By Stephanie Fusco, Corporate Affairs, Walmart Canada
This past weekend, Canadians across the country placed gorgeous blooms into their home gardens and outdoor spaces. For those in Western Canada, there’s a good chance the stunning florals they purchased at their local Walmart Garden Centre are from Rainbow Greenhouses, based in Chilliwack, British Columbia.
Like many of Walmart Canada’s nearly 2,100 Canadian suppliers, Rainbow Greenhouses is family-owned and operated.
“My wife and I started this business when I was 22, using a single truck I borrowed from my father,” explains Stan Vander Waal, CEO, Rainbow Greenhouses. “Today, we employ more than 600 people and I’m proud to say that my family works with us, too. We like to say it’s all hands on deck – especially during the busy times.”
In the nearly 20 years they’ve been working with Walmart, they’ve seen their business grow and expand: they now supply Western Canada with nearly 500 indoor and outdoor varieties, including hanging baskets, tropicals and a wide variety of pollinator plants, including a Walmart-exclusive Pollinator Passions program.
Together, the Walmart Canada and Rainbow Greenhouses teams work to bring the best assortment of products with amazing value to their shared customers. Looking at ease of care, colour and design trends, the teams develop programs that help customers build out the gardens of their dreams year after year.
“Working with our suppliers like Rainbow allows us to create new and innovative items for our customers,” shares Kelly Heshka, Senior Category Manager, Garden Centre, Walmart Canada. “We’re focused on bringing great value every day to our customers – a big part of that is working with our suppliers. Without our suppliers’ in depth knowledge and creative minds, we would not be able to deliver what our customer wants at the everyday low prices that we promise.”
The collaboration includes walking the path of regeneration together. Rainbow Greenhouses is an industry leader in sustainability, adopting a number of practices to reduce energy consumption, leveraging integrated pest management systems including biologicals and introducing watering systems that waste less water.
Flowerpot Takeback Program
This year, Walmart and Rainbow Greenhouses are piloting a flowerpot takeback program in British Columbia stores to help reuse and recycle plastic flowerpots.
- Walmart customers in British Columbia can return their plastic flower pots and trays to the Garden Centre at their local store.
- Rainbow Greenhouses will pick up the items, clean them and will give them a second life by either reusing them in their operations to sending them to a recycling partner to be made into new pots.
“Some people feel you're dealing with a buyer at a big business like Walmart and they tell you what it's going be and how it's going to go. Our relationship with Kelly and her team is proof that it doesn’t work that way,” explains Stan. “Our business transformed when we became more collaborative. We both have the same customer and we work together to make sure we’re providing the products they’re looking for and working on solutions together – in regeneration, in operations and in merchandising.”
At Walmart Canada, we’re proud to support Canadian jobs by working with local suppliers. This helps boost Canada’s economy and provides opportunities for people of all backgrounds. We consider it an obligation and a privilege to provide Canadians with products they trust from companies in the communities where they live. For more details about products grown or manufactured in Canada, visit Walmart.ca.