Weekly Bulletin of the

Rotary Club of St. Catharines South   

June 9, 2008


Vocational Tour of Hendriks Greenhouse


Our June 9th regular meeting was replaced with a Vocational Tour of the Hendriks Greenhouse in Beamsville.  Our club goal is to have two vocational tours per year. These should be associated with one of our members and or the community in order to give us a better understanding of the community in which we work and that we serve. Tonight's tour did that very well in many ways.


Hendriks Greenhouse employs approximately 100 on a regular basis and as many as 150 in peak seasons. The greenhouse industry does not get the press or notoriety of the Grape and Wine Industry but is actually the largest agricultural industry in the peninsula both in employment and dollar value of production. In Niagara we have the sunshine, the warmer climate that requires less heating, the transportation network and proximity to market, and the concentrated expertise in the greenhouse industry. These all combine to make us a leader in the field.


The current challenges are the position of our dollar and the rising cost of natural gas. Our tour guide, Sherri Barlow, in answer to one our member's questions, pointed out that the only solution to rising costs is to become more efficient as the buyers of their product do not accept price increases!


Hendriks import their plants as small plugs and grow next to nothing from seed. They have a combination of some basic facilities to modern automated assembly lines. It shows both their past and their progress. Their product line consists of the variety of tropical plants required to make mixed pots or baskets in the small to mid size range.


After the tour we moved to the Jordan House Hotel for dinner and fellowship and were joined by a few more members.


We had a total of 24 members and guests on the tour.


June Manning passed on two announcements from the Inner Wheel Club regarding their Day at the Races on July 6 and their Black and White Dinner Dance on September 6. Please open the Event notices on the Home Page to register online or get more information.


Please visit the Home Page "Photo Journals" (on the right side) and click on the Hendriks Greenhouse to see photos and more reporting on the tour.