Anthura: “The world has changed, and we have changed with it”16 April 2019
Anthura breeds anthuriums and orchids and sells them all over the world. Management board member Mark van der Knaap talks about being agile in an ever-changing market. “The art is to match supply with demand.”
How agile is Anthura? Mark: "In the beginning this was a small-scale family business. My grandfather Jan van der Knaap founded it in 1938 and my father Nic and mother Jeannette took over the company later. They started with cut anthuriums in the 1970s and set up the breeding program. I joined the business 25 years ago, after completing my education in Wageningen, along with my twin brother Iwan. We were fortunate to experience the entire development of Anthura."
Anticipating new developments
Management board member Mark explains that the world has changed and that Anthura has changed its techniques accordingly. "Breeding is a slow process in itself. We want to make sure we act quickly enough, as we have to anticipate new developments in time. Rapid adaptation has become increasingly important in recent years because supply and demand are more closely matched. The demand for our plant material is far less consistent due to seasonal influences. We can respond flexibly to this because we also supply young plant material."
Market regulation through plant breeders' rights
Anthura started breeding in China twelve years ago. That was truly a new market at the time. "Plant breeders' rights didn't exist at the time of our move to China. We already exported many products to that country and we also produced locally on Chinese soil. It always takes a while to ensure compliance with rights. The introduction of plant breeders' rights has now led to market regulation. That is the biggest advantage," says Mark. "China is now learning that plant breeders' rights have added value. The varieties are now being established properly there. This will ultimately be good for the trade too, because supply and demand will remain balanced. This is also in the interests of our Chinese customers."
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