In 1999, Peter ten Have, a passionate begonia grower at Dutch high-end plant nursery J&P Ten Have, decided to put his best quality begonias in a different tray with different sleeves. It was a brown tray, which stood out from the others. He noticed that he could not only sell these brown trays of begonias of the very best quality for a better price but also much quicker as the demand for this specific top range grew.
Furthermore, Peter learned that some of his customers wanted to have more consistency in receiving only the highest quality of the delivered goods, and also that his customers needed some quality mark or certification. This does not just mean a certificate for good quality as his grower label is, but a mark or certification for the best quality. It was this lightbulb moment that marked the beginning of the Decorum brand 25 years ago. In 2024, the successful organization celebrates – together with its over fifty member growers – a silver jubilee with a golden edge.
Decorum’s 25 Years of Plant and Flower Excellence
So, there it is: a quarter of a century of Decorum. Time has passed so quickly. Since its establishment in 1999, the company has been dedicated to providing top-quality plants and flowers, promoting innovation, and sustainability, and setting an industry standard.
At the time of its founding – and even before – marketing in the horticulture industry was relatively uncommon. However, Peter saw an opportunity to distinguish the floral and plant products based on quality and create a distinctive brand. He understood that by focusing on the superiority or the quality of plants and flowers he supplied, he could gain a competitive edge in the market.
Accordingly, for the past 25 years, the Decorum brand has grown into a premium product and now comprises more than fifty Dutch growers. And all are family businesses; many of them being third or fourth-generation. These growers work together to build a brand that stands out for quality, innovation, and sustainability.
“Each grower has a list of requirements that the product must meet to be delivered in Decorum packaging. This includes the minimum number of flower buds that a plant or flower has to have, the size, the minimum weight of the flower, the diameter of the flower, and the size of the flower or plant and its ripeness.
We tailor these requirements to the specific species and/or pot size. In addition, we pay attention to the uniformity of the lot, so that all flowers or plants within that lot have the same height, width, and/or length. Every company designs its quality process differently depending on the specific product grown by the grower.”
Still yet, to ensure that the prerequisites are met, Decorum likewise uses independent, third-party quality controllers who check the supply chain, ensuring that all its flowers and plants meet the mandatory quality standards. This confirms and reinforces its assurance of quality.
Quality, Innovation, and Sustainability Are at the Core of Decorum’s Operations
Decorum is significantly invested in innovation, quality, and sustainability. Continuous development is practically entrenched in the brand's inherent makeup, and hence its growers. And that, as well, is what the Dutch horticultural sector is known for across the world.
Product innovation is therefore an important aspect of Decorum. With hundreds of innovations implemented each year, the brand’s assortment of plants and flowers is always changing and always exciting. Products by Decorum growers are often finalists and winners in Dutch and international innovation competitions, like the prestigious Glazen Tulp.
In essence, Decorum's success lies in its innovation, sustainability, and its ability to differentiate the various qualities of its products. Peter started by introducing distinctive packaging, such as using different trays and sleeves for different quality ranges.
This strategy not only helped customers identify and choose the best quality products but also commanded a better price in the market. The success of this branding approach led other growers to join Decorum, expanding the product range and strengthening the brand's presence in the industry.
Quality has always been a core value for Decorum since its inception. The brand, for instance, ensures that only the best plants and flowers are selected, promising premium quality and longer lifespans. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that over the years, the Decorum brand has become synonymous with excellence.
What’s more, innovation is another pillar of Decorum's success. This is demonstrated in the company’s continuous efforts in actualizing product development and improvement. With hundreds of innovations each year, Decorum keeps its assortment fresh and exciting.
Many of its products have been recognized and awarded in both Dutch and international innovation competitions, all of which demonstrate the growers’ commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry.
Also importantly, sustainability is a key focus for Decorum and its growers. From implementing natural energy projects to adopting advanced growing techniques, these growers ensure that they actively contribute to reducing and minimizing their carbon footprint.
In collaboration with one another, the Decorum brand growers share knowledge to ensure that they all implement sustainable initiatives.
Wide Range of Products and Market Reach
Through its network of more than fifty growers, Decorum offers a vast assortment of plants and flowers. From green plants, flowering plants, decorative greens, or cut flowers, the brand has a diverse range of options that practically meet the needs of customers. There are just so many varieties of plants and flowers offered under the Decorum label; actually at least 4,500 different varieties of flowers and plants!
For instance, you can get the best chrysanthemums from Arcadia, Van Wordragen Flowers or Van Dijk Flowers, tulips from Borst Bloembollen, lisianthus from Montana, lilies from Moerman, or the alstroemerias from Together2Grow, just to name a few cut flower growers.
Or what about your plants? Who does not know the quality orchids from Bernhard Orchids, Duijn-Hove, and Sion Orchids, begonia from J&P Ten Have, kalanchoë from Slijkerman, cacti from Winco Holland, the zantedeschia from Vreugdenhil, or the kitchen laurus from Gova, among numerous others?
This is just a small and random selection of all the beauties that are produced day after day by the numerous Decorum growers.
A Brand With a Unique Flower and Plant Story
For Decorum, the future looks bright, given the success of its brand. As the company celebrates its 25th anniversary, its journey from a single grower's vision to a cohesive collective of more than fifty growers - each unique in their own ways and producing plants and flowers with great perfection - is nothing short of remarkable.
“And all of this is what makes us unique, our story as Decorum. The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams. Our dream is to make you happy with beautiful flowers and plants, grown with passion, specially selected and custom-packaged. We believe in pure perfection and want to make the world happy with responsible, beautiful flowers and plants.”
All said and done, Decorum definitely continues to make a significant impact on the plant and flower market. No wonder it maintains its position as a market leader, delivering incomparable plants and flowers to customers worldwide.
All photos courtesy of Decorum Plants and Flowers.