Meet the team of Kwekerij de Zuidplas
Kwekerij de Zuidplas is a family business. Relationships have therefore formed an integral part of the nursery right from the very start. Most of our employees stay with us for a very long time. We believe in long-lasting relationships in which there is room for growth, development and a friendly chat among colleagues.
Family business with deep roots
Juriaan is an entrepreneur, a gerbera grower and the third generation at the helm of the family business. His grandfather started the business, father Johan took over and started growing large-flowered gerbera daisies. Later, Juriaan and his brother Leen stepped in. Today, you can come across both brothers and father Johan on the work floor. There are two locations where a total of about thirty-five people work in the low season. At the start of the growing season - from the beginning of March to the end of September - around 15 more people are added.
Working in a nursery
‘We employ some people on a permanent basis and others on a flexible basis,’ Juriaan explains. ‘These include students who, in addition to studying, enjoy picking gerberas. Our team harvests the flowers and then sorts them according to size and shape.' The flowers are then packed and made ready for transport. 'The last part is quite complicated, because each customer has their own specific wishes about how the flowers should be delivered.' Finally, there are colleagues who take care of the actual transport of the flowers. All in all, it is quite a logistical challenge. 'One that we enjoy taking on. We just make sure that everything fits into place. That's what makes the work so enjoyable, no two days are the same.’
There are two colleagues who guarantee the quality of the gerberas: Rik, the Cultivation head foreman, and Wilco, the Crop Protection foreman. ‘Rik controls the climate within the greenhouses,’ Juriaan explains. 'He checks that the gerberas are well cared for, that they have sufficient water and he takes into account influences such as the indoor and outdoor temperature, the humidity in the greenhouses and the amount of light. Because no two days are the same, all of these factors have to be re-evaluated each and every day. Gerberas are delicate flowers that require made to measure care. The trick is to be as efficient as possible, given the sustainable approach of our nursery.’
‘Gerberas are delicate flowers. We use the most efficient growing methods. This matches the sustainable approach at Kwekerij de Zuidplas.’
‘Wilco studies both the good and the harmful creatures in the greenhouse: the insects,’ Juriaan continues. 'We try to work in as natural a way as possible, using the good insects to combat the harmful ones. If that fails, we turn to alternatives.’
Managing the business
Good management is a necessity when you have a large team and a complex working environment. Two colleagues spend their days working on this: Katazyrna at one location and Wim at the other. They are in charge of staff management, planning and making up the orders. These early birds start the day with Juriaan, planning the schedule for that day, because each day is different in this respect too.