Breeder Interplant Roses celebrates 60 years of the family business in 2022. It's a beautiful journey: from amateur to major global player. Many of Interplant's business relations and family members could enjoy this celebration during a dinner event that took place during IFTF and the Trade Fair in Aalsmeer.
Interplant Roses' Celebration of 60 Years of the Family Business
This year, rose breeder Interplant Roses celebrates its 60th birthday! Throughout 2022 a number of events are organized to mark this achievement. The last of these events was the Dinner Party Interplant gave to treat their esteemed business relations.
This family business, which began its journey in 1962, has in the last sixty years made an amazing transition from being just a couple of amateur enthusiasts to becoming a major player in the world market of cut roses! In the following pictures, you see a glimpse of the floral magic that happened at Arendshoeve in Aalsmeer, Netherlands.
Pioneer in breeding
At the beginning of the sixties, a young Peter, 2nd generation of the Ilsink family, joined the business. He was even then not totally a beginner, as since his childhood, whenever his father and uncle were busy in the fields around Leersum selecting roses, he would be with them. The way breeding was done then was very hit-and-miss. You just put a variety of plants next to each other, stood back, and let nature take its course. Then you selected what you felt were the resulting best roses.
Peter felt that there was possibly a major future for the company in the cut-rose business. But he was uncertain as to how best to achieve this. So he decided to ask for advice. He approached Ir. Van Doesburg, the director of the former test station in Aalsmeer. The two men came to a historical conclusion. There were plenty of spray carnations and spray chrysanthemums on the market but there were no spray roses at all. The field was wide open. This could be the future!
Peter set up his own greenhouse so that he could carry out his own cross-pollination trials. No one could have guessed, that this small greenhouse of just 50 square meters, would be the start of a new and exciting business.
Once the decision had been made to proceed with breeding cut roses, things moved fast. The cut-rose market, previously restricted to Aalsmeer, started up internationally and Peter quickly realized he had to grow to a much bigger scale. So he used his extensive international contacts to showcase his products and to get them tested in other climates and under other conditions.
He also looked carefully at his fellow international breeders and he realized he would have to expand his product range if he really wanted to be successful. And so, after putting all this into practice, in the early eighties, Interplant Roses brought its first very own rose varieties to the market. But success came neither quickly nor easily. Both the product shelf life and the methods of transporting the roses to the market needed improvement and Peter admits, that at times they seriously doubted whether they should really continue with this line of business.
When the breeder, Ir Adri van Doesem, joined the team a new chapter started. Their first really successful spray rose line ‘Lydia®’ was launched.
Grower interest was aroused and Peter further expanded his global reach. Large-scale production was started in Japan, Ecuador, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and The Netherlands. Through this growing international network, the company really began to develop into a major player in the world market.
Family business Interplant Roses becomes a major success
What have been the major ingredients for Interplants' success? Looking back over the last 60 years, Peter concludes that, in addition of course to his love for growing roses, an extraordinary dose of imagination and above all lots of perseverance have been absolutely critical.
"It is very important to be willing to dare to do things differently. You must have the courage to set new trends. You have to be and remain creative. Finally, you must realize that today's success will not be tomorrow’s.
It may seem to outsiders that success in this breeding business was just there for the taking but that's totally untrue. Rose breeding is learning to put up with disappointment. I'm still doing my rounds through the greenhouses every day. These have now grown to cover over two hectares in Harmelen, just outside Utrecht, Netherlands."
Peter says he is not involved anymore in the day-to-day running of the nursery. He is very happy to have been able to hand that over to his sons Robert and Martijn. And now his grandson Jurjen, the fourth generation of Ilsinks has also joined the firm.
When asked what he has learned from his grandfather Jurjen is very brief:
"Stay focused and never give up. If you give up to easily, you’ll never know how close you were."