Zwettulips, Plant World and Marginpar, scoop up the 2023 Dutch Flower Awards

The winners of the Dutch Flower Awards 2023 on stage with the Executive Committee of Dutch Flower Group Photo courtesy:

Dutch Flower Group (DFG) hosted its annual Dutch Flower Awards ceremony at Trade Fair Aalsmeer on Wednesday, 8 November 2023, recognising all of the hard work of DFG’s suppliers. This year’s winners include Zwettulips, Plant World and Marginpar.

Nine cut flower and ornamental plant growers battled it out to win DFG’s prestigious Dutch Flower Award, which identifies successful and growing companies.

Now in its 21st year, the prestigious accolade recognises hard-working, outstanding horticultural entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, product quality, supply chain management and commitment to sustainability efforts. All candidates are suppliers with whom the Dutch Flower Group has a tried and tested relationship.

In the category Cut Flowers, the winner was tulip grower Zwettulips. In 1989,  the company – which works closely with bulb farmer Gebr. De Jong from Venhuizen chose to specialise in cut tulip supply and production for the retail sector. Their packing lines produce tulips to exact customer specifications, with 200 million tulips distributed and sold to supermarkets across Europe annually.

Jan van Dam, CEO of Dutch Flower Group at the Dutch Flower Awards 2023 Photo courtesy:

In the Ornamental Plant category, the award went to Plant World. In 2021, Synergia Capital Partners, a Netherlands-based private equity firm, acquired an undisclosed stake in Plant World, catalysing the growth of the business that previously traded under Van der Arend Tropical Plant Center. Not much later, Plant World snapped up JoGrow and Smit Kwekerijen, plus the genetics and plant variety rights of leaf begonia grower Hoefnagels. Today, the company grows a range of PBR-protected (sub) tropical plants such as Alocasia, Fittonia, Pilea Crassula,  leaf begonia and hardy Trachycarpus palm trees and Hydrangeas.

Marginpar scooped up the award in the category in the category of International Grower. Richard Fernandes, who goes by the name Kiki,  founded Marginpar in Kenya in 1988, being one of the first growers to sell his African-grown Eryngium and Hypericum through the auction clock in the Netherlands. Today, the company operates from 17 flower farms in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, spanning a production area of 460ha. The company grows more than 300 million summer flowers annually and has a 99.9 per cent market share in cut Clematis within the European market.

Winning the Preferred Partner Award was Perceptyx. Perceptyx supports DFG annually with its employee satisfaction survey, making an important contribution to the ‘passionate people’ cornerstone of the DFG strategy.

In his award presentation speech, Jan van Dam, CEO of DFG, provided an update on the Dutch Flower Group and the most important themes in the strategy. For 2023, Dutch Flower Group expects to achieve a turnover in line with the previous year. Jan van Dam also mentioned that the turbulent times were expected to continue but that they also offer opportunities. According to Van Dam, “Sustainable partnerships with our customers and growers continue to be of the utmost importance. Joint innovation offers excellent possibilities for growth.”

The Dutch Flower Group (DFG) is a globally acting group of trading companies. Together, they lead the import, export, trade and market development of cut flowers, bouquets, cut foliage and plants. They supply to specialist traders (florists) via wholesalers and multiple retailers (supermarkets, DIY stores and garden centres). With its 5,000 employees, Dutch Flower Group achieved a turnover of €2.3 billion in 2022, exporting to 100 countries worldwide.

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