Customer case

By innovating and being forward-thinking

Together, we make the world greener.

By innovating and being forward-thinking

Together, we make the world greener.

    Hoogeveen Plants from Hazerswoude-Dorp, with its extensive and diverse range of garden plants, daily finds its way to terraces, gardens, and balconies throughout Europe through garden centers, hardware stores, and supermarkets. These beautiful plants not only make the world a bit greener, but the company's approach is also incredibly green. Rik Wognum, the company's logistics manager, takes us through their vision.

    “It’s incredibly exciting to work for a progressive company like Hoogeveen Plants,” says Rik. “I’ve been here for about 7 years now, leading the logistics operation along with a team of six. Our team is driven and passionate about delivering quality. Together, we work hard every day to provide everyone with a green outdoor environment. It’s quite a task because we are a major player in our market. Our customers are forward-thinking retailers, businesses that are also very conscious of sustainability, not least because consumers demand it. It’s always a ‘sport’ for us to have answers before the questions are asked. We prefer to answer the question ‘can this be done?’ with ‘we already have it in-house.’ That’s a huge motivator for us to continue innovating and improving, especially in the realm of sustainability.”

    Collaborating with neighbour Container Centralen
    “They say that ‘a good neighbour is better than a distant friend.’ In our case, this is certainly true. Container Centralen’s physical depot is our neighbour, and that close, almost daily contact is incredibly convenient. They are very accessible and collaborate with us, especially during peak times. We also have a nursery in Portugal. Thanks to the new loading possibilities, with 60 stackable CC Container shelves and bases instead of the previous 30, our trips are much more efficient and, therefore, more sustainable. The most sustainable option is transporting by sea, which we do in January/February when it’s very quiet.”

    “But during peak seasons, the plants must reach our customers within 2 to 3 working days, and we have to meet our lead times. This peak is throughout the market, so we always appreciate that Container Centralen manages to have all the CC Container shelves and bases we request. The fact that they share our vision of sustainability is also crucial in our collaboration.”

    Always ambitious
    “At Hoogeveen Plants, we have ambitious plans, and that includes a production that becomes increasingly sustainable. We owe this to ourselves, the consumer, and above all, to nature, and we are pleased that the entire industry is paying more attention to this. Growing healthier plants through product innovation is the starting point; every year, we try to reduce our pesticide usage. By investing for years and experimenting with biostimulants, testing with biological enemies, and researching cultivation strategies, we, as the first Dutch grower, have been able to move towards 100% organically grown fruit plants, from young plants to end products. By using biodiversity strips, we attract natural enemies such as ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and gall midges. This helps us with the biological control of pests like aphids and spider mites. By choosing the right plant species and cultivating our plants to be resilient, they are less susceptible to disease and pests. Another example of innovative and sustainable farming is the reduction of peat in recent years. In 2022, we achieved a peat reduction of up to 40% in fruit plants, climbing plants, and bamboo-grasses-ferns. We use local waste streams as peat substitutes. Examples include wood processing factory residues, dried fractions of cow manure, and compost from local green waste. We are also experimenting with growing without mineral fertilizers. Some crops are already 100% peat-free, like our new product, Agapanthus.”

    Always choosing the sustainable alternative
    “Wherever possible, we opt for sustainability. Our cultivation takes place outdoors or in unheated greenhouses, so we inherently have low energy consumption. But when we do need energy, we obtain it from our own solar panels. They are installed at all 14 of our locations, and at the newly developed location Denemarkenlaan 16, we have integrated 1,350 solar panels into the greenhouse roofs. We purchase the remaining electricity sustainably from specialized companies. We also have sustainable solutions for heating.”

    “In locations where it’s possible, we use industrial waste heat, and in places where this isn’t feasible, we have installed heat pumps to heat the premises. Rainwater is collected and stored in large basins. We then use this water for irrigation, eliminating the need for surface or groundwater. Due to the closed system in the nursery, there is no water wastage, and no residues of pesticides or fertilizers end up in surface or groundwater.”


    Pots and trays made of recycled plastic

    “Last but not least, our pots and trays are made of 100% recycled plastic. The trays are produced from plastic sourced from old refrigerators, the pots are made from collected consumer waste in the Netherlands or Germany, and the labels are from surplus stock at auctions. This means no new plastics enter the supply chain. Our goal is not only to reduce plastic usage but also to exclusively use plastics made from recycled materials that can be recycled again. Thus, together with all our partners in the chain, such as Container Centralen, we work every day to make the world greener!”

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    "Thus, together with all our partners in the chain, such as Container Centralen, we work every day to make the world greener!"


    Rik Wognum

    Hoogeveen Plants

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