Blog grower Steef van Ruijven: “The cycle of chrysanthemums is fascinating”
Steef is co-owner of Arcadia Chrysanthemums. Since 2011, the young entrepreneur (30) has led the disbudded chrysanthemum company.It is a wonderful plant to cultivate due to its interesting cycle.
It wasn't my childhood dream to go into horticulture, but it was in my blood. My father certainly never encouraged me to enter his business. You are never finished, and it is a huge challenge, he stressed. But it was still where I ended up. After college, I worked in procurement at several different companies, gaining a lot of experience. It was not what I wanted, though, because I missed the dynamics of a nursery.
Disbudded chrysanthemums are the future
My father Bert decided to expand the business in 2007. But if we wanted new buildings, we would have to leave the Westland region, because the price of land is too high there. A year later 8 ha became available in De Kwakel. This led to a collaboration between two companies, RO Flowers and Kwekerij van Ruijven, and they merged into one: Arcadia Chrysanthemums. Since then, Arcadia has been gradually increasing the cultivation of disbudded chrysanthemums. Every year one location switches from spray to disbudded chrysanthemums. Each owner of Arcadia is responsible for one location; I am responsible for the location on the Woudzicht in De Lier.
Finally, the last 4 ha on the location in De Kwakel switched to disbudded chrysanthemums a few weeks ago. Our company's vision is based on disbudded chrysanthemums. The lovely aspect of chrysanthemum cultivation is its ten-week cycle completed five times a year. Each time we make plans, planting and changing the colour scheme according to the buyers' wishes. Isn't that a great cycle?
Increase the demand for chrysanthemums
We believe that the trade welcomes us. Not only are we the largest disbudded chrysanthemum grower in the Netherlands, producing 50 million stems per year, we can supply practically every variety and size. We alleviate our buyers' concerns.
Digitising is the underlying idea
How does Steef envisage the company's future? Digitising is the underlying idea. We have renovated our systems for logistics and order processing to ensure every order is delivered on time. We joined FloraMondo a year ago, and sales have only increased. The digital market has expanded enormously in the past few years.