4 years ago

The Partnership no. 8

  • Text
  • Products
  • Lettuce
  • Partnership
  • Enza
  • Varieties
  • Vegetables
  • Zaden
  • Growers
  • Vegetable
  • Markets

With an outdoor

With an outdoor cultivation area of 180 ha and greenhouses with an area of 2.5 ha, Yding Grønt ranks among the largest producers of babyleaf crops and fine herbs in Denmark. Director-owner Søren Flink does everything he can to make sure things stay that way. He regularly makes adjustments in his procedures to lower his production costs and create extra value for his enterprise and his employees. From his seed suppliers he expects commitment and a pro-active attitude. “You can’t recommend the right varieties without knowing how we work here,” he explains. Step by step Søren Flink has been in business since 1994, when he became joint owner of Yding Grønt. A few years later he became completely independent. “In the 1990s we grew mainly iceberg lettuce and little gem,” he recalls. “Each head of lettuce was harvested by hand. Our cost prices were high because in Denmark, labour costs are way above the European average. I had to work out a solution one way or another.” Variation and convenience Flink saw opportunities in switching to babyleaf products, which can be mechanically harvested. Around the year 2000 the babyleaf segment was just getting off the ground and prospects were good. Consumers were introduced to hitherto relatively unknown products such as corn salad and rocket and were enthusiastic about the new flavours. On top of that, babyleaf products are ideal for a differentiated range of ready-made salads in consumer packaging. “You can pack and sell them either per variety or in different colour and flavour mixtures,” adds the grower. “I saw a promising future in them.” Everything had to change The switch implied a lot of changes for the company. Babyleaf products are harvested while they are young, and implied much higher plant densities than what the farm was used to. The majority were moreover of varieties that were new to the farm, and that had to be sown directly in the field instead of arriving as propagated young plants. So the farm needed sowing and harvesting machines, and also a line for processing the consumer packages. And the relatively short season meant that the cropping plan had to be revised. “All in all we had to make a lot of changes,” says Flink. “We started off growing babyleaf products in half of our acreage, leaving the rest as it was, so as to spread the risks and costs in case our first results were disappointing. The other half followed in 2002.” until he reached the present outdoor acreage of 180 ha. In 2013 he also commissioned the construction of a 2.5-ha greenhouse for the cultivation of fresh herbs. The babyleaf range now comprises fourteen products varying from young iceberg lettuce, corn salad, rocket and spinach to red lettuce, sorrel, green cabbage, pea shoots, the Japanese lettuce variety mizuna and tatsoi. “On average we harvest our outdoor crops about five times a year,” says Flink. “This means we process almost 1,000 ha of babyleaf every year. That calls for tight planning and organisation.” Sales Flink sells his products via a growers’ association, but he’s in contact with his buyers himself almost every day. “Personal contact is very important,” explains the grower. “I want to be able to offer retailers and processors precisely what they want. We export forty percent of our products to Sweden, Germany and Norway. Most of our export customers are processors, who want the products delivered in bulk. To retailers we supply a wide range of babyleaf salads in consumer packaging. We make agreements about volumes, prices, delivery times and special offers. And we discuss the sales prognoses, which partly depend on the prevailing weather conditions.” Innovation Another recurring theme on the agendas of the entrepreneur, his customers and his suppliers is innovation. “All our efforts in this respect focus on value creation,” explains Flink. “There’s no sense in innovating merely for the sake of innovation. The aim must be for process and product innovations to create value for the chain. That can be achieved for example by factors that increase yields, lower cost prices or improve keeping quality. Another possibility worth considering is to give your product a distinctive colour, shape or flavour. It will often be a combination of factors.” Partnership business expansion Wide range Encouraged by a steadily growing demand in Denmark and the surrounding countries, Flink expanded his business step by step Variety trials Flink permanently reserves part of his farm for variety trials to keep his range up to date and to be able to anticipate new requirements Babyleaf salad grower Søren Flink, Yding Grønt (Denmark): “New varieties are as good as the added value they can offer us” The Partnership | 29

Enza Zaden Brochures

Пряно-вкусовые культуры 2019 | 2020
Перец 2019
Тыква 2019
Салаты Eazyleaf
Дыня 2018
Қауын 2018
Редис | Дайкон 2017 | 2018
Тыква 2017 | 2018
Корнишон 2017 | 2018