Climate marches, taxes on packaging and sharp growth in the sales of organic products. The rise of ecological awareness has not gone unnoticed by the Belgian horticultural company Dataflor. With its new range of ecological strawberry plants, from now on garden centres can also offer their customers a sustainable alternative.
Strawberry plants without waste
‘Mid March 2019 we will start with an ecological range for our strawberry plants’, Export Manager Wouter David explains enthusiastically. ‘The pots and tray are completely biodegradable. The roots grow through the pots really quickly and therefore do not need to be removed for planting. So, convenient and sustainable! The trays are made of a denser material so that they are more resistant to watering at the garden centre’, Wouter clarifies. ‘What’s more, the labels and label holders can also be fully recycled. So the customer has no waste at all when they buy something from this new collection.’
In line with the packaging, Dataflor opted to only offer organically grown strawberry plants in the compostable pots. ‘We are starting with six varieties, three of which are ever-bearers. That way, the customer can choose from our selection all season long’, emphasises Wouter. ‘We consciously selected older varieties for this line that score well on resistance to disease, shooting roots quickly and naturally offering full flavour.’
With this new line, Dataflor is aiming at the conscious consumer. The plants are sold via garden centres. To offer maximum support for this new collection, Dataflor is also providing banners for the points of sale. ‘In the first instance we are above all focussing on the Belgian and Dutch markets, but at IPM we saw there was also interest from amongst others Germany and France’, points out Wouter.
Dataflor is a nursery specialised in chrysanthemums that focuses on both breeding and propagation. Since 2015, son Wouter is the third generation to reinforce the company. His technical know-how and market-oriented thinking offer a new lease of life: in addition to the chrysanthemums, Wouter is also introducing the production of strawberry plants, destined for garden centres. This creates an interesting complement during the winter period which otherwise would be fairly calm for the company.