Greenhouse Canada

Under Cover: December 2008

November 18, 2008  By Greenhouse Canada

A growing Saskatchewan garden centre received major hometown honours
this year. Dutch Growers was named Business of the Year by the Regina
and District Chamber
of Commerce.

Recognition for Regina retailer

The Van Duyvendyks, some of their staff, and breast cancer survivors work on this year’s Plant It Pink campaign.
Photo courtesy Dutch Growers

A growing Saskatchewan garden centre received major hometown honours this year. Dutch Growers was named Business of the Year by the Regina and District Chamber
of Commerce.


Tim and Karen Van Duyvendyk had been part of Dutch Growers in Saskatoon for many years, before opening their own store in Regina in 2005. Tim grew up in the family business and was tending plants as soon as he was able to hold a watering can. Karen came on board as an employee while a student at the University of Saskatchewan.

The Van Duyvendyks say their emphasis on customer service has paid off. “We pride ourselves on the high level of customer service we provide,” said Karen. “We really stand out in that regard, and our sales have reflected that every month of every year we have been open.” Last spring, for example, featured “record-breaking sales.”

Tim and Karen had their share of start-up challenges, including a 2005 blizzard during their grand opening.

The store is as much community-minded as it is customer-focused. One of its projects this year was a Plant It Pink campaign, which raised $9,000 for Breast Cancer Action Saskatchewan. Featured were hanging baskets full of pink Wave Petunias.

“It generates a lot of money for a great cause,” noted Karen, while at the same time, “it teaches our young family the importance of sharing your resources to help others.”


A colourful mixed container of Yoder mum varieties.
Photo courtesy Filomena Tomanelli

In a move to further strengthen
its position in the horticulture industry, Yoder Brothers, one of the world’s leading propagators of chrysanthemums, has agreed to sell a portion of its business to Syngenta Flowers, a worldwide leader in sustainable agriculture.

The acquisition includes all rights to Yoder’s pot and garden chrysanthemums, aster genetics and breeding programs, the Yoder brand name, as well as production assets less real estate necessary to deliver current and new varieties to the market.

The remaining Yoder entities will continue to do business under the Yoder name until July 2009, at which time, Yoder Brothers will transition to a new name that
better reflects its remaining businesses. Yoder will continue to sell and service Yoder-brand mums and asters from its customer service group and from Yoder Sales in the U.S. and Canada.

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B.C.’s SunSelect turning coloured peppers ‘green’

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When is a “green” pepper not a green pepper? When it’s a vibrant red, bold orange, or sunny yellow sweet bell pepper – grown, packed and transported in a certified carbon-neutral manner.

When SunSelect Produce Inc., of Aldergrove, British Columbia, delivered its first carbon neutral peppers earlier this summer, the grower accomplished a goal to become “greener” that has been several years in the making. “We learned that we could actually earn carbon credits by replacing natural gas as a source of energy with renewable biomass,” said Reinhold Krahn, who owns SunSelect along with his brothers Victor and Leonard, and sister, Edith Gubiotti.

Carbon neutrality is achieved when the carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere from a product’s production, or carbon footprint, are balanced out with CO2 emission reductions in other areas, such as transportation or energy use.

For SunSelect, this meant replacing non-renewable energy sources with environmentally friendly biomass and decreasing overall energy use. Energy curtains, for example, were also installed. These measures resulted in 30 acres of “carbon neutral” peppers being grown under glass.

“Though all 70 acres of greenhouse peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes are produced in the same energy-efficient manner, at this point we have just certified packaged peppers for full carbon neutral status, though we expect our other production will also be certified soon.”

SunSelect’s carbon-neutral peppers are available from The Oppenheimer Group.

While U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show consumption of fresh peppers at an all-time high, only a fraction are grown domestically. Currently more than 70 per cent of all fresh peppers consumed in the U.S. are imported from Mexico and another 18 per cent are imported from Canada, according to the USDA. Texas A&M and research partners are hoping to reverse the trend. See for more on this story.

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