Fleur Market

Fleur Market is a cooperative founded in January 2016 and is a supplier of the full range of Chrysanthemums. The cooperative is built on the knowledge and expertise of 2 partners who stimulate, complement and support each other. It consists of the companies VDL Fleurs, of Teun and Gerrit van der Lugt, and the Chrysanthemum cooperative Zento0. Together they cover 68 hectares and 235 million stems of various Chrysanthemums species per year. Chrysanthemums in any colour and flower shape and mono-bouquets or mixed bouquets, any demand can be met.  Fleur Market is able to meet the demand of the very large supermarket chains as well as the demand of the smaller florist and specialist who are looking for very special varieties. VDL Fleurs has tailored the assortment to the needs of supermarkets and Zentoo to the needs of florists and other specialist shops.

Fleurmarket is involved in the Chrysanthemums from the cutting to the vase, where cooperation is of paramount importance. The optimization of chain processes has constant attention and should lead to “every day better”!

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a key point within Fleur Market, both in business operations, employees and processes and in the product range. Fleur Market is committed to neonicotinoid-free products and reducing its CO2 footprint.

Fleur Market now holds the MPS A, GRASP and Global GAP certificates that underline their commitment to people, the environment and society.

Sustainability

At the beginning of 2016, it became increasingly clear that there was a growing demand for neonicotinoid-free products in the large supermarket chains. The growers under Fleur Market have started to grow neonicotinoid-freel products as a result of this increasing demand.

The fact that more and more supermarkets are imposing requirements that go beyond the statutory requirements with regard to the use of active ingredients poses major challenges on a daily basis.

The incoming plant material from certified companies in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, is tested for residues of crop protection agents by means of leaf samples. Leaf samples are also taken from the cultivated product. The results of these samples are compared with the list of applied substances.

The company has opted for integrated cultivation. This means that if there are harmful insects in the plants and flowers, we choose to control them in a biological way in the first place. Other alternatives will only be considered if that is not possible. In that case “green chemistry” is often applied. Very specific chemistry is then used in the places where it is needed. The harmful insects present are then killed, but the biological pest controls remain alive.

Structurally, 5 biological pest control agents are released, which are continuously supplemented with feed mites, so that the biological pest control agents reproduce faster and therefore increase in number more quickly. This results in an army of biological pest control agents that attack the harmful insects.

When bugs end up in a shop, it is very difficult for shop owners to see whether they are good biological pest controls or harmful insects. Therefore, 14 days before the harvest of the flowers, all animals in the flowers are destroyed.

 

Water
Rainwater collected in water basins is being utilized. In addition, surface water is used. The water is cleaned and purified of fungi and bacteria and then sprayed over the crop via sprinklers. What the plant does not absorb immediately is collected by drainage hoses and then purified and reused.

No water is discharged back into the surface water. The remaining excess water is purified and discharged into the sewer.

The water consumption of Fleur Market has no influence on the drinking water supplies in the region.

 

Energy

Fleur Market aims for continuous reduction of energy consumption. The use of combined heat and power (CHP) converts fuel very efficiently into heat and electricity. In the winter months the power is used for lighting flowers and in the summer the power is sold to the grid. The exhaust fumes from the CHPs are used to produce CO2. The CO2 is then used to feed the plants.

In the winter months the company OCAP supplies extremely pure CO2. This CO2 is purer than the CO2 that can be produced from the CHP. The Shell Pernis refinery, among others, turns their emissions into this pure CO2 and sells it to OCAP. OCAP then supplies it via a pipeline network to growers who need pure CO2 for their cultivation.

In mid-2019, the next step in further sustainability will take place, namely geothermal energy. By means of a borehole, hot water of approx. 90 degrees is pumped up from a depth of 2.3 km. This hot water is used to heat the greenhouses.

Waste

All waste is separated. The waste is collected by specialised companies. The green waste is then processed into compost, which ultimately leads to a reduction in gas emissions.

Crop Protection Agents Kg Active Ingredient: 

Provides insight into the use of plant protection products. Red stands for substances with a high environmental impact, orange for substances with a low impact on the environment, green for substances with a low impact on the environment (Source MPS-A).

Energy (GJ):

Provides insight into the use of the amount of energy. (Source MPS-A)

Fertilizers (KG) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Consumption:

Provides insight into the use of Nitrogen and Phosphorus. (Source MPS-A)

People

The employees of Fleur Market are very skilled. There are 4 permanent employees and 12 employees work on a temporary basis. Of the staff 60% is male and 40% female. Men and women have equal development opportunities within the company. The men take care of the “heavier” work such as harvesting the flowers and the women take care of the “finer” work such as packing and packing the flowers.

All employees are assessed and rewarded in accordance with the collective labour agreement for greenhouse horticulture. The Collective Labour Agreement rules are particularly well observed. Every employee has an employment contract and therefore has income security enabling them to provide themselves with a proper place to live. We also provide good protective work clothing and a safe and clean working environment.

Fleur Market tries to help the local community by sponsoring the football and the korfball clubs. In addition, Fleur Market supplies the flowers for the church and makes them available for flower arranging excursions organized for the elderly.

Health

Did you know that flowers and plants have a healthy effect on people?

  • Plants provide air purification..
    People breathe in air, take out oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In the case of plants it is the other way around. During photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it back into oxygen. The amount of oxygen in the air is increased by the presence of plants, which makes breathing easier.
    Air-purifying plants can absorb harmful substances from the air through their leaves. These harmful substances are then stored and broken down in the plant’s roots. These plants can also break down dirty odours, so they are actually natural air fresheners.
    For the sake of clarity, every (indoor) plant produces oxygen, but not every plant also purifies the air. Air-purifying plants are e.g. the Spathiphyllum, Calathea, Hedera helix (ivy), Areca palm and the Ficus. For many plants we do not yet know to what extent they have an air purifying effect since they have not yet been tested.
  • Plants ensure a better concentration and a reduction of stress.
    Plants create a relaxed and better atmosphere, also at work.. Plants make the workplace a more pleasant place to work.
    Apparently there is even a relationship between the presence of plants and the productivity of employees.
    Moreover, the presence of plants has a positive effect on the creativity and concentration of people.
  • Plants reduce the dryness of the air
    The dust content and humidity in the house are strongly related with each other. The dryer the air, the more dust. This can cause symptoms such as a tickling cough, dry skin, headaches and irritated eyes. By watering plants, it finally evaporates again through the stomata in the leaves. Plants can thus increase the humidity of the air, which therefore benefits the air quality.
  • Plants provide a pleasant and warm feeling
    Research has shown that plants are good for people in various (subtle) ways. They play an essential role in creating a pleasant, natural and quiet environment in which to move, work and/or relax.
  • Did you know that flowers too have a healthy effect on people?
    Flowers can brighten up any room in a magical way. They give meaning to our emotions such as love, joy, comfort, compassion and sorrow. Flowers provide a relaxing effect on our constitution. They provide positive energy in the home and a warm feeling. In short, everyone is just very happy about that!

Care

Innovation

The Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector is worldwide renowned for its innovative power. In order to be one step ahead of the competition from other parts of the world, people are constantly looking for better efficiency in the use of raw materials and space. This, of course, without compromising the (top) quality of the Dutch product.

The glasshouse horticulture sector in the Netherlands can cope with this rapid pace of innovation thanks to a strong relationship between research and practice. In addition, a great deal of knowledge is exchanged between the entrepreneurs in order to make progress together. The flower auctions are a good example of this as one of the largest cooperatives in the world.
Below we describe a few examples of this innovative power.

 

Biological control and integrated pest management
In order to minimise the use of pesticides and to find a better balance between parasites and their natural enemies, natural enemies of the parasites are used in the greenhouses. Thanks to the intensive exchange of knowledge between the growers and their suppliers, growers are increasingly able to produce a top quality product with organic solutions.

 

Combined heat and power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (CHP) is a large engine, originating from the shipping industry. Only it has been converted to run on natural gas. The efficiency of this motor is higher than traditional gas boilers. These engines drive a generator that generates electricity. This electricity is used in the company’s own nursery or is supplied back to the public electricity grid. The ‘residual heat’ produced by the engine is used to heat the greenhouses. After cleaning, the exhaust gases can be used to provide the plants with CO2. All in all, these motors provide an efficiency that can be up to 20% higher than the traditional method of heating (gas boilers).

 

Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is used for this type of energy. A drilling tower is used to drill a well to a depth of 2-3 km. At this depth, water of more than 80 degrees can be ‘collected’. This heat is used to heat the greenhouses and then the cooled water is returned to the soil via a second source. It is expected that these sources will be able to continue to produce sufficient heat, even longer than the life of a greenhouse.

Drilling the well is an enormously expensive investment. In addition, there is a great risk that the drilling will ‘fail’. By working together with each other and with governments, in the Netherlands we are able to gain experience with this way of heating greenhouses sustainably.

 

Water purification
Plants need water and nutrients to grow. More and more nurseries are making use of the reuse of drainage water. This is water that is collected before it disappears into the subsoil. This ‘drainage water’ still contains many nutrients that can be used by the plants.
By reusing this water and mixing it with clean water, less fertilizer is used.
However, the drainage water also contains some ‘wrong substances’. The content of these wrong substances determines how much water can be reused. The application of new techniques creates opportunities to filter these ‘wrong substances’ out of the water.

 

Diffuse glass
In new constructions, more and more growers are opting to cover their greenhouses with diffuse glass. Diffuse glass ensures that light is distributed much more evenly across the crop without any shade or light spots. This leads to a more even greenhouse climate.
Temperature and humidity can thus be controlled more accurately, which means, for example, that the opening of the air windows can be limited, which leads to lower CO2 emissions.

 

LED lighting in greenhouse horticulture
A new innovation in horticulture is the use of LED lighting. This lighting is not comparable with LED lighting used in consumer use. In the horticultural sector, the lighting is produced by ‘power LEDs’ and therefore much higher. The major advantage of these ‘power LEDs’ is related to sustainable business practices: energy savings compared to high-pressure sodium lamps (orange-coloured lighting). This saves more than half of the energy.
Another major advantage is that when using LEDs, crops can be better controlled using the different colours in the light. This is in favour of a better growth and a higher quality of the product.

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