FlorAmor

FlorAmor is a merged company between 2 Belgian Azalea companies, ID’flor and De Bruyne, with decades of history. They mainly cultivate Azaleas at various locations. In addition to Azaleas, Rhododendron, Clivia and terrace plants are grown. The head office and logistics hub of the company is located in Lochristi, the geographical heart of Flemish floriculture. Within FlorAmor there is a lot of technical expertise with a strong focus on innovation, marketing and future-oriented sales. With the 2 Azalea brands, Flandresse and Hortinno, FlorAmor distinguishes itself in the market.

The production area under FlorAmor is now MPS-GAP and MPS-SQ certified. Since FlorAmor feels it is its duty to take care of nature, its own employees and the consumer, even greater steps are now being taken in the field of organic cultivation. The biggest challenge is to grow beautiful, strong and healthy products as sustainably as possible, at economically justifiable costs.

Knowing that the consumer will be happy with the products grown by FlorAmor gives the employees the motivation to enjoy their work every day.

Sustainability

Water
FlorAmor uses rainwater for the plants. Since sufficient rainwater could become a problem in the future, in recent years a lot of investment has been made in the collection and storage of rainwater. Rainwater is now collected and stored in large basins. The water that is not absorbed by the plants is collected again, purified and reused.

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

 

Nature Conservation

In order to preserve nature, the grass and weeds along the ditch sides are cut. During the breeding season there is no mowing, otherwise the animals can be disturbed. Weeds are controlled manually.

At all locations there is space left between the greenhouses and the ditches. There are a number of sheep keeping everything tidy. Hedgerows and flowerbeds have been created around the various locations.

A bee hotel has also been installed on a vacant piece of land. Therefore, FlorAmor does not use pesticides that contain neonicotoids. The aim of the bee hotel is to increase the population of bees and insects.

The genetics of the products grown by FlorAmor are selected on the basis of the degree of resistance to diseases and pests. The better the plants can cope with this, the fewer crop protection products are required.

The breeding of new Azalea genetics takes place at a sister company. The propagation of the starting material takes place at FlorAmor itself.

 

Climate

Waste materials such as plastic and paper are collected separately within the company and disposed of. Even more important is that FlorAmor has drawn up a waste plan to limit the amount of waste.

In order to further reduce gas emissions, green waste is processed into compost. And in order to further reduce energy consumption, the plants are grown at a slightly colder temperature for a longer period of time before they go to the warm greenhouse to get them to bloom. Cold growing is beneficial for energy consumption and also helps in the fight against pests.

FlorAmor is always looking for suppliers who try to work as sustainably as possible. The transporters must have the latest trucks with the lowest emissions and the energy supplier must be able to supply as much energy as possible that has been generated in a sustainable manner.

 

FlorAmor is in possession of the most important certificates issued by the international certification organisation MPS, indicating that the products have been grown responsibly and with respect for people and the environment.

Wetering Potlilium is in possesion of the environmental certificates MPS-A, MPS-GAP and MPS SQ.

– MPS-A – indicates the level of sustainability of the company’s operations.

– MPS-GAP – for companies that supply to retailers and concerns traceability, environment, safety and hygiene. MPS-GAP is the next step beyond MPS-A on the road to sustainability.

– MPS SQ – relates to the social aspects of business operations

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

All FlorAmor employees have a written employment contract. This enables the employees to provide themselves with decent accommodation.

Within the company there is a quality manual in which everything is recorded. This manual describes, among other things, that discrimination is prohibited. Men and women are treated equally. But it is taken into account in the division of labour. Pregnant women obviously do not have to do any heavy work. Every employee is also given the opportunity to develop in order to be able to work his way up to a “higher” position within the company.

There are also seasonal workers working within the company. They participate in the same work process as the permanent employees, so they are also treated in the same way.

Within FloraAmor, an action plan has been drawn up to guarantee the safety and well-being of the employees. Accidents at work are analysed annually. On the basis of this analysis, extra measures are taken if necessary.

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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