Inca Orchids B.V.

Inca Orchids is a family business located in Nootdorp. The company started in the 70’s with vegetables and switched in the 90’s to the cut cymbidium. Since 2006 Inca Orchids has been working with exclusive orchids. The collection consists of more than 50 varieties of orchids with special flower shapes, colours and even fragrant types. Within this collection there are also several orchids only available exclusively. Each orchid has its own unique properties and inflorescence. Cultivation therefore offers a lot of variation and challenges. Inca Orchids works with a large team of dedicated people who work with the orchids every day with great passion. The quality is partly determined by the eyes and ears of the employees.


Sustainability is very important to Inca Orchids: Attention for nature, people and the environment is central. Not only certification, but being aware of what is done on a daily basis and taking steps where possible. For example, natural enemies (e.g. insects such as parasitic wasps) are used in the greenhouse to control pests in a natural way and solar panels are used to generate energy. In the nursery they use reusable trays. The cultivation pots are made of 100% recycled plastic. Green waste is collected separately and picked up to be turned into compost.


Where possible, all the waste is separated so that it can be processed into new material.



In nature, orchids grow in the jungle, often around or on trees in a humid environment. This situation is imitated with fogging in the greenhouse. In addition, the plants are irrigated about once a week.


The water remaining after watering the plants is fully recirculated and purified. This water is stored in a separate silo for reuse. In this way, no fertiliser is lost and damage to the environment is minimised. Inca Orchids uses an underground water storage facility. Rainwater is stored deep in the ground between layers of sand. From here, the water needed every day is pumped up. Even in dry periods there is sufficient water available without the need to use pipe (drinking) water. Another advantage is that in case of excessive rainfall, the ditches and sewers are not (over)loaded.


Crop protection

Inca Orchids strives for complete biological control. When harmful insects are found in the greenhouse, they immediately deploy natural enemies (insects from nature). Only if a pest is so persistent that the use of natural enemies does not help, they locally apply crop protection products that fall within the environmental certification. And here too, preference is given to crop protection of natural origin.



The orchids are grown in a mixture of coconut fibre and bark (tree bark). The coconut fibre literally comes from the skin of a coconut. This soil mixture is supplied directly by professional suppliers.



Inca Orchids consciously uses its energy and uses more than 300 solar panels that provide the company with the necessary power for lighting and machinery. Because the work is becoming more and more sustainable, the use of electricity is decreasing every year. Inca Orchids also purchases green gas and green electricity. The system for climate control uses multi-day temperature integration, i.e. if today’s temperature is too high, this is compensated the other day and vice versa.

Inca Orchids has its own transport.

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)


Inca Orchids B.V. has 27 permanent employees and considers the welfare of its people very important. A good atmosphere ensures that all employees can work with passion and pleasure.


Employees have an employment contract, establishing matters such as the number of days of leave, salary, and working hours etc. The guidelines in the Collective Labour Agreement for greenhouse horticulture are well respected, so protective clothing is available and other safety rules are well observed. Each employee gets the freedom to express his/her own religion.

Within Inca Orchids 1 employee is responsible for HR. In addition, there is also a statutory staff representation.


Employees are given the opportunity to develop by means of courses or to grow in function.

Inca Orchids is a recognised training company where students do traineeships. Students from highschools work there on Saturdays. Employees with a social disability also work there and, where possible, work is outsourced to students from special needs education.


Locally, Inca Orchids supports various charities every year. It also participates in collective initiatives in the region such as Kom in de Kas (a day on which greenhouses open their doors for visitors), geothermal heat projects and other local collaborations.


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!



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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