In the Netherlands, the VATB and SVB foundations have advanced plans to merge and create a single powerful sector organization. The joint new foundation will be a professional service provider, promoting the trade in outdoor green products. Existing activities like the well-known digital trading platform Varb and the Plantarium brand will be incorporated.
Jan de Vries (left) and Rens van Nierop
On February 15, 2022, these foundations' boards announced their intention to combine the two organizations. An extensive inventory process has already been done. It became clear that there is considerable added value in merging the foundations' activities. Varb and SVB have very similar objectives too.
The new foundation's administrative and organizational structure and name are still being worked out. Varb's current director, Linda Hoogendoorn-Veelenturf, will probably become the new organization's director. The parties expect to finalize the merger this year.
Varb and Plantarium
These foundations each have well-known brands like Varb and Plantarium. Varb is a leading digital platform for outdoor greenery, and its current direction and ambition remain unchanged. It was recently announced that Plantarium would continue as PLANTARIUM|GROEN-Direkt. Its next edition will be in August 2022.
Aside from these activities, SVB currently manages real estate, and Varb does plant registration and coding, among other things. Cooperation and synergy could strengthen these various activities. Both organizations are financially very healthy, so the boards choose a shared ambition and are sure they can jointly do more for the sector.
Jan de Vries, SVB president: "Companies are growing and professionalizing, make higher demands on sector organizations. Yet, our sector is very fragmented. We don't want to be an advocate but an innovative and stimulating service provider. We want to assist 'outdoor green companies' like tree growers and traders to promote trade."
"And thus help the sector move forward. Together, we have several platforms and more resources. Both foundations can use these to further professionalize the organizations. These will benefit our services too," Jan says.
"We've been on a new course since 2014. Our platform and organization are in place, so we're ready for the next step. Along with SVB, we're broadening our offer, so we can mean more nationally and can do more to share knowledge. Our services are complementary and will strengthen each other. The talks have always been held in a great atmosphere. We're confident this positive line will continue," concludes Rens van Nierop, chairman of the Varb Foundation.