Logistics and processing benefit from relocation

Nursery Sinke in Kruiningen, Zeeland, grows cut flowers of all shapes and sizes. The company has recently moved to a new location. A significant improvement in logistics, road safety and processing.

Stefan and Jojanneke Sinke grow cut flowers on Polderweg, just outside Kruiningen. His father was a poultry farmer in Kruiningen. His brother continued to breed poultry, but Stefan Sinke began to grow flowers. Since its founding in 1995, Kwekerij Sinke has grown steadily to its current size of 20 hectares.

The crops follow each other, although Sinke regularly lays a parcel of fallow for several months. “It’s not like our 20 acres are filled all year round,” he explains.

good soil

The grower composts the cutting waste and recycles it on his own plots. ‘Before I bought this land, onion peels had been scattered for twenty years. As a result, there was a lot of humus in the soil. The drain pipes were sometimes clogged by earthworms, ”he says. “Whole forests came out. It’s still good soil. Good structure and not too tight. Only now do I have to start adding compost and horse manure carefully again.”

The improved road safety was a plus for the permit application

Stefan Sinke, cut flower grower in Kruiningen

The corona period proved to be beneficial to the company because the hobby of dried flowers became popular. People spent a lot of time at home and therefore more flowers were sold. ‘Due to the war in Ukraine, sales have fallen somewhat’, states the grower. ‘There is trade, but everything is much more uncertain.’

The nursery focuses on supermarkets, so they are not too expensive flower clusters. ‘There is always a demand for it’, Sinke knows from experience.

Easy flower

The growing season starts with snowballs. Now there are lots of sweet William in bloom. A slightly old-fashioned but easy flower, says the entrepreneur. He does not spray much, only against fungi. Weed control is getting harder. The restrictions for plant protection products are becoming stricter, the grower explains. Helichrysum, Judas penning, sedum, sowing of asters and lanterns follow after the sweet marshmallows.

The crops follow each other. Now there are lots of sweet William in bloom. © Anton Dingemanse

A few years ago, the plan arose to move the company to Polderweg, where there were already a number of grounds. Sinke’s production grew a lot and the location on Blauwhoefseweg was no longer ideal. Stefan and Jojanneke Sinke decided to buy a building block closer to their own grounds.

Lots of energy

According to the entrepreneurs, the planning and realization took two years and a lot of energy. They have lived and worked on the Polderweg since October 2021. “It did not come naturally. A building block had to be moved, and an environmental permit had to be obtained, “says Stefan Sinke.

Reimerswaal municipality was willing to cooperate because the benefits of the move were clear. In terms of road safety, the new situation is a great improvement because growers no longer have to drive past the Den Inkel swimming pool up to ten times a day with the tractor and lots of flowers. ‘It is often filled with cars. This improvement in road safety alone was a plus for the application for a permit. ‘

Less transport

All in all, the new construction was completed on time, says Sinke. ‘If we had only started now, we would have been 40 percent more expensive. We now have much less transport and can process everything in the yard. In addition, it makes a significant difference in fuel costs. It fits in all directions. ‘

The new treatment and storage shed is also larger, more modern and more efficient. The entrepreneur can now accommodate nineteen working immigrants in the company in an appropriate way. Relationship manager Frans Geijs from ZLTO Zeeland even talks about a showpiece for the sector when he talks about the new location.

Labor-intensive cultivation

Cut flowers are a laborious and sometimes risky crop. ‘Then you have done everything right, but everything is raining or it is blowing over. There must not be a bad magazine in between ‘, Sinke explains.

In Kruiningen it has been very dry for months. When the grower waters, he uses a maximum of 15 millimeters of water at a time. Not only for environmental reasons, but also for cost reasons, because fresh water is expensive. Many bees and bumble bees fly on the lick, and there are plenty of ladybirds that attach themselves to lice.

strike early

Several dozen people work on the assembly line in the hall. ‘We cut the flowers early in the morning when it is still cold. The flowers stay so cold the rest of the day, which makes it easier when they gather. ‘

The working immigrants who undertake the treatment are a fairly ordinary group of people. Sinke: ‘They work throughout the period from March to October and come mainly from Poland and two employees from Ukraine. They were happy to be able to work ‘.

Business information

Stefan (46) and Jojanneke Sinke (44) have a flower garden in Kruiningen, Zeeland. They have 20 hectares of land, of which 13 hectares are owned. Stefan Sinke began growing flowers in 1995 on a piece of land he rented from his father. From 2000 to October 2021, Kwekerij Sinke was located on Lake Blauwhoefseweg towards the village and now on the Polderweg. The sons Jacco and Sander also work in the company.

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