January 16, 2014
Yasuhito Onishi, in Holland
I am in training at the exporter, the bulb grower and the cut flower grower every 2-3 weeks for each in Holland from 2nd of December, 2013 to 20th of February, 2014. I give the interim report of my training below.
This winter is warmer than normal year in Holland. Maximum temperature is 13℃ and minimum is 0℃. It hasn’t been below zero yet and it is almost same as Japanese temperature. But according to long-range forecast, it will get cold very much from now.
There were cloudy days mostly and the shortest sunshine hours was 7 hours and 31 minutes (sunrise 8:54am ? sunset 4:25pm), and finally it became over 8 hours from this week.( As of January 13, 2014)
【At P.F. Onings B.V. : December 3－6 ,2013 & December 24, 2013－January 3, 2014】
I worked inspection of bulbs in P.F. Onings B.V.. I checked ratio of nonstandard sizes bulbs or bulb condition every lots. I selected sample cases to check prescribed number in the case, root length, sprout condition, damage, double noses and so on.
The temperature of the cooling storage which bulbs are kept was -2-0℃. (During my training, the temperature of storage for LA/A was -1℃ and for OR/OT was 0℃.)
Chemicals and those mixing rate of disinfection liquid is adjusted before packing by the result of last year or growth condition this year. This year, the blending quantity of disinfection liquid is getting more and also chemicals for Fusarium, Penicillium, Rhizoctonia (root rotted, sprout dying etc.,) will be changed. There are 6 washing and packing machines (4 machines are for export), it is more machines than any other exporters. In addition, they said that one of their strength is good working environment like enough machines and workers.
The largest flower market in the world : I visited Naaldwijk market which is one of Flora Holland. Its scale is 43,000㎡ ( about 9 times of the soccer ground). To sell and buy is carried out in electronic display. I was really surprised at no flower in that auction place. When I went to the auction in Osaka market, it was impressive that they showed flowers to the buyers and explained flowers’ information loudly even though they used electronic display as well. Any flowers disappeared at the auction room in Holland 2 years ago. Not showing flower under display was effectual to reduce labor costs by cutting workers who explain flowers etc. As a result, the time from the cooling storage to the place of the buyers got shorter and working time in the market is able to be cut down as well.
Since this way was introduced to the market, the buyers seem to buy flowers with the help of the growers’ name. Trading by information is increasing in Japanese market which is known as the strictest for quality in the world, but there are still many matters to adopt completely the way like Holland. I felt it needs more consideration.
[photo] left : No flower in the auction room
[photo] right: electronic display
【At the Grower : December 9－23 ,2013】
In the Northern Holland,’t zand, I learned how to grade bulbs and grow planting material at the grower, Mr. Jeroen Kooijman. This area is located at lat.44°N., it is more north from Etorofu but temperature was rarely below zero. The highest was 10℃, the lowest was 0℃, and the average was 6℃, it was similar to Japanese temperature.
The size of the field is 50 ha. The ratio of Longi and OR/OT was 1:1.
They disinfected carefully the grading line whenever finishing each varieties. Washing bulbs was well done. In my feeling, I think their bulbs would be sorted as “high quality” at PO.
[photo] left:disinfetion right: Rialto (16/18) in the grading line
I heard that all of varieties and sizes enlargement this year was worse than last year. When I was grading, 8/10 size was, 10/12 : 15%, 12/14 : 30%, 14/16 : 25%, 16/18 : 20%, 18/+ : 5%, double noses & exception : 5%, only 2 size up.
In addition, damaged bulbs are many as well. The reason was planting was late because of cold spring, and high temperature and drying in summer. That’s why enlargement was bad and the harvest was late, but bulbs absorbed rain when harvesting and became softer. They sell damaged bulbs to the cut flower’s growers in Holland through another route.
Mr. Jeroen has the field in Holland and France to grow bulbs. He checked the buds count on same bulb size and found French had 1-2 more. It is just for reference because they haven’t gathered any clear data yet but I thought something interesting.
Now, I have training at the cut flower’s grower. I will report what I am doing here next time.
This year in Japan, I am happy to hear positive comments like “The first flower year of great progress” and “Rise the value and price of flower” in the flower industry. I hope demand for flower which is called “food for heart” will increase more and more. I am thinking what I can do every time. After I come back to Japan, I will be in charge of our test greenhouse, and introduce many new varieties, examine something new etc., I would like to use my experience in Holland and help our customers. But I am still on the way to learn lilies or flower industry, so I would like you to teach me anything when we see.
Finally, although the cold days still continue, I hope your health and happiness.