This is Ruben's story
"Just out of school and now an enthusiastic planner"
Our family business Bredefleur goes from father to son. As the youngest in a family of seven, I witnessed how my father took a step back, my brothers stepped in and started to work hard. For me it was very interesting to witness this from a distance. During my final year of study, I knew for sure that I wanted to join the company.
Wondering why the youngest scion wants to get into the business?
My older brothers are ambitious and like to make strides. Standing still? That's nothing for them. So every year is different, there are always new investments and that's what makes the work so much fun. A growing company, in which it is nice to grow. For me it is very instructive to experience this from the inside. Actually, I've only just joined the company, a year and a half now. But honestly, I've been around since I was nine. Then I would come on Saturdays and help for a few hours sweeping and walking through the greenhouses.
Young talent gets opportunities
Like my other brothers, I studied horticulture. For me, working is more fun than studying, and then the choice is easily made. During my training I learned the theory and at home I immediately saw the practice. What I like is that my brothers give me enough space to develop. They leave me free and say 'see if you like it'. Great right? I'm still young and get the chance to watch everything. That way I get a good sense of what is happening.
Father source of knowledge
So I first worked in production and in crop registration. Together with my father, I evaluate new lily varieties that we try out. I learn a lot from that. My father is a source of knowledge, he knows so much about the characteristics of a lily. For example, he knows right away if a variety is going to work. Moreover, he enjoys sharing knowledge. I have enormous respect for him. He just single-handedly built up the whole company. I am also involved in crop protection and researching a bug that gets into the plants and affects the lilies. We don't want to fight this chemically, we want to tackle it biologically.
Responsible for planning
Currently, I am mainly responsible for the planning of two locations. Our bulbs have to be planned for a whole year. Which plots of land will be released, which orders will be run? Holidays are important for floriculture. With Valentine's Day, the production does have to be on time, which listens quite closely.
New digital planning system
Planning is really my thing; the new planning system we are working with now, I had the pleasure of setting up completely. People were trained and a lot of data was collected. At first we were still working with old excel files, everything was on separate sheets of paper. Now the planning is digitized. Purchasing is attached to it, the automatic stock, the track & trace system. There is a lot involved. For example, you have to better plan varieties that grow fast or slower. Mega interesting. My goal is to develop and grow so much that eventually I'll be completely responsible for bulb planning. That I can ensure that the planning runs very well and is clear to everyone. Because in my eyes, there is always room for improvement.
Bulb watching in Chile
In the meantime, I occasionally want to take a look at other companies. Last January, for example, I spent five weeks in Costa Rica. Not to party, ok a little... but mainly to work with a lily grower. So educational! I went back in time; much of the work there is still done manually. With twice as many people, they produce almost as many lilies as we do. Nothing is packed automatically, let alone treadmills. I saw our varieties growing there in the open air, without energy. Beautiful to experience and to see how people have organized their business. Ah yes, I would also like to spend another week in Chile looking at bulbs, there is still so much to discover....
Bredefleur is hearty fun for young guys like me. There is plenty to learn and there are plenty of challenges. You can quickly get more responsibilities and grow, all in a nice atmosphere. To be honest, I can see myself working here for quite a while, I'm in a good place. I would like to prove myself in the coming period and then possibly become co-owner in a few years.
Ruben Evers (21) is the youngest son in the family and has been working with the Bredefleur company for a year and a half.