How we achieve the best quality plants

It was Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple inc.) that quoted: “Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” He really hit the mark there because it is simple; bad products often have more impact on u than good experiences.
At Fairplant we have the privilege to have a turnover of more than 13.000.000 plants per season. High volume or so called big quantities. But how do we keep up with perfect quality in relation to these high volumes?

Our history with quality

First of all, big volumes with good quality is not achieved in a single production season. We already build up our reputation from the early 1980’s, when the nursery was grounded. We learned and experienced through the years how we could make good quality plants in big volumes. It was really fall and rise and doing it step by step, using new techniques and methods. Sometimes it is really two steps forward and one step back.

Quality during growing season

During the growing season, we do a lot of tests and analyzing in the field. All to check and verify if the plants are still in perfect shape. Some examples of tests and analysis we take:

  • Soil analysis on new and/or existing production fields.
  • PH- and EC-analysis of the water we irrigate our blueberry nursery stock with.
  • Leaf analysis to determine the plant needs for fertigation, fertilizers, spur elements, etc.
  • Strict tests and analysis done by the NAK-tuinbouw to determine the virus free status of our plants.

Quality after growing season

Also after the growing season, when the plants are ready for harvesting, grading or shipment, there are a lot of factors that influence the quality of the product. For example if you grade and classify a good batch of healthy plants very wrong, the customer is also not getting the quality plant he likes and he will remember the bad product. In our opinion it’s also a shame if the healthy plants lose some of their vitality during these last steps in the process, storage or even the transport.

Quality through innovation

Regarding the rootstocks we, Fairplant, are very unique and like no other in the sector. All our rootstock are graded in-house by ourselves with state-of-the-art machinery from GeJo Grading Services. A full ‘sister’ company who is the leading edge in the rootstock and potato grading business, using the newest grading technology. We also use this same technique to verify and check all the incoming batches of plants at Fairplant (see image below) on diameter of the root collar, diameter on grafting height, root volume and straightness. Did you know that we can make a quality report of every batch we sell?

Quality by keeping it cool

Quality also means doing it right when no one is looking. A plant is a product which is alive, even when there are no leaves on it. This means you have to handle it with care. In our new cool storage, Emmeloord facility, we can control and log all the cooling and humidity actions. All automated in full grip (see image below).

Even the standard packaging we use nowadays is the best of our years of experience to get the plant in good shape to your location.
Furthermore we try to keep the quality level high also by training our personnel, creating benchmarks for product quality, and testing products to check for statistically significant variations.

As you can see, we give it all to get the plants at the best possible way to you, so that it will grow at your place as good as it did at our place.

Rik Klein