Interview Sjaak Willemstein

Sjaak Willemstein

The products of greenSand are used and supplied by various gardeners. Willemstein Hoveniers has been supplying greenSand products for a number of years. Time for an interview with Sjaak Willemstein to ask about his experiences with greenSand.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Sjaak Willemstein and I am the owner of Willemstein Hoveniers. Willemstein Hoveniers was founded in 1985 and is known for using biological management resources and sustainable gardens.

What does the company do?

We design gardens and lay out the gardens. We also create vertical gardens against facades. These can be vegetable gardens, or an embellishment of the fence. We also design and supply roof gardens.
When did you first come into contact with greenSand?
We first heard of the mineral olivine about 3 or 4 years ago .

How long have you been selling greenSand's products?

We had been looking for a product to compensate for CO2 in the garden for some time. When we heard that this was possible with greenSand products, we immediately started selling greenSand olivine.


What kind of products do you sell from greenSand?

We sell the olivine grain, the small variant: 4 to 6 mm. We also sell greenSand potting soil and greenSand garden soil.


Why are you selling it?


We really sell greenSand olivine primarily for its CO2 binding values. Sustainability is paramount in our company. We also won the Silver prize for the most sustainable gardeners in the Netherlands in 2012. This year we will participate again. The fact that greenSand olivine also has other positive properties for most plants is an additional advantage for us.

Does greenSand sell well?

A few years ago, sales were difficult, the price differed too much from competing products. Now the price level compared to other products is better and it is no longer an issue for our customers. In the beginning it was necessary to offer greenSand only as one of the green alternative products. Nowadays we use greenSand as standard to enhance our image as a sustainable gardener.


What are the reactions of customers?


The reactions of customers are positive. Convincing people of greenSand is not difficult. However, for many people the greenhouse effect is still "far from my bed show", they are not working on it yet. But once one hears the story behind greenSand, one finds it sympathetic. Companies are more likely to be interested in offsetting their CO2.


Do you notice that people are increasingly focused on sustainable consumption?


In the garden area, the sustainable living of private individuals is still disappointing. there is slightly more demand for a specifically sustainable garden, but people are not yet standing in long lines at the checkout. There is still so much uncertainty among consumers about what exactly is sustainable. Plus many people are not really involved with sustainable and green gardening yet. There really is still a lot of work ahead of us.

Have you noticed that greenSand is not suitable for something?


No actually not, we use the products of greenSand all-round. (ed. only not with acid-loving plants such as heather) Funny was the situation in which a customer admonished us with the fact that we had to drive back and forth a lot to set up his garden. That, of course, was not sustainable. We told him that we more than compensated for this by processing a big bag of greenSand olivine in his garden and explained to him how it works. He thought the idea was very sympathetic. People are then pleasantly surprised that such a product as greenSand exists.

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