Saving flowers from the shredder and helping farmers find their way through Covid-19
- 2 min read
As export came to a halt during Covid-19, many tulip growers were left with their unsold stock, most of which had to go straight into the shredder. Together with a friend, former HTH student Lieve Nieuwint tried to save as many flowers as possible (and succeeded in our opinion). Whilst visiting her parents back in April, Lieve made a spontaneous trip to buy flowers and met tulip farmer Jos in Noordwijk. He told her about the effect of the crisis on his business and she heard firsthand how he had to shred his stock. Lieve promised Jos that she would ask her friends in Amsterdam if there was anyone interested in buying some flowers. Back at home Lieve went straight into action-mode and posted her request on Instagram. That post was shared by friends and was the beginning of the @vanmakernaarmokum initiative!
HTH alumni Lieve Nieuwint in action
Lieve Nieuwint started at HTH in 2009 when it was still located in the old building in Amsterdam Zuid. “I remember the Skotel and my internship in Cape Town and my graduation, it was all a fantastic time.” Today Lieve is a producer in the event industry for Wunderbaum Management. Her job involves the daily management of radio DJ’s, but she also works on creative input for events, podcast series and tv formats. When faced with farmer Jos’ dilemma Lieve intuitively used her knowledge and skills from event management and applied them to this completely different field; mobilising volunteers and selling directly to the consumer.
A small gesture of goodwill leaves a big impact on 5 farmers in the Amsterdam area
First, it was tulips. Then came the gerberas, the gladiolas, asparagus, peonies and sunflowers. A bunch of tulips went for € 5.50, which is more than reasonable, but didn’t deter customers who felt good about saving them from the shredder whilst also supporting local flower growers by buying their stock.
Now, 3 months later over 175.000 products from 5 different farmers have been sold via Lieve and her team. There is no business model, this is a charity work in action.
According to Lieve: “the @vanmakernaarmokum is a nice initiative that we would like to expand. Everyone is aware of the possibility of a ‘second wave’ of Covid-19 and the effects this could have on Dutch export. If the farmers need us again, we will see what we can do! Actually, our dream is a big farmer’s market in Amsterdam, without the overhead costs, the expensive logistics … just the farmers and their products.”
Lieve’s advice to students at the beginning of their professional career:
“Be creative! There are so many opportunities offered at HTH and if you use those opportunities creatively then the world is your oyster!