I found myself surrounded by fewer, but better, people

2018 is behind us. Where did the time go? Time flies when you’re having fun. So true, because the year simply flew by. Yet, looking back, there were a few things that really took a year to complete.

Many positive things to appreciate and some not such good things to learn from. That’s the great thing: you can always keep learning. And here’s a new year, with its own opportunities and threats. Opportunities to be grabbed and threats to manage, or if possible, turn into opportunities. Opportunities are always there, but you’ve got to see them.

2018 was a year of team building. I found myself surrounded by fewer, but better, people. Sometimes less is more. You can get further with a small team of A players than with a larger group of less-qualified people. Sometimes, you need to remove a few links in the chain to reduce the waste. Sometimes, I’m not the only one who doesn’t completely understand the Chinese language. The Chinese don’t always understand each other either, causing my message to get lost. You can reduce this risk by reducing the number of links. This way, you’re also more on top of what’s going on in the workplace.

2018 also saw developments in the field of cultivation technology. Improved technologies will help optimise cultivation. Think of liquid CO2, for example, which we started using last year. We recently also made the switch from coal to gas. Not just better for us, but also for the environment. Global warming is a real threat, so anything we can do to reduce it, is welcome.

All in all, we are ready for 2019. New boundaries to challenge, with an improved team and improved technology. Christmas and New Year’s Eve were good days for looking back once more, with a certain feeling of satisfaction. But from now on, we’re looking ahead, with renewed enthusiasm and confidence.

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Cok Harteveld,

General manager Van den Berg Roses, China

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