Royal Van Zanten's lily bulbs in New Zealand

08-08-2019    02:30   |    HortiBiz

In 1996, Royal Van Zanten planted their first lily bulbs in New Zealand. After 4 years, Van Zanten NZ moved to a new location on the South Island. The village of Rakaia in the Canterbury region to be exact. Royal Van Zanten’s lily bulbs are grown by 2 contract growers with whom the company has been working together for years. The processing, packing, preparation, storage and export of the bulbs is done by their own team of Van Zanten Flowerbulbs NZ in Rakaia. With Oceania and Asia as the largest sales market. The reason that Royal van Zanten has a location in New Zealand is to provide their customers fresh bulbs of a high quality in the months of September to March. This in addition to the available northern hemisphere lily bulbs. Since 2015, Cees Prins, General Manager, has been responsible for the entire operation in New Zealand.


The New Zealand team consists of 8 permanent colleagues, a group of (New Zealand) colleagues who always return during the harvest season and a group of mainly “backpackers”. ‘The great thing about my job is to achieve our goals every season under time pressure with such a mixed team,’ says Cees. ´This is my passion and also gives me a huge drive.’ In addition to achieving the main goal: supplying healthy bulbs that are packed and stored in time, Cees also has a personal goal. That is: to give my knowledge to all employees. ‘Although New Zealand is a beautiful country to live in, the Netherlands is still my country. My goal is that by 2020 Jan Jaap Boon will replace me, here in New Zealand. Jan Jaap has been here in New Zealand with me for almost half a year, so he has plenty of time to learn. And given his experience in the sector I´m more than confident that the company is in good hands with him. New Zealand is a wonderful adventure, but it is important that the younger generation takes over. Rejuvenation is always important for gaining new insights and the continuity of the company.’


In New Zealand it is common for a company to give something back to society, this is really in the culture. Royal Van Zanten has chosen to give something back to the local community of Rakaia. As a goal the company supports the regional Lions Club. Royal Van Zanten donates a number of bulbs to the Lions Club every year. These bulbs are sold by the members of the Lions Club and the money goes back to the local community. We are talking about an amount of 25 to 30.000 NZD, that is about 15 to 20.000 euros. ‘I am therefore very proud of the fact that Van Zanten Flowerbulbs NZ can give something back to the Rakaia community.’

Click here to read the complete article at Royal Van Zanten.

Photo credit: Royal Van Zanten.

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