Firstly, I’d like to congratulate everyone at Het Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij on their 75th anniversary! A great milestone, which deserves to be celebrated! The very first edition was published just after the Second World War. Europe was in ruins and many people were considering emigration. But there was also room to start a trade journal. A journal that, 75 years later, is still alive and kicking!
Holambra became an official destination for Dutch immigrants in 1948. Initially with the idea that they’d produce food products like milk, cheese, meat and vegetables. But in the early sixties, the region became better known for its flower farms, starting with a few pioneers who grew gladiolas.
During the past 75 years, a lot has been achieved here. The Netherlands (still referred to as Holanda over here) has a good name and there are extensive contacts between Dutch companies and companies in the Holambra region. It doesn’t look like that will change soon either. In fact, I’d say it will continue to grow!
The Netherlands should be able to maintain their position as a role model here for years to come. However, a strong position doesn’t provide any guarantees for the far future. There are many places in the world where the horticultural industry is thriving and developing rapidly. So, it’s important to keep innovating. Standstill means regression.
My job in Holambra is done. I’ve had the pleasure of being CEO of the Veiling Holambra cooperative for eight years. The auction has more than doubled in size during this period and many members have more than doubled the size of their farms too. It’s amazing what’s been achieved here. And my forecast for the near future is that this growth will continue linearly.
My successor is Jorge Possato. In his role as logistics and facility manager, he’s been my right-hand man for the entire 8-year period. We finalised the handover last month and it was great to see how smoothly that all went. Last July, we also welcomed three new board members. I have great confidence in the new board of management and directors.
For all Dutch companies doing business here, I’d like to leave you with you a tip. Customer care is very important here. In Brazil, business doesn’t stop with the transaction and payment. Companies with a more personal approach are often more successful. So, make sure you’re present, every now and again at least.
Finally, I’d like to share I’ve found a successor for this blog as well. Our new board member Jean Kortstee Ferreira will be writing the next blog from Holambra. Jean is a young, 29-year old grower, who’s full of ambition. The production at his nursery Flora Beijo includes SunPatiens, Pink Kisses pot carnations and more.
I’ve enjoyed writing these blogs. Best of luck to Jean for the continuation from this stunning horticultural region and wonderful country Brazil!
André van Kruijssen,
CEO Veiling Holambra
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