Euro Grower Focus
This month (May) we focus on Belgian based Geka Plants.
'Straight & Authentic Trees'
The Flanders region of Belgium boasts many leading growers. One such nursery is Geka Plant, specialists in fruit tree cultivation. Geert and Katrien Winter-Wouters (pictured) run this dedicated nursery in Wettern at the heart of the Flanders region.
Fruit Tree Production
Taking over from his father in 1991, Geka Plant initially cultivated pot plants and open ground trees. They now specialize purely in fruit tree production. This means a lengthy 7 day shift for Geert to ensure their trees are 'straight and authentic'.
Their grafting propagation techniques also mean that they can react to changing trends. This includes trained trees to accommodate smaller gardens. Apple trees are the most popular with cherries, plums and pears completing their main four fruit varieties.
Geka Plant have slimlined their production timetable in recent months. This enables them to produce exactly to order for the landscape sector, particularly in U.K. and France. Orders for specific varieties, stem sizes and numbers can now be managed more economically.
Export Sales Boost
“In 2015 export sales accounted for around 38% of our turnover and in 2016, around 50%! Geert commented further “ France is our major export country with the U.K. around one fifth. Emerging countries include Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Sweden. In these colder regions there is a demand for hardier rootstocks which require a 'custom-grown' programme.”