The official ceremony on November 1st was the starting point of an eleven-month construction period in which Dümmen Orange will realise a state-of-the-art Breeding Technology Centre (BTC) in the Netherlands. In this centre, Dümmen Orange centralizes all its research facilities (laboratories and offices) in the field of technology & traits to realise faster breeding and selection processes, enabling access to superior products for customers worldwide.
On Thursday November 1st all invited business partners, neighbors and colleagues gathered at the BTC construction site in De Lier (the Netherlands). Managing Director R&D Hans van den Heuvel welcomed the invitees: “I am excited and proud of achieving this milestone which is so important for the future of Dümmen Orange, our customers and our industry.”
Research Director Tosca Ferber explained the value of this investment from a research point of view and showed all functions of the new facility for R&D. Kees Hertogh (Project Manager BTC Construction at Dümmen Orange) showed all guests an overview on the new building and also thanked the construction partners for their support so far.
After the presentations the Mayor of Westland, Agnes van Ardenne, the Chairman of the Board of Dümmen Orange, Jean-Baptiste Wautier and the CEO of Dümmen Orange, Biense Visser, together struck the ceremonial first pile to mark the start of the construction (see picture).
In her speech, Mrs. Van Ardenne focused on the importance of Research & Development for the future of our industry and shared her enthusiasm on our new BTC, ‘This is the place where the wonders of technique and the wonders of nature come together. It is great to see that a global company like Dümmen Orange is investing in Westland, a wonderful opportunity to attract and develop talent.’
Chairman of the Board, Mr. Wautier couldn’t agree more, “We are very enthusiastic to build this Breeding Technology Centre. It is of high value for a solid future for a leading breeding company. We have the right skills and lots of energy to construct this lab and we will definitely make this a long-lasting success with our customers.”.
The new Breeding Technology Centre will be one of the world’s largest laboratories for ornamental research. The laboratory will consist of three floors with a total size of 4,000 m2, facilitating research in the fields of phytopathology, genetics, genomics, tissue culture, cell biology, plant physiology and diagnostics.
The research program focusses on traits that bring added value to the product chain like resistances, improved shelf life and improved yield. It will make use of technologies that increase the efficiency of the breeding programs through molecular breeding, efficient trait evaluation and genetic diversity analyses. As well as of technologies that bring speed to market through optimal crossing and life cycle reduction.
Dümmen Orange is the world’s largest breeder and propagator of cut flowers, bulbs, tropical plants, pot plants, bedding plants and perennials. Its annual turnover is about €350 m. The company employs over 7,700 people worldwide.