Bulb growers cultivate a number of varieties and it is up to the expert buyers from Van den Bos to determine which varieties and which growers are compatible with our own quality levels. In order to be able to keep tabs on the reliability we evaluate all suppliers once a year.
If a batch has been purchased Van den Bos Flowerbulbs will carry out a field check in the summer during the growing stage. The main aspects that are given attention are growth, the presence of viruses and other possible abnormalities. If an abnormality is noticed it is recorded in the field checks document and discussed with the grower immediately.
The bulbs arrive in crates after lifting and grading and then Van den Bos Flowerbulbs’ quality control team carries out random checks on the batch based on an exhaustive quality control procedure. This data can be seen in the control report and is also saved in the digital database. Once a batch has been approved, 24 bulbs from the batch are reserved for planting in the company’s test greenhouse in The Netherlands.
After the bulbs have been approved they are then rinsed, if necessary, disinfected and packed in plastic bags together with some filling and they then undergo a period of preparation. The bulbs are then frozen and stored in a cold storage unit until such time as they are required for delivery.
The bulbs are also continually checked during storage and this focuses on relevant aspects in particular such as sugar levels, product temperature and any possible abnormalities.
24 bulbs from each batch are reserved for planting in the test greenhouse. They are planted in either the spring or autumn depending on whether they originate from the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.
When a container is being prepared for shipment a last check is carried out for the correct settings. Any abnormalities that are noticed in a batch entering the container are recorded in the control report. Details can also be found in the digital database.
Checks on defrosted bulbs
Flower growers from all over the world can contact stock administration at Van den Bos Flowerbulbs regarding batches that have to be planted. This is the signal for taking the order out of the freezer and putting it in the defrosting unit for complete or partial defrosting. A final check is carried out after defrosting for any abnormalities that may have developed during storage. If the batch is approved it will be immediately sent to the grower for planting.
There are also continuous checks during the growing period. One of the Van den Bos Flowerbulbs salesmen visits flower growers and evaluates the growth of the batch during the visit. If there are any abnormalities they are recorded in the check report and the digital database. The grower will also be asked regarding his experiences and quality assessment.