Already from the first start of Dutch Plantin Coco in the Netherlands in the early nineties the company Zuurbier & Co is involved. « We already grow on coco from 1991, says Kees Oudhuis. « The first years the coco bags were filled with loose coco produced in The Netherlands, but since the compressed growbags are available we switched in 2002 to these, and we are still happy with them.
« We use the growbags up to 6-7 years as long as the crop is paid for. The special double layer growbag with coco peat on top and coco chips at the bottom assures good air ratio during the many years of growing on them.
In Heerhugowaard are grown approx. 35 million roses on 13 ha of glasshouses annually. The company is ISO-9002 certified and has the MPS-A certification.
In 2001 Zuurbier & Co started to grow roses in Kenia as well. Under the name of Bilashaka Flowers roses are grown on 29 ha of greenhouses yielding approx. 40 million roses annually.
The farm is situated at the lake of Naivasha in Kenya and is an innovative company implementing the newest (Dutch) cropping techniques.
Most of the roses are grown on substrate: a mixture of Dutch Plantin Coco and pumice stone.
« Pumice stone is available from a local source and the mixture with the right coco results in a perfect manageable substrate for acceptable costs », according to Kees.
In Kenya the coco is used for approx. 5 years before it will be replaced.