De Ruiter going strong in China
In East Africa and South America, De Ruiter Innovations is one of the market leaders in the breeding of cut roses, but it has also invested in its own operation in China, called Yuxi De Ruiter Flower Co. Ltd. (YXDR). This company started on a small scale in 2012 by renting a 2 ha greenhouse for 4 years. In 2015, 2 ha of greenhouse were built at a new location, followed by an expansion of 16 ha at another location in 2018. This second location has 5 ha of greenhouse in the first phase, both on substrate and on soil.

An expansion of 1.5 ha of substrate was planned for 2020. At the beginning of this year, the operation came under pressure due to the Covid-19 measures in China. At the end of March, the flower industry started to get back on track and it was decided to continue with the planned expansion so that cut roses are now in production on 6.5 ha of modern greenhouses with a total of 25 new varieties, which serve both for introduction and as budwood bank.

Due to the expansion of the greenhouse area and the introduction of new cultivation methods for Yunnan, De Ruiter is now one of the largest suppliers of cut roses at the local auctions. Because the product quality of YXDR is very high with good prices at the auction, these varieties are in the spotlight and De Ruiter can also create a market that other growers of the same varieties also benefit from. In China De Ruiter is the rose breeder with the largest market share for licenses and has a 7000m2 propagation unit.

Yuxi is a small provincial town in Yunnan, located 60 km south of Dounan, which is the largest flower and plant wholesale market in Yunnan province in South West China, as well as the 2 large auctions where mainly cut roses are auctioned. At the beginning of this century, De Ruiter was active in China through an agent, in 2012 the decision was taken to set up De Ruiter’s own establishment, given the potential of the floriculture sector in China. The steps that De Ruiter has taken in expanding test and production facilities reflect the growth of the sector in recent years.

Chinese market
Flowers and plants are increasingly becoming a product for the middle class Chinese, which was not the case 10 years ago. In this sense, the market is still expanding rapidly although a bit volatile. However the general trend is a significant increase in demand every year. Demand is also becoming more diverse, for example more attention is being paid to and paid for quality and new varieties. On the production side, the demand for production technology and knowledge has increased and major progress is made on logistics and sales channels, especially in online sales.

As Yuxi De Ruiter, they try from the beginning to select varieties that are in demand by the consumer and that are suitable for the local production climate and local production and post-harvest methods. That is why they started looking for a location with the same cultivation options as the average cut rose grower has at his disposal. In recent years, however, good growers are increasingly growing on substrate and Yuxi De Ruiter has always opted for the next step that is feasible for growers on the expansion in greenhouses and cultivation methods. No doubt, Covid-19 has resulted in a significant economic crisis in China and will have an impact on the floriculture industry. Nevertheless, De Ruiter is positive about the market development during the past few months and the increasing turnover.