Sustainability in plant and flower growing

Sustainability in breeding and production at HilverdaFlorist

Sustainability in floriculture is no longer just a concept, but an integral part of business operations. The team of HilverdaFlorist has dedicated itself to integrating sustainability principles into its business operations. The company already has several principles they are working on to be as future-proof as possible. In this article, we highlight some of these processes.

Sustainability in breeding

A crucial aspect of sustainability at HilverdaFlorist is the integration of sustainable principles into breeding. A major importance of this is reducing the use of pesticides within the various product groups. The focus is on developing genetic resistances and tolerances, thereby reducing dependence on these substances.

Resilience is a key concept in the breeding process, meaning improved plant resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stressors. HilverdaFlorist maintains partnerships with Wageningen University and other external laboratories to research genetic resistances. This demonstrates commitment to knowledge sharing and joint efforts toward sustainability goals.

The influence of consumers and sustainability in breeding choices

The market observes that consumers attach increasing importance to sustainably grown flowers and plants. This influences HilverdaFlorist’s breeding choices, which include, as mentioned, developing more resistant varieties to reduce the need for pesticides. Plant resilience contributes to the satisfaction of consumers, who can enjoy healthier flowers and plants in their homes and gardens for a longer period of time.

HilverdaFlorist strives for sustainability by carefully considering the use of materials, saving energie and planning growing seasons. This includes looking at optimizing (suitable) genetics for outdoor growing to save energy, which is a more environmentally friendly approach.

Sustainability in production

In production, circularity is central, with a strong focus on reuse and waste reduction. Waste streams are carefully separated, and CO2 is captured and reused in the greenhouses. HilverdaFlorist is also exploring the possibility of a solar panel park, which would be a further step toward sustainable energy supply.

HilverdaFlorist not only supplies energy to the grid, but also utilizes heat and electricity internally, ensuring that no valuable energy is lost. The company is actively increasing electrification and implementing a heat pump to generate heat in alternative ways to save gas.

Sustainability in production at HilverdaFlorist

Biological control

Sustainability in production at HilverdaFlorist goes beyond energy efficiency. Chemical pesticided are phased out and replaced by biological methods. This approach minimizes the impact on plants and contributes to a healthy ecosystem.

HilverdaFlorist also aims to promote biodiversity through collaboration with fellow businesses. The goal is to develop specific vegetation favorable to insects, creating a larger ecosystem.

Peat-free substrates and future sustainable initiatives

The company is committed to creating peat-free substrates because of the limited availability of raw materials and legislation restricting the use of peat in substrates. HilverdaFlorist is dedicating itself to this development in order to best serve its customers in the future.

HilverdaFlorist joins FSI 2025

HilverdaFlorist is proud to have recently become part of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI), and in addition to current developments within the company, looks forward to further steps taken in the future within the shared goals of the FSI network. With “Partnerships” as one of its core values, HilverdaFlorist believes in standing strong together by sharing knowledge so as to achieve more than as a single player. This so that together we can make a valuable change within the society.

HilverdaFlorist shows determination in incorporating sustainability principles into both breeding and production. These efforts reflect not only an environmentally friendly approach, but also a commitment to creating healthier plants and promoting sustainable practices in the floriculture industry.

What's happening in breeding technologies - HilverdaFlorist

What’s happening in breeding technology at HilverdaFlorist

There have been many advances in breeding technology over the past years, including the development of new techniques for improving the genetics and characteristics of new varieties. The HilverdaFlorist team is always focused on innovation and optimization which makes it possible to breed more efficiently, sustainable and with greater precision, allowing for the development of crops that can help to meet the needs of the market.

Developing new varieties

HilverdaFlorist has a wide range of Pot-, Patio- and Garden varieties in Alstroemeria, Dianthus, Echinacea, Gerbera, Helleborus and Salvia. The assortment consists of crops that have been bred for decades to relatively new products. Products that are recently presented to the market require different attention compared to the crops that have been around for a longer time.

Gerbera and Dianthus are crops that have been part of the product range for decades. The breeders of HilverdaFlorist have been working on these varieties for years. As a result of the high level of performance of these crops improvements might sometimes be relatively small, but certainly not less important. With crops like these HilverdaFlorist focuses on improvement by consolidation.

With relatively new series such as Echinacea MOOODZ® and Salvia Salgoon®, the focus is more on fundamental aspects and establishing these crops in the market. This creates opportunities for potential growth. To respond to this, HilverdaFlorist sets these markets as key areas of focus at this time. The introduction of new, improved crops is very important for HilverdaFlorist. The team of breeders is constantly looking for new opportunities to diversify and differentiate.

Main goals and challenges

One of the most important themes at the moment is sustainability. This includes improving genetic resistance of plants. Genetic resistance is a sustainable solution to deal with the increasing pressure of diseases and pests. HilverdaFlorist strives to develop robust plants that can withstand various circumstances and survive even longer with fewer resources. It is important to work more from a sustainability and resilience perspective.

When working towards more sustainable products, there are of course challenges. Working on genetic resistance takes a lot of time and bioassays often are difficult, since they can give a lot of variation. But, nonetheless it is something we focus on and strive to optimize.

Optimalisation for outdoor growth

HilverdaFlorist focuses on optimizing outdoor growth for the series Gerbera Garvinea®, Echinacea MOOODZ® and Salvia Salgoon®. This contributes to the resistance to diseases, pests, and stress factors. HilverdaFlorist is working on genetic compactness which can have important implications for plant growth and development, as well as for the plant’s ability to adapt to different environmental conditions. This is done without the use of PGR treatments. To achieve this, more outdoor trials are being set up. By doing this, robustness and resilience in the crops can be better selected. This way, HilverdaFlorist strives to test the value of the plant, as it is grown by the consumer, in order to deliver the ultimate and reliable product for the consumer.

Molecular marker breeding technology

HilverdaFlorist values the traditional art of breeding, but is always up to date when it comes to innovative techniques. Currently, there are developments with marker-assisted breeding. This is a technique that uses molecular markers to identify and select plants with desirable characteristics. These markers are then used to breed plants with the desired characteristics by selecting individuals with the relevant. This method makes it possible to work more precise and to produce plants with improved characteristics such as disease resistance more efficiently and effectively.

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