Flowers or still prefer people?
Flowers or would you rather have people? Peter Evers knows
Maybe it sounds a little strange coming from the mouth of a lily grower... For me, people are more interesting than flowers. Beautiful lilies in the greenhouse are wonderful, of course, but when our employees and suppliers are enjoying themselves, I enjoy it even more. It's probably in our DNA: my grandfather was good to his people, just like my father. From childhood I was taught to be there for others. Dealing sustainably with people and relationships was brought to us at an early age. What you sow, you will reap," grandfather always said.
Own expertise and competencies
My grandfather was right: lasting relationships are necessary to grow and provide connection. Together you build. You give something and you receive something, with the knife cutting both ways. That is why our company goes for intensive long-term cooperation, both with our employees and with our suppliers.
"Why our motto is 'what you sow, you will reap'"
Investing in the right people
How do we do that? By taking the bull by the horns right from the first interview. I recently had an applicant who said: I want to earn the most. To me that does not express a commitment. We pay fine, but for us it's all about job satisfaction and working with good conditions. Of course money is important, but it is not the basis for a lasting relationship.
Making a career until retirement
So I expect 100% commitment, otherwise deals and collaborations fail. In doing so, I treat everyone the same, including my employees. I give people room to grow and if they take that opportunity, it always pays off. You see employees from different cultural and social backgrounds. In addition to the permanent crew, for example, we have many students who start with us. What you see is that they grow and make a career. We also have multiple generations on the shop floor. Even Bredefleur employees who retire! I am enormously proud of that, that we offer that as a company.
Relationships built on trust
Trust is important for long-term cooperation. Take our suppliers, without trust in each other we are nowhere. I myself know everything about cut lilies, but they are my eyes and ears: what is happening in the market? They inform us. Together you achieve more. For example, together with a supplier we have developed a Furora fully automatic grading machine, with which a large proportion of our lilies are graded by means of color camera and infrared rays, among other things. Unique in the world. All in all, not an easy project, but in the end you see results. The machine sorts the flowers much neater and more evenly than by hand. Together we came up with it and achieved something beautiful; after all, we have been doing business for thirty years.
Invest in lasting relationships
For me, it is important that people are comfortable in their own skin. If you invest sincerely in them, you reap the benefits in the end. You can see that particularly well during this corona crisis; so far there have been few problems. Because of long-term agreements, we do not suffer from price fluctuations and supply problems. Nor do we have any staff shortages, despite the tight labor market.
Having fun together
Of course, our core business is growing lilies. Let's not forget that. But in addition to the beautiful flowers we produce, we try to do good things. I myself get energy from that, to do something for someone else. That is more important to me than making money. Having fun together with the staff, with our relations, that's the best there is. It gets you further.
Peter Evers (30), having graduated from Horti Business and Management, is co-owner of Bredefleur.