NEW ZEALAND: The AGM in 2013 saw a new committee step up to the plate and the return of some industry experience to help move the NZFGA forward. Their roles and profiles are summarised below. Any grower of cut flowers who would like to add a voice and some resource to the association is welcome to make contact with a committee member to learn more about the association and how to join up. One significant change to the Association is the revolving Chair, which means that Chairpersons serve one year as Acting Chairperson, then moving to Past Chairperson and the Vice Chairman steps up to the acting role, ensuring continuity but not overburdening one individual indefinitely with the Chairpersons role and workload.
The total growing area of VLN is just over 2.5 hectares of glass & plastic greenhouses in which are grown approximately 35 varieties of roses, including the exclusive ‘David Austin’ roses. Ven Lier’s grow in a computer controlled environment and are constantly upgrading technology to guarantee reliable product and customer services. Roses are the main crop and trademark. In addition to these are grown Alstroemeria, Statice, Limonium, Carnations, Solidago & Breanthus cut flowers. Van Lier are also agents for several top cut-flower breeders being Schreurs, Terra Nigra, Lex, HilverdaKooij, and Royal Van Zanten. Van Liers import propagation material from these breeders which are then made available to commercial growers around New Zealand.
Says Theo, “My parents inspired in me a love of plants & hard work. As a young boy of around seven years I was always assisting my parents in our Massey nursery. I thought it was a great treat to be allowed to rise at 3am & attend the flower market with my father. I never had the desire to do anything other than follow in his footsteps and so when I finished secondary school I went to Massey University in Palmerston North & studied Horticulture. Thereafter I spent a year working for Palmers Garden Centre in their propagation nursery & some time working in Horticulture in Canada & the Netherlands before coming home in my early twenties to manage the family business.
My wife, Monique, is a co-owner with me in VLN. We have a family of four adult children, Nicole, Suzanna, Harry and Steffan. I am an avid pigeon racer and as my family will tell you I am as passionate about this leisure time pursuit as I am about horticulture. During pigeon racing season I participate in race events in Auckland, around NZ and overseas. There is a lot of preparatory work training the pigeons before they are raced and getting them to a race point. Its all a lot of fun and games and very social. ”
“I enjoy fishing, gardening, DIY, walking, cooking and spending time with family and friends. My commercial background is basically sales and service related, mainly in the Hardware / Security Industry. With a keen interest in business improvement through process management and a strong background in project work. Staff management and development has been a common denominator throughout my career. I have worked on and in:
•Business restructure projects
• Process improvement projects using lean ( ACE )principles
•Set up of an E-commerce division
•Product development work”
Kevin is a new committee member bringing a range of valuable skills to the Association.
Chris has been working on a SFF Application for NZFGA for a comprehensive Floriculture Portal to service all of the NZ Flower Industry, the outcome of which should be known in July 2014.