Pioneering sustainability across generations

Siegfried Bunnik and his colleagues at Bromelia Specialist eat, drink and breathe among Bromelias. Their love for this exotic Latina even extends as far as Costa Rica, the birthplace of this plant. They adopt a piece of jungle there every year. Pioneering sustainability is something we want to know more about! 

Siegfried Bunnik grew up among Bromelias. And that’s logical, as father and grandfather Bunnik have been growing this tropical beauty since the 1970s. The name Bromelia Specialist is certainly very apt! This Dutch company combines the strengths of two families: Bunnik and Koolhaas. For the wider range, we are still working with other Bromelia growers. Meanwhile, Bromelia Specialist has become the market leader in the breeding, production and marketing of Bromelias. How does Siegfried explain their success?

One-stop shop

“Our focus is always on the customer,” explains Siegfried. “12 years ago, a garden centre asked us to optimise the sale of Bromelias. That question set a whole process in motion. We studied the market in depth, mapped out the needs of consumers and plenty more besides. The result is that today, we can give our customers the best advice. Based on our in-depth knowledge of the market and extensive product know-how. 

Product development is one of our strongest assets. For example, we follow the trends closely and tailor our range to each country and store. Tastes vary! You could safely call us a one-stop shop: we offer all sizes, types and varieties. After all, we work with the best breeders all over the world to test and develop the most attractive varieties.” 

Bromelia lifestyle

The range is indeed impressive. On the website of Bromelia Specialist, you can discover the versatility of this flamboyant Latina of houseplants. The site literally immerses you in the world of Bromelias, or Bromelaïne as they call it. “We are working intensively on content creation. We want to inspire our clients with stories and great images. Our website is a virtual display window, but we are also present on social media. Bromelias are rewarding plants. They come in all sizes, colours and shapes. In order to provide our end clients with custom service, we have set up six lifestyle groups: Cupcake Colors, Green Rituals, Modern Mind, Sweet Romance, Urban Industry and Classic Coziness. We inspire people with videos, campaigns and the like.”

Bromelia terra treasure
Bromelia terra treasure

Anti-snoring agent

The versatility of the Bromelia is not its only asset. Siegfried lists a few more. “They are long-lasting and easy to maintain. Thanks to a natural water reservoir, they can even go a couple of weeks without water. Bromelias are also among the most air-purifying houseplants. The most famous species, the Ananas, even purifies the air at night. Some scientists claim that it helps to stop people snoring.”

Protecting the lungs of the world

The Bromelia originates from Central and South America. Even though cultivation usually takes place elsewhere, Bromelia Specialist does not ignore the plant’s roots. Sustainability is in the company’s DNA. For example, they adopt and protect a piece of jungle in Costa Rica every year to preserve and protect the original tropical rainforest: The Home of the Bromeliads. 

These ecological concerns are also reflected in their cultivation techniques. “Our cultivation is environmentally friendly. For example, we use CO2 as a growth agent for our plants, which in turn convert it into oxygen. Our growers purify and recycle their water. An ingenious computer efficiently ensures the ideal climate with the right temperature, humidity, light and water. We also focus on natural pest control. Quite literally: geckos eat spiders and grass snakes catch mice.”

40 years of successful collaboration with Floréac

Together with its regular growers, Bromelia Specialist tries to create a supply chain that is as efficient and sustainable as possible. A philosophy they share with Floréac. “Our collaboration with the Floré family goes way back. When my father switched from cucumbers to Bromelias in the early 1970s, they were the first customers. Although a lot has changed in 40 years, our values have remained the same: passion for plants, innovation and collaboration

This collaboration goes beyond the mere ordering and delivery of plants. Floréac’s experts are closely involved and help us to develop new plants. For example, it’s thanks to them that our products are sold in France under the prestigious brand Silence, ça pousse! That illustrates their strongest point. Floréac thinks along with you to create a range that ties in perfectly with a particular sales market. It’s no surprise that they won the Trophée d’Or for the second time in a row this year!”

Choosing colour

Bromelias are not only doing well in France. They are also popular in other countries. A lasting trend? “I am convinced that the urban jungle will remain trendy for a while. People like to be surrounded by greenery. However, we are also increasingly seeing a tendency towards colour. A Bromelia ties in perfectly with this picture. In addition, our plant is an all-rounder. Whether you like a modern, sleek interior or a quirky style, there’s a Bromelia to suit every taste. What is striking is that people aren’t combining colours as much as they used to. Nowadays, the preference is more for one particular variety or colour. Consumers are inspired by particular mood boards and will choose a matching pot more consciously.”

Finally, an interesting fact: the Bromelia was discovered by Belgian commercial travellers in the 18th century. They instantly fell in love with this beauty and took a few plants back to Europe with them. And the rest is history…

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