Aad van den Berg explained in an interview with Annet Breure for Hortidaily
As a crop advisor, in spite of Covid-19, you can be important these days. Aad van den Berg, Delphy: “Before our advisers make their visits, we first determine whether they really are welcome. Usually that is not a problem. The advice is given one-on-one, usually to only to 1 or 2 individuals.
Most are not afraid to do that, but if not, that is actually also no obstacle. The grower and the consultant have usually known each other for many years and speak the same language. They know each other very well. They trust each other. That communication just goes well.”
There are now significant sales problems in floriculture. Aad indicates that the cultivation advice these days are often about controlling the speed of the crop. If possible, the crop is slowed down, so that production and harvest are moved ahead. Aad: “And please let’s all hope that this is sufficient and that the damage will be limited. So do buy flowers.”
Data-driven cultivation management
It was already high on the agenda at Delphy: the use of digital tools in cultivation advice. Aad indicates that it will be given even more priority. He expects that we, as a society, will learn a lot from this situation. This also means that we will understand even more the importance of digitization. Aad: “This way we can continue to provide optimal support to the customer.”
Aad: “It looks like we are one of the actors in a bad movie. And the movie is over when we, as a society, can deal with it. I am a positive person; this will pass. No matter how bad it all is now. It is a sad situation. But let’s not forget that there are much worse situations, that have been dragging on for years. Anyway… that’s my personal opinion.”
Delphy currently has about 60 people living and working abroad. They mainly work in Europe (outside the Netherlands), China, Japan, the Middle East and Africa. In addition, 10-30 people work from the Netherlands to advise growers abroad on their cultivation methods. So it concerns a whole group of internationally oriented cultivation advisers. The 10-30 Dutch cultivation supervisors have all been brought home by the current situation.
The semi-annual international consultants meeting that would have taken place next week in Bleiswijk is canceled. Aad: “We just keep skyping and calling. That will succeed.”