Wim Ammerlaan graduated in the study program Plant Sciences in Wageningen and has its own rose nursery in Ethiopia, AQ Roses. He lives six months in Africa and the other six in the Netherlands. While the roses are grown in Ethiopia, they are traded in the Netherlands.
Could you tell us more about your job?
“I import the roses from Ethiopia and bring them to Aalsmeer. There, the flowers are packed and brought to the auction. In the office there always a bunch of roses in a vase. We want to verify how the roses appear, therefor we put a bunch of each consignment in a vase."
How did you become a business owner?
“I come from a family of rose breeders. My father had a rose breeding company for 30 years. When I was still studying, I wanted to see how profitable it could be to take over his company. Soon I realized that the future of that company was not as rosy as I had hoped.”
How did you solve that problem?
“During my master’s I did an internship in Kenya. In that country I saw that the rose nurseries could deliver good products at lower costs. This is mainly because the cost of temperature control is low, there is plenty of sunlight and the temperature is stable. Ideal for roses to grow. Eventually, I chose Kenya’s neighbouring country, Ethiopia, in order to start my business.”