Haiko Backer of Schreurs East Africa:

"Collaboration is the key to a stronger chain"

"FloraHolland needs to work more with breeders in East Africa. Just like in the olden days, we used to give each other feedback on new strains here in the Netherlands, which enabled us to create a broad scale offer. Due to the fact that FloraHolland has somewhat neglected the breeders, many new strains are now being traded outside the auction, which is a real shame!"

"Collaboration is the key to a stronger chain", says managing director Haiko Backer of Schreurs East Africa Ltd. Schreurs breeds roses and Gerbera in De Kwakel, and tests these at their own locations in The Netherlands, Ethiopia, Kenya, South America and Asia, and sells them worldwide, including in East Africa. How the strains perform varies from location to location. However, each strain of roses needs to perform well under natural conditions. The roses are grown under plastic, without heating or added CO2. So they need to be strong. Naturally, local climate conditions are decisive factors in the production and quality of plants. The weather is a very important factor in East Africa."

"The range of East African roses is becoming more diverse. No longer just five colours, but twelve. There is more variation in the head size. So the breeding activities are really across the board."

"Just as in The Netherlands, we have an issuing policy in East Africa. A new strain via an introduction customer, who can market a limited quantity of the flower in the first year (usually the yield of a single hectare). How many we eventually issue depends on our estimation of a strain. The amount of our royalties depends on the market value of a strain."

"In Ethiopia we test at two locations at different altitudes. We outsource the propagation to local propagation nurseries. Transportability is an important factor for each strain. After all, Ethiopian roses travel all across the world."

Source: FloraHolland Magazine november 2013

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