A traditional way of growing, in which they cater for a whole collection of flowering pot plants that are packaged as tasty as possible. At SV.CO, where half a million flowering plants pass through the hall every week, the customer and the theme ‘healthy’ are central. Healthy cultivation, healthy production and common sense: this is what this nursery is all about. “We want to do good for people and the environment. The generations after us must also be able to enjoy our beautiful planet,” says Martijn Vreugdenhil, commercial director at SV.CO.

Martijn Vreugdenhil, commercial director at SV.CO

From its five locations in De Lier and Maasdijk, SV.CO supplies flower shops, garden centers and supermarkets throughout Europe. When it comes to pot chrysanthemums, they are the European market leader, while the Kalanchoe is now their main crop. “We also have a number of seasonal crops, including the poinsettia in winter and Celosia and Lisianthus in pots in spring and summer”, says Vreugdenhil.

Innovation and sustainability play an important role in business operations. In addition to MPS-A, the company is also MPS-GAP, MPS-SQ, MPS-Quality and MPS-ProductProof certified. “The MPS-ABC record-keeping creates a certain amount of awareness during the record-keeping process. At such a moment you are again aware of exactly what you use and you can respond immediately if necessary,” explains Vreugdenhil. For the other certificates, all processes are reviewed at least annually. There is then a moment of time and attention for the processes, so that things can surface for improvement. “Is it possible to do something smarter or more efficient, or with less waste? We continuously adjust our business operations, so that we are already ahead of any risks.”

SV.CO is also committed to high levels of employee satisfaction and well-being. “A current topic within our organisation is the participation of our employees within the company. Do they feel free enough to express their opinion or indicate things? MPS-SQ is a good guideline for this.” Every new employee, from account manager to location manager, also spends a day in all departments of the company. In this way they get to know their colleagues better and they get a complete picture of the work processes.

Nursery at Zijtwende in De Lier

Transparent and traceable
Vreugdenhil notices that certification and transparency in the chain is becoming increasingly important: “Production companies are expected to be certified and that the steps in the chain are traceable. With our certification, we show that we guarantee that we are transparent in terms of business operations and that what we do is traceable.” Sustainability is a common thread throughout the organisation. “We have been developing and using packaging with less plastic for years, for example, and we are investing in energy-saving measures. Waste is a hot item for us, we try to do better every year. It is also on the agenda to reduce our footprint by 10% every year. The HortiFootprint Calculator would therefore certainly be interesting for us to use.”

The steps that are being taken in the sector are large, and developments are going fast. It is therefore important to respond to the demands of the market and to continue to provide certainty. “If we steer the right course and take advantage of our opportunities, we have something wonderful to offer as an industry. We give consumers a piece of nature for their homes.”