Netherlands: Royal Lemkes wins Horticultural Entrepreneur's Prize
Clockwise from top left: winner Royal Lemkes, Jan Schrijver of De Lepelaar with Jan de Ruiter of ABN AMRO, outgoing chairman Nico Koomen of TOP, and Désirée Olsthoorn with her sisters
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Royal Lemkes got the award, according to the jury, because they "show a remarkable amount of responsibility and take the initiative to set up projects that make the chain more sustainable. For instance, Royal Lemkes clusters the group transport by region, leading to less transport movements. The company also enters into sustainable relationships with suppliers and clients, not to maximize profit, but to maximize impact. What's special is that the HR policy puts employees and their surroundings center stage."
A packed house
Chairman Nico Koomen announced that he will hand over the wheel to Michiel van Ginkel this spring. Van Ginkel has been managing director of ZON Fruit & Vegetables since 2014. Koomen was chairman for two three-year terms.
Winner TOP 2017 Royal Lemkes. Photo: Tuinbouw Ondernemersprijs
Good year for horticulture
The results show that 2017 was an especially good year for Dutch horticulture. Good yields give entrepreneurs room for investment in the future. The greenhouse vegetable industry has had the best results for the third year in a row now. Within the sector, tomato growers are the most successful. Cut flower growers saw their income increase slightly. For potted plant growers, the income increased strongly as a result of good prices. Bulb growers can be satisfied, having produced good results for four years now. The income of tree growers and fruit growers increased slightly. Only growers of open field vegetables saw their income decrease last year as a result of lower prices, caused by higher supply.
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