Cheerful, freshly picked seasonal flowers delivered to your home in a cardboard box. This sustainable concept thought up by Freddie’s Flowers from London is rapidly gaining popularity in the Netherlands. We visited William Gee, head of sustainability at Freddie’s Flowers, and buyer Mike Oudendijk at Sjaak van der Vijver in Honselersdijk.

“The pandemic has increased awareness around sustainability. It’s higher on people’s agendas now. We see this reflected in the demand for our flowers and in the many questions people ask about our approach,” says William.

Freddie’s Flowers delivers flowers to your door on a subscription basis. For their deliveries in London, they predominantly use Dutch-style cargo bikes, and occasionally an electric van. In the Netherlands, cargo bikes are often used to make deliveries to customers living in the large cities. William: “We are committed to carbon neutral deliveries, our packaging is fully biodegradable and our flowers are grown in a way that minimises waste.”

A pioneer in the sector

Mike buys these flowers at Royal FloraHolland’s auction. “As a buyer for Sjaak van der Vijver, I am responsible for buying flowers for Freddie’s Flowers, and I always make sure that the process is sustainable as possible. I look for environmental certificates, focusing on seasonal flowers, and the transport should use minimal plastic and a fully stocked auction trolley. This reduces the amount of transport that needs to take place.” Mike says that more and more growers have an environmental certificate. “It’s not only Freddie’s Flowers; customers are increasingly asking about environmental certificates.” William: “Certifications give us and the consumer the guarantee that the flowers we buy have been grown responsibly. FSI has helped us improve our supply chain through the entire life cycle of the flower.”

William, who has been committed to sustainability for years, wants Freddie’s Flowers to be a pioneer in the sector. “We need to take active responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment. It is important to do everything by the book and to ensure that we are transparent in what we claim and about our achievements. We’re a young and dynamic company. I’m excited about our future plans as florists that are redefining what it means to be a responsible, modern florist.”

In the video, Mike Oudendijk, who speaks Dutch, has English subtitles and British William Gee has Dutch subtitles.

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