Trade talk: Hukra b.v.
Each month with Trade Talk, we highlight one of the trading parties that sell varieties of Dekker Chrysanthen. We learn more about the company, its relationship with us as a breeder, and its experiences with the many chrysanthemum varieties Dekker has introduced into the market.
This month we visited Hukra
Many exporters of flowers and plants can be found on the Prunus in De Kwakel. Countless trucks are loaded here every day to then be sent off to various countries. England, Germany, France, and also Sweden: the freshly bought flowers and plants leave to almost everywhere. One of the exporters that is particularly active in Sweden is Hukra B.V. With a large customer base consisting mainly of local Swedish florists and with two own cash and carries in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Hukra has become a well-known name in the far North. Especially for this edition of Trade Talk, we spoke with Gradus Koningen and Kimberley Jongen, both of whom work at Hukra.
A suitable answer to every question
Once we arrived at Hukra, we were warmly welcomed by Gradus and Kimberley. Gradus works as the chrysanthemum buyer at Hukra, a position he has held for more than 20 years within the organization. The chrysanthemum is a product group Gradus really loves, as turns out during the conversation. In particular, the opportunities the chrysanthemum offers in terms of breeding makes him think it truly is a wonderful product. "With so many colors and shapes, there is a suitable answer for every question, which makes the chrysanthemum a much-sold product," Gradus says himself.
A grown love
That the chrysanthemum offers many possibilities is also directly confirmed by Kimberley. Kimberley works daily as Hukra's marketing manager and, like her colleague Gradus, has a great love and passion for flowers. As a proud grower's daughter, she was introduced to the sector at an early age, and after working for an orchid grower for over seven years, she made the move to Hukra. Although the love for flowers appears to have been instilled in her, the love for chrysanthemums took a little longer to develop. Now, a few years later, Kimberley is also charmed by this product and, like no other, knows how to promote it to the Swedish florist.
Only the best is good enough
One of the features that makes the Chrysanthemum so popular with both Gradus and Kimberley is its long vase life. This makes the chrysanthemum a reliable product that can be sold to the customer without any hesitation. "The customer must be able to trust us blindly, so only the best is good enough," as Gradus tells us. The bar within Hukra is, therefore, high regarding the chrysanthemums Gradus buys, and the customer is clearly king. Kimberley also agrees with the importance of reliability towards the customer. For example, Kimberley emphasizes that "heaven and earth are moved to answer every wish and request of the Swedish florists with an appropriate proposal." And that the chrysanthemum often provides an answer is evident as soon as the importance of the chrysanthemum within Hukra is discussed.
An absolute must-have
Thanks to the many links with grower collectives such as Vannova, Zentoo, and Arcadia, the Swedish florist at Hukra has a wide selection of chrysanthemums at her disposal. One of the absolute bestsellers at Hukra is the disbudded chrysanthemum Kalimba Salmon, grown by Arcadia Chrysanthemums. Its soft color makes it an absolute must-have for the Swedish florist, who is also a big fan of Aljonka salmon for the same reason. Another highly beloved variety is Topspin, which because of its bright white color and large flower petals, is receiving more and more appreciation from the Swedish florist. Gradus was quickly convinced of Topspin and calls it a real asset within the group. And thanks to Kimberley, the Swedish florist is also becoming more and more convinced!
Exception to the rule
A characteristic of the Scandinavian florist is that they are real trendsetters. That which the Swedish florist picks up today almost always gradually moves towards the rest of the European countries. In addition to the forerunner role in terms of trends and styling, however, there is something else that characterizes the Swedish flower market: the division of the year into seasons, with each season having its own flower. For example, Kimberley currently sees a big spike in the amount of tulips that pass through Hukra's distribution hall every day. But shortly before that, it was the countless boxes full of Amaryllises, and before you know it, the place is full of the signature summer flowers again. However, the chrysanthemum is an exception to the rule because, with a small peak in the fall, it is still sold to the Swedish florist almost all year round. This places the chrysanthemum in the absolute top 3 most sold flowers by Hukra.
The human being comes first
The importance of people to the company is evident not only in the care and passion with which clients are talked about. The enthusiasm with which Gradus and Kimberley talk about Hukra as an employer also speaks for itself. Both mention the opportunities they were given to develop further as being typical of the company. On the one hand, this has resulted in many of the current staff working for Hukra for a long time. On the other hand, thanks to this attitude, Kimberley and Gradus see a continuous influx of young and ambitious talent who are given room within the organization to learn and specialize. Quality requires investment. At Hukra, this applies to both their product and their people.
A two-way relationship
Finally, when we ask about the relationship between Hukra and Dekker Chrysanten, it is immediately labeled as very good by both Gradus and Kimberley. The short lines of communication and personal contact with one person responsible within the organization make it a fine cooperation according to both. Furthermore, according to Gradus, Dekker Chrysanten is characterized by keeping its quality high, something the Swedish exporter highly appreciates. Kimberley can greatly appreciate the interaction between Hukra and Dekker Chrysanten in the field of promotion. Offering relevant sales tools and realizing promotions on location make the chrysanthemum live more and more among the Swedish florist. And that is a common goal for which we also want to work together with Hukra for a long time to come!