Gediflora celebrated the 40 years of employment of breeder Wim Declercq.

05 Jan 2022

On 4 January 2022 we celebrated the 40 years of employment of our breeder Wim Declercq. Exactly 40 years ago Wim started his career at Gediflora and for this reason a festive reception was given in his honour yesterday.

On Monday, 4 January 1982, Wim Declercq started his career as a picker at Gediflora, which at that time was still known as Georges Pieters and Son. After two years spent picking cuttings, Wim was given the opportunity to help with the packing and shipping of the cuttings. For several years he managed to combine these tasks but over time Wim was gradually given more responsibilities while working in the greenhouse. He eventually took charge of the mother plants, which at that time were still grown in Oostnieuwkerke (Belgium). He also took on planning tasks. This involved making decisions about which cuttings were to be used as mother plants and where and when they were to be planted as well as supervising this process himself. In 1987, Dirk Pieters, the founder of the company, started breeding his own chrysanthemum varieties.  The person actually responsible for breeding had given up after a few months, and that is how Wim’s career as a breeder began. Since the late 1990s, Wim has been working full-time on the breeding of our Belgian Mums and he is now proud  to call himself “head breeder” at Gediflora.  As a result of his expertise gained throughout the years, Wim has also been closely involved in the set-up of production sites in Brazil, the US and Kenya. Due to his exceptional knowledge of mother plants, which he still retains from the early days of his career, he also acts as advisor at these production sites.

The day started with a delicious breakfast accompanied by accordion music to provide a celebratory atmosphere. Elien Pieters, the current Managing Director of Gediflora, had especially written the personalized lyrics for a song which was dedicated to Wim as a way of thanking him for his 40 years of commitment. Elien: “He is not only a loyal employee whom you can always count on, but he is also my right hand in all professional matters.”

The day was rounded off with everybody enjoying a convivial drink. Furthermore his colleagues and Elien extended their warmest congratulations to Wim and expressed their hope that he would remain active in the company for a long time to come. So what is the key to being a good breeder according to Wim ? Wim: “To be a good breeder, you have to be passionate about your job and also be a little crazy.”