Dutch flower growers urged to stop using pesticides

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Flower farmer John Huiberts stands next to a flamingo made of thousands of organic pink hyacinths. At the annual BloemenCorso, or flower parade, where decorated floats travel through 26 miles of fields in full bloom, his electric vehicle is a sign of changing times in the Netherlands.

“It makes you proud,” said the co-owner of Huiberts Biologische Bloembollen, who went organic 11 years ago. “They say the chemicals are safe, but I don’t know. It took me a few years to have good and healthy bulbs, but it is reassuring not to use them anymore.”

Huiberts is among a growing number of Dutch flower farmers rejecting pesticides over concerns about conventional floriculture’s effects on biodiversity and the health of people living nearby.

In the past 10 years, Dutch flower farming grew by a fifth, covering 28,000 hectares of Europe’s second most densely populated country. Almost seven billion bulbs were exported in 2022, mostly tulips and lilies, worth about €1bn (£860m).

Read more at theguardian.com

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