Vandervalk Groenesier

Dutch Asparagus growers on sustainability, sales and growth

Vandervalk Groenesier is a family business which has been specialised in the cultivation of the flowering plant Asparagus since 1979. They grow them on a total of 3.5 hectares on two locations in the Netherlands. The range consists of six varieties. The company has grown considerably over the years and is a loyal customer of Westmaas Brokerage. This latter company spoke to the owners Rick and Bart van der Valk and published their story on their website.

Can you briefly outline the history of your company?
In 1979, Cor and Corry started with the cultivation of chrysanthemum in Pijnacker, the Netherlands. The oldest part of their greenhouse was unsuitable for the cultivation of chrysanthemum. Therefore, they looked for an alternative and they found it; the cultivation of ornamental foliage. Eventually this ‘second choice’ became their core business and in 1991 we completely switched to the cultivation of ornamental foliage. This was a successful decision. The family business is now responsible for a large part of the Dutch market. And there is still potential for a healthy growth. This resulted in an expansion in 2009, what they accomplished with their son. The company expanded with at a new location in Pijnacker. In 2014 we had the opportunity to sell the oldest company and we bought a bigger company in a modern horticultural area in Delfgauw, the Netherlands. Their son Bart already active in the horticulture, saw this as a great challenge to join the family business.

How many co-owners does the company have?
VanderValk Groenesier currently has two owners: Rick and Bart van der Valk. Besides Cor and Corry, we got help from 15 people to bring a top-quality product on the market.

What are the key trends in your sector?

A lot has changed in terms of sustainability. One of the companies is heated by geothermal energy and the companies are 100% powered by solar panels. Sales strategies change quickly too. Selling all our products at the auction is not necessary anymore. Now we’re also selling directly by using online shops. We are members of the corporation called Decorum Company. With over sixty selected growers, we are putting a very high quality product range on the market. The trademark Decorum Plants & Flowers are for retail trade and is sold worldwide through selected dealers in over forty countries.

What has Westmaas Makelaardij (brockage) done for you in recent years?
Over the years, Dick and Eddy Westmaas have done a lot for our company and our family, including: the acquisition of our companies; the sale of the family business; the sale of the property and various valuations over the years for the company and the business succession.

Click here for more information (In Dutch).

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