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Trade talk: Nijssen Jr.

Every month we use Trade Talk to highlight one of the trading parties that sell varieties of Dekker Chrysanten. We learn more about the company, the relationship with us as the breeder and their personal experiences with one of the many chrysanthemum varieties that Dekker has launched on the market.

This month we visited Nijssen Jr.

Nijs to meet you!

With a broad smile and a firm handshake, we are warmly welcomed by Colin Zaal, buyer at Nijssen Jr., based in Aalsmeer. For more than fifty years, Nijssen Jr. is a full-service flower export company that has specialized over the years in the (South) German market. As in Colin's own words, they may not be the biggest party, but due to their continuous pursuit of service and quality, and an unstoppable passion for the flower business, Nijssen Jr. is in the absolute top of the worldwide flower export every day.

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Walk the walk, talk the talk

Whoever enters the location of Nijssen Jr. Stepping at VBA-South, immediately feels that the Dutch flower exporter works with a no-nonsense mentality. The team of about 30 people is well attuned to each other and from the balustrade, the whole looks like a well-oiled machine. The flowers and plants that were purchased earlier that morning arrive via the bridge and are immediately photographed and placed on the webshop after an extensive quality check. In this way, the no-nonsense mentality does not only remain within the walls of the company, but the customer also always knows exactly what to expect: reliable flowers and plants of absolute top quality. And is there a special wish or question? Thanks to the North Holland mentality, “no” never is an option!

The right type of guy!

It soon becomes clear that Colin is a good fit for Nijssen Jr.'s team. He is 28 years young and "Don't be afraid, just do it!" seems to be his life motto. Colin was only 14 years old when he cycled to the auction every week early in the morning. Many internships and various jobs later, he is now working daily as a buyer for Nijssen Jr. Colin not only seems to have an unbridled amount of energy, but also has a clear passion for the flower business. Over the years, he says he has “fallen in love with the flowers” and this shows as son as he talks about Nijssen Jr. and his daily activities.

Always think in solutions!

The company Nijssen Jr. started in the late 1960s as a flower and plant trader, located in Santpoort-Noord. The flowers and plants were sold on various markets in the region, but a physical shop in Haarlem soon followed. The focus on growth has been there from the start, because after various markets and a store, Nijssen Jr. also started to export flowers and plants to the south of Germany, an area wehere years later they would be known as a true specialist. Meanwhile, the company has added many destinations and customers, and nowadays the flowers are even sent to the Emirates. Despite the growth and continuous modernization, however, one thing has always remained the same: personal contact with the customer. Because of its size, the strength of Nijssen Jr. lies in being able to switch quickly and thus in being able to respond to the customer’s demands.

We all need some friction

The hands-on mentality of Nijssen Jr. suits Colin well, who describes himself as a real “doer”. That Colin is not afraid to "just do something" becomes quickly apparent when he tells how he eventually became a buyer. Buying flowers at the auction all started for Colin with observing a colleague-buyer every morning and buying the Alstroemerias. Once the holiday season arrived, Colin was asked to take over from his teacher, unaware that the world was just before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. The world was turned upside down, many changes took place in a very short time , what eventually led to Colin not leaving the buyer's seat anymore. Did everything go well at once? Certainly not! But according to Colin himself “you can learn from your mistakes, and without friction there certainly won’t be any shine!”. And so he is now responsible for the purchase of various product groups, including the chrysanthemum.

A love for Santini

If we look at the chrysanthemum section of Nijssen Jr's cold store, we see that their customer base has a strong preference for Santini. They also sell spray- and disbudded chrysanthemums, but these mainly are popular in the period around autumn. However, Santini is a “hot item” in the Nijssen Jr. webshop all year round. With the volume that the Santini offers and the perfect stem length, it is one of the most important elements of the so-called Straussen: short, small bouquets with a traditional structure. The colors yellow, green and white are preferred and as far as flower shape is concerned, the pompoms seem to be doing well. Therefore, Doria is one of the varieties that made its way to the customer of Nijssen Jr. in large numbers.

Say yes to Doria!

Because of their customers’ preferences, Doria Pink and Doria Lila are always available in the webshop,  and other colors are purchased depending on the season. Here too, Colin's passion for his profession becomes clear: because of the enthusiasm with which he talks about Doria, he surely knows how to sell the variety like no other. In particular, the strong colours, the stem strength, the good shelf life and the full, pompom-shaped flower make Doria a wonderful product, according to Colin, which perfectly meets the wishes of the market.

Listening as the key to success

According to Colin, the development of products that meet the needs of the market is what makes Dekker unique. Continuing to listen carefully and thinking along with the market offers advantages and that does not only apply to us as breeders. During our visit Colin is called several times and every question and wish is handled with great care. And after our visit? Then Colin will help the guys and girla of the distribution. “Those flowers have to hit the road and make people happy!” Colin smiles! And with a short sprint he quickly is where he is in place: between the flowers!

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