When you think of tulips, Spring is immediately associated. However, in Norway they think of Christmas too. Tulips are one of the country’s most important flowers during this time of the year and the production at Norwegian greenhouses are in full swing.
Sebastian Schouten of Schouten produces tulips in a 7000m² greenhouse in Lierstranda, Norway. Annually, they grow 20 million tulips that are supplied all over the country and Christmas is one of his most important holidays of the year.
Throughout the year, roses are the most important flowers, followed by tulips. But at Christmas this changes. “For Christmas, red tulips more readily available than red roses, and consequently red roses are often more expensive compared to the rest of the year”, says Schouten. “And the same counts for holidays like Easter, when there is a high demand for yellow flowers.”
The majority, of the tulips sold in Norway are grown in Norway. “Around 75% of the tulips are grown here and the remaining is imported from the Netherlands.” The Netherlands is a well-known country for tulips, so, what is the reason for this high local production? The most obvious reason is the Norwegian import tax regulations on imported flowers. According to Schouten, this is not the only and most important reason: “The most important reason is that people value locally grown flowers. When looking at our neighbour countries Finland and Sweden, that are within the European Union and therefore have a free movement of goods, we see a high demand for locally grown flowers too.”
The demand for tulips for this Christmas is more or less the same compared to last year. “Currently, we are in the middle of the busiest days of the year and the demand for red tulips is high.”