Last week our colleagues visited one of the Ilex growers who still has all the ilex on the field. He harvests extremely late so he does not need to sweat of the leaves from the stems.
95% of the ilex growers harvest in October and put the cut ilex stems under plastic so the leaves will sweat of the stems, after that process they bunch them and send them to the auction. This grower has his fields covered with nets against birds.
Another fun fact about this grower is that his fields are only reachable by boat! After harvest they have to bring all their stems via boat again to their premises where they grade and bunch.
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