested in two trucks, so we no longer have to rely on third parties. And this allows us to react fast to unpredictable

situations when orders come in.”

Looking forward to a sustainable future

Innovation often goes hand in hand with increased sustainability. So how does Levoplant tackle this?

Ron: “We have had the necessary MPS GAP certificates for about a decade now. We take care of our employees and our planet. Both now and in the future. For example, we will soon be switching to biodegradable pots for our plants.

We have been using ground source heat pumps for some of our heating for years now. This is the case at our main site and the one in Maasland. The other sites will follow over the course of next year. We have also invested heavily in screens and LED lighting to save energy.

Because we made the right choices in the past, we will be able to get through the winter unscathed. It goes without saying that costs will increase, but our efforts will keep them

10 floréac magazine SUPPLIER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Rick van Vliet
“Because we madetheright choices in thepast,we will be able to getthrough the winter unscathed.”
Ron Fransen


and De



WHAT? Six million Phalaenopsis per year and 750,000 Cordyline australis per year.

EMPLOYEES? 150 staff

SALES MARKET? Scandinavia, Germany, France and southern Europe.

within reasonable limits. This way, it will remain profitable to keep going. And we are not alone. Thanks to reliable relationships such as the one we have with Floréac, we are in a stronger position than before.”

Sales lessons from a customer

The partnership with Floréac has deep roots. As far back as the 1970s, Geert Floré was trading directly with Leo van der Voort. A new generation is now at the helm, but the collaboration between the two family-run businesses is still bearing fruit. As Ron tells us, “The relationship with Floréac is based on loyalty, reliability, respect and personal contact We often work with the same people, which helps us get on well. Floréac also thinks along with us. For example, they encouraged us to move more quickly towards digitisation. That is another step forward in terms of efficiency.”

Market shifts

Finally, Ron has something to say about the future: “The energy crisis will really shake up the sector.

The cost price of orchids will reach a level that makes them a luxury product once again. And some growers will disappear. Another trend is sustainability. This is really accelerating. And nobody can possibly object to that.”

Maasland (NL)


With subtle Christmas decorations, you can create a warm atmosphere outside in the garden and on your balcony, which contrasts nicely with the cold in the last months of the year. Ever thought of putting up a Christmas tree outside? Or bring your garden into the Christmas spirit with our beautiful outdoor Christmas planters!

Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop

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13 COUPE-§MA133A HELLEB-§SP004A HENICHCA-SCH02A HENICHCA-ZNK07A KERST-§HP002A HYACMX-§HP013A KERST-§HP003A HYACMX-§MA009A KERST-§ZNK023A HYACMX-§SP004A HYACMX-§ZNK004A HELLEB-§SP005A HENICHCA-MA05A HELLEB-§HB002A HELLEB-§MA001A All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop
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Midnight mass or midnight cocktail? That’s an easy choice. We’re going for black with a hint of gold. A cocktail that exudes luxury. Timeless black ceramics mixed with zinc for that special extra touch. Finished with an exotic pineapple or Beaucarnea in exuberant green.

Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop

16 theme MIDNIGHT
17 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop AMARYL-WA09A ANANAS-SP03A ANANMX-SP34A COUPE-§GL011A COUPE-§GL071A COUPE-§SP110A BEAUCA-SP10A GPDUMX-SP12A PHALMX-SP235TA2A STEPHA-SP04A CYMBMX-SP05TA2A SUCCMX-SP300A SUCCMX-SP500A PHKOWI-SP05TA2A PHALWI-SP06TA4A COUPE-§ZNK059A ECHEVE-SP03A HYACIN-SP121A COUPE-§SP113A


Silver and blue. A winter match made in heaven. Just imagine it: a silent, frozen lake against a cobalt blue sky. In the distance, you hear the delicate voice of Elsa, the ice princess from Frozen. ‘Let it go’. It doesn’t always have to be red and gold. Go crazy with cacti in silver ceramics instead. Or snow-white orchids in a wooden bowl for a Christmas arrangement. And get some blankets ready. Because baby, it’s cold out there.

18 theme
Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop
19 AMARYL-WA114A DENOAP-SP100TA2A CYCLWI-SP01A COUPE-§GL012A COUPE-§SP161A COUPE-§SP209A HYACIN-AR03A HYACIN-AR11A HYACMX-§GL006A KERST-§GL001A PHALWI-FSP10A PHALWI-SP02A KALANC-SP35A POINSE-SP07A SUCCMX-§SP47A KERST-§ZNK018A STEPHA-SP15A KERST-§ZNK008A HYACIN-HB17A COUPE-§SP190A All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop

JK Plant Nursery doesn’t go for quick wins, and that’s a deliberate choice. Slow is fine too. Nevertheless, this young and dynamic company sets the bar high with its exclusive range of house and garden plants as well as its relationships with partners. Its connections mature on the basis of trust. “This is how you work together to achieve the highest possible quality,” says co-owner Joram Kuijvenhoven.

20 floréac magazine SUPPLIER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Jelle & Joram Kuijvenhoven

JK Plant, where plants have the time and space to grow

Family business with growth potential JK Plant officially saw the light of day in 2010. But to find its true roots, we need to go further back in time. “Horticulture is something we grew up with,” explains Joram. “For over 35 years, our father had a garden where he grew plants such as Freesias. My brother Jelle introduced the pot plants in 2010. That marked the real start of JK Plant. I joined the company four years later.”

“Our family business has grown steadily. First, we rented locations where we grew various seasonal products. In 2014, our first milestone was the purchase of our current site in Honselersdijk. That’s when the ball really started rolling. Today, we grow Monsteras, Dahlias, Araucaria Heterophylla and the Canna Cannova at three sites. In a relatively short time, we have expanded from two to more than five hectares.”

than is customary in the sector. Immediately after planting, we arrange them close together to make optimal use of the space and allow the plants to grow. We move them apart after a number of weeks. We do this as early as possible so that the plants become sturdy and develop more body.”

Extra oxygen

Quality takes time

The house and garden plants grown by JK Plant have one thing in common. They are given the time and space to grow. Joram explains why: “Why are we consciously opting for this approach? Because the plants you get are more attractive – and most important of all, they’re stronger. For example, we give Monstera a 30% longer growing period

Producing strong, top-quality plants is not the only way in which JK Plant stands out from the competition. The variety of pot sizes and their distinctive image stand out too. They can also pride themselves on being the only grower of Monsteras under the Air So Pure label. “This label came our way five years ago, actually for the Spathiphyllum. We had taken them over from another grower who sold the plants under the label. That gave us the idea to get our Monsteras tested too. And that’s how it happened. What makes Air So Pure unique? They only sell plants that have been scientifically proven to be highly air purifying. In fact, to put it even more strongly, they also remove harmful substances from the air and improve air quality.”

“Thehouseandgarden plantshaveonethingin common.Theyaregiven thetimeandspacetogrow. Whyareweconsciously optingforthisapproach?
Becausetheplantsyouget are more attractive – and mostimportantofall,they’re stronger.”

Dahlia and Canna

In addition to Monsteras, JK Plant also grows Dahlia and Canna Cannova. “What started out 10 years ago with 25,000 plants has now grown to more than 300,000 Dahlias per season. All these plants are grown in pots of a matching shade. We work with Dümen Orange, a supplier of interesting genetics.

And when it comes to growing Cannas, we can increasingly call ourselves an established name. We grow them in a 17 cm pot with the genetics of Takii, the Canna Cannova. This is a beautiful and continually flowering Canna, which distinguishes it from its peers. We can deliver these with a visible flower, but also with the flower not yet visible. The advantage? You can get more plants on the trolley and don’t suffer any losses in the store. That way, consumers get to see the plant flowering in all its glory.”

Nordic Pine: more than just a pine

JK Plant is not resting on its laurels, however. This autumn, the nursery will be launching its own label: Nordic Pine. “I’m Pine, how are you?”, we read on Instagram. And that sets the tone for this new label right away. “We are virtually the only company on the market that grows Araucaria Heterophylla. But hardly anyone can pronounce the name correctly. Nordic Pine sounds a lot more commercially attractive. What makes this plant so special? Its festive image and its versatility. At the point of sale, the consumer buys it all dressed up. Once the Christmas period is over, you can simply give it a place as a green house plant.”

Collaboration in good and bad times

The Nordic Pine heads out to the customer ready to roll. Lightening the load in this way is typical of JK Plant. “The relationship with the client takes centre stage. We work together in a partnership. The same applies to Floréac. Over the past three years, our relationship has become closer. I often compare it to a marriage. You promise to take care of each other in good and bad times. An example? I ensure a wide range when there is scarcity on the market. Conversely, Floréac purchases from us in sufficient quantities when there is an oversupply. Trust and open communication are the key words for us. If problems arise, we solve them together.”

22 floréac magazine SUPPLIER IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Innovative horticulture sector

We are in the middle of an energy crisis and the end is not yet in sight. How is JK Plant dealing with this? “I remain cautiously optimistic

The sector is often faced with major challenges. In the past, we have always found a solution. Now, as well, I think we will be able to innovate

On our own site, we have a single CHP system for the three interconnected locations. It is more efficient than an ordinary gas boiler. This system also absorbs peaks and troughs in the electricity network, so that private individuals don’t notice shortages in the electricity market.

WHERE? Honselersdijk (NL)

WHAT? Monsteras in pot sizes 14 cm, 17 cm and 21 cm, Dahlias in pot size 17 cm, Araucaria Heterophylla in pot sizes 10.5 cm to 40 cm and the Canna Cannova in pot size 17 cm.

EMPLOYEES? 10 permanent employees, with 5 additional seasonal workers

SALES MARKET? Mainly Europe.

and for the time being there is nobody to replace them. Either it isn’t profitable enough, or people are getting cold feet. The timing isn’t really right to enter the horticultural sector at the moment. But as I said, we are an innovative sector, so things will work out all right.”

Meanwhile, we are not sitting still and are keeping our eyes open for other solutions. Personally, I am convinced that we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Sustainability is an important issue within our company, by the way. We have the necessary certificates, including MPS A, MPS-GAP, MPSSQ and Sedex. In addition, we fight pests and diseases using organic methods as much as possible and reuse our water.”

Optimistic, with a degree of caution

And finally, we come to the future. What do you see in your crystal ball, Joram? “I think the green trend will continue for some time to come. What does concern me rather is the shrinkage of the supply. A whole generation of growers is disappearing,

“Ioftencompareour partnershipwithFloréacto amarriage.Youpromiseto take care of each other in goodandbadtimes.”


Ho, ho, ho! Does Santa still come from the North Pole?

He certainly does. And what is he carrying on his sleigh?

Ornamental pots in frivolous shapes and colours, that’s what. With elves, gnomes and moose to add a touch of magic. Compositions and arrangements with a story. This winter, we believe in fairy tales.

24 © www.mooiwatplantendoen.nl
Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop


Gold, silver and bronze? Go for glamour and magic. It’s the leading trend this season. Stylish and yet as festive as it gets. Seduce your clients with showpieces that immediately stand out, with shiny gold stick-ins. How about purple orchids in bronze ceramic pots? It’s only Christmas once a year, and it’s time to show off that bling!

26 theme
Discover the Floréac selection in our webshop
27 All products for this theme are of course available in our webshop : www.floreac.shop AMARRD-SP19A CYMBMX-SP03TA2A ILEX-SP01A HYACIN-SP116A KERST-§SP006A PHALMX-SP260TA2A PHALMX-SP132TA2A KERST-§GL027A DENOAP-SP81TA2A AMARYL-WA36A ANSURD-SP01A DEBEOD-SP01TA9+A KERST-§SP005A ECHEMXKL-SP14A
31 NEW Amaryllis AMARYL-WA05A Amaryllis AMARYL-WA113A Amaryllis AMARYL-WA111A new kids on the block Bedding
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 If you buy for a purchase value of € 500 per theme, we will give you a free 33 x 67 cm paper poster of the chosen theme.

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