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Dutch flower bulb sector: sustainable?

How sustainable is the Dutch flower bulb sector?Just some observations and thoughts of an interested gardener and podcaster.

Flower bulbs snow drops

How sustainable is the Dutch flower bulb sector?
Just some observations and thoughts of an interested gardener and podcaster.


You may have heard of the Keukenhof in the Dutch town of Lisse. Keukenhof is the international showcase for the Dutch floricultural sector, with a special emphasis on flower bulbs.
In just eight weeks time, every spring, Keukenhof shows what the Dutch floricultural sector has to offer. It’s fascinating and impressing to see millions of spring-flowering bulbs.

No clue

The Keukenhof is a lovely place. But questions arise about the eco-friendlyness of the bulbs. On the park’s website I couldn’t find anything about sustainability. Nothing about the way the plants are grown.

How does the management deal with (public) transport of those many visitors? How do they handle waste? Which kind of food do they offer? Is sustainability an issue? I’ve got no clue. And I think conscious consumers want to have answers to these questions.

Expectations not met

I do understand it takes time to make the transition to an eco-friendly sector. But somehow I expected this big Dutch showcase for flowers to at least mention something on the issue!
If you know more, please contact me at Discutafel. I’ll be happy to adjust the information. Because we do want to give you an honest picture.

Photo: Tulipa ‘Ile de France’ in April.

Vitale Teelt 2030

Apart from my observations on the Keukenhof website, how sustainable is the Dutch flower bulb sector anyway?

Well, with the launch of the program ‘Vital Growing 2030’, the Dutch flower bulb sector recently presented a vision about the move to a more robust system, with nature as a partner. The initiators want to focus on ‘sustainability, technological developments and the value of biodiversity’. In ‘Vitale Teelt 2030’ partners in the Dutch flower bulb sector work together. Their Dutch website describes the vision.

Paper stage?

The initiative ‘Vitale Teelt 2030’ seems to be in a paper stage at this moment. As the title suggests, it could be at least 2030 before the necessary changes have taken place in the bulb fields.

Help growers to make the switch

Fortunately, some individual Dutch bulb growers are active on another level. They are changing their businesses already. Perhaps because their customers ask for it.
They show an increasing interest and a sense of responsibility to contribute to the achievement of the climate goals in Europe. They present themselves to the public with these thoughts and with compliant products.

We think it’s important to help bulb growers who are steadily switching from conventional to sustainable growing. These pioneers in the sector are helping consumers, municipalities and other buyers to make a sustainable choice!

Top photo: snow drops and Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ in March.

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