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‘Every bunch is correct’

The busy harvest time is drawing to a close as we visit Biemond Flowers, where pioneering with peonies is done on the smallest strip of the isle of Goeree-Overflakkee. Ever since Martijn Biemond and his brother Bart started working fulltime in the company of their father, a whole new business has come to flourish.


Martijn’s father, Boudewijn, has had an arable farm for many years. He grows potatoes, onions, sugar beets, carrots and cabbage, among others. Until recently, he did it all by himself. At busy times, Martijn and Bart would help him, or he would hire temporary labour.

After their education Agrarisch Ondernemerschap Tuinbouw & Akkerbouw (Agricultural Entrepreneurship Horticulture & Agriculture) both Martijn and Bart desired to work at their father’s company. “There wasn’t enough work for the three of us, but due to scarcity of land, expansion was not an option. That is why we decided to add an intensive crop. Eventually, we chose peonies, a beautiful plant that we needed to vacate just one plot for.”

“Besides, we frequently found ourselves amidst waste up to our waist, and we had to clear everything ourselves”

Getting to know the process

Peonies need three years to come to fruition. “During the first year, there is nothing to harvest and during the second year only parts can be harvested. Only during the third year, you’re achieving full capacity to some extent”, Martijn explains. “We used that time to gain knowledge. We visited different planting material suppliers across the country. In addition, we sowed summer flowers in a corner section of our plot, so as to be able to experience the floriculture process. We, for instance, had never visited the auction as salesmen.”

Also a new machine was purchased: the Flora Optima. “Important, because peonies must be harvested quickly. The warmer it is, the less time we have.” During the second harvesting year, a workforce of nearly 30 people was cutting flowers outdoors. Indoors, some 15 employees were busy at the Flora Optima with the processing. “The defoliating was done in the bunches and turned out not to work well in case of thick stems, which led to a lot of manual labour. Besides, we frequently found ourselves amidst waste up to our waist, and we had to clear everything ourselves. Since we are used to automate processes in arable farming, we decided to investigate whether that would also be possible in floriculture.”

Optimising the process

A consultation with Peter van Wijk followed, he is their fixed contact at Bercomex. Together they discussed various solutions regarding adjustment of the Flora Optima. They also looked at another machine, the Furora. “In the end, we decided to invest in that one”, Martijn says. “A good step, because all we have to do now, is put the peonies on the feed belt. The machine will subsequently sort the roses by length, colour and quality. Afterwards, they are bunched, cut and finished.”

By adding a stripping-preparatory-work unit to the Furora, also defoliating is done automatically. “The peonies are now passing one by one, instead of in bunches. Moreover, the leaves fall directly on a discharge belt, saving a lot of clearing up time.” This means a lot less manual labour, but still Martijn was not completely satisfied after the first harvesting. “The foliage discharging capacity turned out to be insufficient. Based on our experience, in cooperation with Bercomex, we fully updated the machine. And as a result: during the recent period, our third harvesting year, it functioned properly.”

Continued improvement

Now that the Furora takes on the majority of the work, steps were made in the area of accuracy. Martijn: “Every bunch is correct. All the peonies are adequately appreciated and sorted. In addition, we save a lot of time, thanks to the automated process. Instead of fifteen, there are now only six employees standing at the machine, which enables us to focus on the perfect cutting of the flowers”.

What the next step is? “We want to expand the number of peony varieties and continue to improve. The Furora assists us in doing that. The majority of the work having been automated now, takes a lot off our shoulders. It creates room to occupy ourselves with the future as well as with today. We want to supply the best peonies, so as to be among the best.”

“Instead of fifteen, there are now only six employees standing at the machine”

Customer case in pictures

  • Strip length

    The 1 and 3-core binder binds the bouquet firmly before being cut to size.
  • Efficient

    The various grades are bunched simultaneously.
  • Speed Control

    The speed of the 2 units can be adjusted independently for an optimal result.

Advantages of the Peony stripper

Maximum defoliation length

The stripper can defoliate up to a maximum of 35 cm.

Choice of brushes

Our brushes are easy to change and available in two hardnesses.

Widely applicable

The speed of the stripper can be adjusted to the type of stem and the hardness of the leaves.


In this situation, the Peony Stripper in combination with the Furora Compact has a capacity of up to 6,500 stems per hour.

Would you like to seen one of our Peony Strippers in action?

    Would you like to know if this machine suits your situation?

    Please contact us:

    Piet Stroet

    Call +31 (0)229 502 150
    or send an email to:

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