POELDIJK, The Netherlands: From Wednesday to Friday, March 14 – 16, the tulip bulb exporters will again be welcoming a varied group of visitors from a range of countries. During the three-day ‘display’ of tulip cultivation, hundreds of varieties will be in bloom. Given the growing interest of the retail sector in tulips, greater efforts are being invested in new forms and colours.
Innovation continues to grow in the tulip sector as well – in breeding, forcing and cultivation. It’s a key topic at the Tulip Trade Event. For breeders the stress lies primarily on developing virus-free varieties that can be successfully produced and have flowers that are easy to harvest. There is also an evident trend to obtain a heavier plant from a smaller bulb. Just like many other horticultural plants, the tulip sector is focussing more on a sustainable form of operational management. There is a growing interest in reducing energy consumption by incorporating solar- and wind-generated energy. The application of pesticides is also showing a downward trend.
Retail channel increasingly important
This allows the export sector to respond to the wishes of consumers and the retail sector, which are becoming increasingly critical. On the other hand, tulips occupy a strong position in the floricultural assortment. In particular, more tulips are finding their way to consumers via the supermarket channel. It is revealing that on Valentine’s Day, the traditional bunch of roses is often being replaced by tulips.
Own spot on the calendar
In 2016 exporters opened their doors for the first time with a joint promotional event: the Tulip Trade Event. In just two years the event has gained a spot on the international calendar in prominent sales markets like Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, China, America and Japan. Norman Cools, closely involved with the organisation on behalf of VWS Export, explained. ‘The purpose of the Tulip Trade Event is not primarily to open up new markets. We want to provide the markets we already serve with insight into the new varieties and cultivation methods and impress them with the strength of an export partner, to improve our image in those markets. That is a tough job, because the competition comes from the Netherlands.’
The enthusiasm across the board of the companies opening their doors on March 14 – 16 is striking. This year the participants are P. Aker, Amsonia, Borst Bloembollen, Haakman Flowerbulbs, Holland Bulb Market, Nord Lommerse, P. Nelis & zoon’s, VWS Flowerbulbs and the two newcomers Boots Flowerbulbs and Bot Flowerbulbs. The official opening of the Tulip Trade Event is planned for 14 March from 10.00 to 11.00 at Holland Bulb Market in Heiloo. More information is available at www.tuliptradeevent.nl