Trade Talk: Van der Plas
There is almost nothing as fascinating as the vibrant world of international flower trade. Every day, countless businesses work tirelessly to facilitate these global trade flows. In our section “Trade Talk,” we shine a monthly spotlight on one of these companies, delving into their history, their connection with us as chrysanthemum breeders, and, of course, their experiences with the various varieties that Dekker Chrysanthemums has introduced to the market over the years.
This time, we paid a visit to van der Plas.
“Van der Plas” is a well-known name in the global flower and plant trade. Their iconic blue trucks depart daily to florists, supermarkets, and garden centers spread throughout Europe. Although the company has grown into a global enterprise with branches at all FloraHolland Netherlands auction sites, van der Plas still maintains the character of a family business. Every member of the company is considered a part of this family. So, let’s learn more about this flower and plant giant from Rijnsburg!
Step by step
Like many other companies in our sector, van der Plas started with one driven entrepreneur. Flowers and plants were shipped weekly to Germany, followed quickly by new markets such as France, Italy, and England. France also became a market where van der Plas opened its own Cash & Carries under the name Dexx. Now, van der Plas operates globally, with a specific focus on England, France, Germany, and Italy.
Everything under one roof
Thanks to continuous innovation and significant growth, van der Plas has become the specialist in supplying florists, supermarkets, wholesalers, and garden centers. The scale of van der Plas offers the convenience of everything under one roof: flowers, plants, and accessories such as pots and vases can be found with a simple click on their webshop. “Convenience serves humanity,” proves true once again here!
Looking towards the next generation
With the history of multiple generations within the same company, van der Plas realizes, like no other, that innovation and sustainability are essential developments. The exporter is fully committed to a green and fair process, “from field to vase,” with a focus on people and the environment.
A close-knit family
Despite being a pioneer in innovation and digitization, the human element still plays a crucial role within the family business at van der Plas. Every day, these individuals are the ones who make the success of Van der Plas a reality. Two of these individuals are Jan de Rover and Rutger Kraijenoord. Both have been actively involved with van der Plas for many years, with Jan serving as a daily purchaser, including for chrysanthemums, and Rutger being responsible for sales to France. With their proven experience within the family business, Jan and Rutger have witnessed the company’s continuous growth. According to Rutger, the ongoing search for and implementation of innovations in the workplace plays a significant role in this. However, the company’s growth has not compromised the family culture: "It feels like a family where everyone supports each other and contributes to the greater whole,” says Jan.
Capturing his heart
Since the start of his career at van der Plas, Jan has been responsible for purchasing various cut flowers, with chrysanthemums being one of the largest product groups. Despite the importance of the product group, Jan's heart was not immediately captured by the chrysanthemum. Fortunately, this has changed, and he now enjoys working with them. In particular, the disbudded chrysanthemums make Jan's heart beat faster, and according to him, they should always be present in his home. However, Jan doesn't only buy disbudded chrysanthemums; he also purchases large volumes of santini, tros, and Madiba.
Each market has its own demand
When asked about the distribution between Madiba, santini, spray, and disbudded chrysanthemums, it quickly becomes apparent that Van der Plas is most active in Santinis. "Especially in France, it's significant," Rutger adds. The French florist wants value for money but generally operates on a limited budget. "Very different from our Scandinavian customer, where money plays a much less significant role," says Rutger. This highlights how each market has its own demand for flowers. Regarding flower shape, Jan sees a significant preference for pompons, but the traditional single flower still performs well.
Thanks in part to the family culture at van der Plas, new ideas are always welcome. They understand better than anyone how important good relationships and personal contact are. Not only with the customer but also with other links in the chain. Time is regularly set aside for Dekker Chrysanten, and relevant information about developments in the product group and the market is exchanged. "Together you go further," a philosophy that seems to apply within van der Plas as well. And that's what Dekker Chrysanthemums is keen to invest in over the coming years!