Today I was invited by Rob Hoogeveen, the driving force behind Lathyrus.nl. Rob has made it his mission to cultivate the finest quality Dutch Lathyrus year-round. And what a nursery is this!
With an impressive 1.7 hectares of cultivation space, they produce a staggering 8 million stems annually, making them the largest Lathyrus grower worldwide. Their extensive offering includes 22 different species and 10 color-treated varieties, cornering 70% of the Dutch Lathyrus market. A Lathyrus Candy Store!
A Lathyrus Family Business Rooted in Passion and Innovation
The story of this thriving family business began over 31 years ago in Ter Aar, Netherlands, with a modest 200 m2 plot. Since then, Lathyrus.nl has grown and evolved, relocating several times before finding its current home in Kudelstaart. Their success is a testament to the family's unwavering passion for Lathyrus cultivation and their dedication to producing the finest flowers for their customers.
The Hoogeveen family's love for Lathyrus runs deep, with two brothers and a brother-in-law also involved in the business. The company has come a long way since its humble beginnings when it started with just 20,000 plants in two colors. Today, they produce approximately 8 million stems in a wide array of colors. Rob himself is responsible for the breeding and propagation of their Lathyrus plants, ensuring the highest quality flowers are produced.
As the business expanded, they transitioned from soil cultivation to using substrates, giving them better control over the growing process and enabling water reuse. They also moved closer to the auction, allowing buyers worldwide to order as late as 6 am and receive their flowers by 11 am. This improved system has led to increased sales and a longer shelf life for their Lathyrus, thanks to better handling, breeding, and faster turnover times.
Delivering Lathyrus Worldwide: A Staple for Weddings, Events, and More
Lathyrus flowers are in high demand for weddings, events, and even funerals. Their largest market is the United States, where their stunning blooms are cherished for their beauty and fragrance. The company prides itself on its vast color selection, exceptional quality, and ability to meet the demands of customers around the globe.
Buyers are thrilled with Lathyrus.nl's offerings, appreciating the just-in-time delivery and the ability to order exactly what they need. Among Rob's favorite Lathyrus varieties is the exquisite 'Lavender Wedding', which embodies the delicate beauty and elegance that these flowers are known for. Lathyrus.nl's website also offers a wealth of information on the different Lathyrus species, providing customers with detailed descriptions and images to help them choose the perfect flowers for their needs.
Looking to the Future With Lathyrus: Innovations and Sustainability
Always seeking new ways to improve, Lathyrus.nl recently acquired a forest machine to potentially streamline their production process. If successful, this could be a significant step forward for the company. In addition to innovation, sustainability is a key priority for the business. They have already achieved self-sufficiency in electricity and have implemented water reuse and recycling practices for their substrates
Furthermore, Lathyrus.nl is committed to reducing its environmental impact and continuously improving its cultivation methods. By investing in modern technologies and techniques, they aim to optimize energy and resource usage while maintaining the highest quality standards for their flowers. Their dedication to sustainable practices not only benefits the environment but also ensures that customers receive fresh and vibrant Lathyrus blooms.
Education and Collaboration: Sharing Expertise and Fostering Growth
At Lathyrus.nl, they understand the importance of education and collaboration within the industry. They regularly share their knowledge and expertise with other growers, helping to drive innovation and ensure the continued success of Lathyrus cultivation. By working closely with breeders, researchers, and other growers, Lathyrus.nl is able to stay at the cutting edge of the industry and contribute to its overall growth and development.
They also value the relationships they have built with their customers, striving to provide exceptional service and support. By listening to customer feedback and understanding their needs, Lathyrus.nl is able to refine its offerings and continue to exceed expectations in terms of quality, variety, and availability.
A Bright Future for Lathyrus.nl and the Lathyrus Industry
As Lathyrus.nl continues to grow and flourish, Rob Hoogeveen and his family remain committed to cultivating the finest Lathyrus flowers and meeting the needs of their customers around the world. Their dedication to quality, innovation, and sustainability ensures that they will remain at the forefront of the Lathyrus market for years to come.
With a strong focus on collaboration and education, Lathyrus.nl is not only contributing to the success of their own business but also to the broader Lathyrus industry. By fostering a spirit of cooperation and knowledge-sharing, they are helping to create a brighter future for Lathyrus growers and enthusiasts worldwide.