The story of tulips from the Veen (abbreviation for Roelofarendsveen) is the story of passionate, hard-working, creative entrepreneurs. Veen tulips are popular around the world, and despite times of economic crisis, for a few euros consumers can create a comfortable ambience at home with a bouquet of colourful tulips.
“Yes, tulips make you happy!”, a spontaneous reaction of Joost Wesselman, owner and director of Wesselman Flowers.
Wesselman is one of the many tulip growers in Roelofarendsveen. Tulip growers are a historical concept. A concept that dates back to the time when tulip bulbs were planted in the soil in greenhouses. "The ground was kept very wet and the heaters were on high." Joost paints a picture in which the sweltering heat is almost palpable. Back then the hard work that was involved took a heavy toll on the body. "Bukkers", the nickname for people from the Veen working in tulip cultivation, illustrates the work at that time. The greenhouses are now bright and spacious and the temperature is pleasant. The Veen tulip growers do not call themselves horticulturists, despite the technological developments and greatly improved working conditions. "We're just tulip growers, a well-understood concept."
If flowers love people, consumers must be confident that, in contrast to the past, tulips are sustainably cultivated. A tour through Wesselman Flowers teaches that the Fair Trade concept can be found close to home. Concepts such as sustainability, safety, social relevance and quality are immediately obvious to anyone when looking at Wesselman Flowers' business practice. People, bulbs and tulips beam with enjoyment in the pleasant climate and the good working conditions.
“Tulip bulbs are scalded in water in specially designed trays, an environmentally friendly way of growing which can be traced back to the Middle Ages”, says Joost. "Even in the Middle Ages, hyacinth bulbs were cultivated in water to blossom." When the tulip bulbs have taken root, they go to the greenhouse where they grow to tulip buds to be harvested. Making bunches and packing are automated processes. "January to April is our busiest time." Joost tells of the nine colours in which tulips are grown. The best part of his job is making the forcing schedule, the schedule that ensures that every colour and type is on the shelves of the supermarkets at the right time. The schedule that ensures that consumers can enjoy colourful tulips for a long time.
Tulip growing has evolved into an industry with a passion for people and the environment. The transparent, certified business processes at Wesselman Flowers are witness to a healthy outlook on the world. The story of the Veen tulips and tulip growers is the story of responsible care for the environment, people and the economic impact in society. There is a good reason that the Veen Tulip is known as a beautiful product worldwide.