Dümmen Orange connects the world via the language of flowers and plants. Because flowers and plants bring out the best in people; beauty, happiness, love and a zest for life. A stunning mission which, in practice, requires well-organised logistics. Huib Moor is the planner who has been responsible for the logistics processes for the past year.
With around 7,300 employees and a turnover of € 355 million, Dümmen Orange from De Lier is the world’s largest breeder and agriculturalist. Flower breeding is a technique whereby the genetic properties of a flower are changed to create a strong flower variety. The company was created in 2015 as a result of the merger between two renowned businesses with a rich history. Huib: ‘We are a breeding company which focuses on cuttings in the broadest sense of the words. From roses to geraniums, and from gerberas and chrysanthemums to carnations. All year round, we supply the most beautiful flowers. We also have pot plants, tropical plants and bulbs in our range.’
Vital constant value
‘The CC Containers from Container Centralen, which tend to be referred to as Danish trolleys, are vital for our business processes. We use them at any location, in all countries and for all projects. That is why it is fantastic that the collaboration with our account manager Andrea Louise Wright runs really smoothly. She comes up with ideas with us and provides requested and ad hoc advice. It’s a great way to do business! As said previously, we have grown significantly over the past few years. The trolleys were a bit neglected in our organisation and there was no appreciation of their value.
Sometimes, they have even been used as cupboards! There was also confusion about the stock and availability of the trolleys. This costs a huge amount of money, of course. When the trolleys were given new labels we realised that we had been very careless with them and that we needed a new and more effective system. In collaboration with our German colleagues, we developed a programme for trolley management, stock, maintenance and logistics. This works really well.
Always inspiration for innovation
‘We are always developing and focusing on updates and innovations for growers’, says Huib. ‘Basewell™, for example, is a great step towards the future. This innovative technology uses a special process at our production locations and patented technology to ship high quality, rooted cuttings from Africa and Central America directly to the grower. This is possible due to the fact that the cutting does not use soil or substrate. The cutting can be planted directly into the final pot. This provides savings in terms of labour and processing times for orders and also gives growers greater flexibility in their growing schedules. This, in turn, allows a more relaxed plan. And plans can sometimes end up being rather hectic, given that we supply worldwide all year round.’
Another great innovation by Dümmen Orange, is a new type of chrysanthemum called ‘Pina Colada’. ‘As a company of breeders and agriculturalists we are always on the look out for new varieties and techniques’, explains Huib. ‘The chrysanthemum, however, has always been the foundation. After the ‘Bacardi’, this variety was introduced one and a half years ago.’ It took three years for the breeder to find the variety. ‘With this strong cut chrysanthemum, we aim to exploit the summer season too; that’s why it has a sunny name. The flower is also very good under transport. And that’s vital for exports to Russia, for example, where they are mad about these flowers. I love to see this type of thing in our company. We are continually expanding but always keep an eye out for new development opportunities for our products.’
In the long term
The issue of sustainability is also very important for Dümmen Orange. In the first instance, this relates to sustainability of relationships. ‘We are always very careful with our customers and relationships’, adds Huib. ‘Business in this sector is often done on the basis of trust and a long history. But sustainability is anchored in all of the processes within our company. A healthy, safe working environment and working conditions, and environmentally-friendly operations are par for the course here. It is also vital to minimise our footprint and limit our impact on the environment and eco-systems. We do this, for example, by continuously investing in techniques that reduce the need for chemical products. We also have the Greencare programme. This programme includes mandatory hygiene measures for both employees and production facilities in order to ensure that plants are kept clean and free from disease. ‘My career with this company has also been very sustainable’, laughs Huib. ‘I started here 30 years ago as a temporary holiday worker but I’ve been part of the continuous growth ever since. I feel completely at home in my current role, where I plan and take care of the logistics processes for our lovely products. Flowers are sent across the globe, from Amsterdam and Luik. Many products have been added but the essence is still the same; making people across the world happy with beautiful flowers. There is even a 40 foot container with Danish trolleys from Container Centralen which goes to Taiwan by ship and returns with plants on it. If that’s not connecting the world with flowers and plants, I don’t know what is!’