International Grower of the Year: Bronze for Belgium

Strongest International Grower of the Year competition ever

At the most recent International Grower of the Year contest, the Belgian contestant Dirk Mermans won the bronze prize against stiff competition. The jury praised his company as a modern pot plant nursery and a model for many family companies. Dirk Mermans won the prize for his constant quest for new technological solutions and applications. His concern for the welfare of his staff was also greatly appreciated.

The winners of the International Grower of the Year context were announced in Horst/Venlo on Wednesday 13 September. The organisers said the quality of the contestants was higher than ever before. Six companies went through to the finals. The chairman of the jury, Mr. Doeke Faber, put it like this: ‘The pre-selection was difficult and the quality of this year’s finalists was the highest ever’. The Golden Rose went to the Canadian Sheridan Nurseries and the Silver Rose to the Australian Mansfield Propagation Nursery.

And the Belgian contestant, Dirk Mermans, ultimately won the bronze. Although perhaps not the biggest company, the Belgium participant Potplantenkwekerij Dirk Mermans from Wommelgem Belgium won the third price. A state of the art potted plant nursery, example for many family companies. On a solid financial foundation Dirk Mermans grows high quality foliage plants as Philodendron, Monstera and Clusea. The employees enjoy working there as the growing and labour conditions are very good. On a medium of expanded clay the plants grow in hydro-culture on a concrete ebb and flood floor. The fact Dirk is an technical engineer applies to his sustainable management of the nurseries. A highly energy efficient production: heat and cold storage buffers, his humidifier, complete recirculation of the water systems, the revolutionary cooling system through high pressure mist. Also the innovative market orientation, by selling as far as possible in the chain deserves special attention, according to the jury: Mermans had the disadvantage that he had to compete with such big, strong professional nurseries as Sheridan and Mansfield. But all compliments to Mermans said chairman Doeke Faber.

Dirk Mermans: ‘I am very pleased with third place and when I see what great companies were nominated I consider it a huge compliment.’

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