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Scherpenhuizen opens new premises with massive party

“From being fresh produce cowboys to almost an actual company”

“From being the cowboys in fresh produce to almost an actual company,” were the words used by Martin Scherpenhuizen to welcome the hundreds of people to the opening party of the new premises on 7 October. The word ‘actual’ can easily be called an understatement. Over the years, the company from Eindhoven, the Netherlands, developed into one of the largest, independent fresh produce export companies of the Netherlands. Hundreds of colleagues, growers and business acquaintances were therefore present to help celebrate on the occasion of the opening during the party on Saturday. “We used to do quite some things that weren’t strictly allowed, and we came to the fair in Berlin a bit later,” Martin looked back on their cowboy past. “How different things are now, but we can party like the best of them, and that’s what we’ll be doing tonight!”

Please click here for the photo report.

Martin took the people present back to 1997, the year it all started for Scherpenhuizen. “The Greenery had been founded, and we couldn’t buy cucumber at auction. That didn’t suit us. So we three growers started directly serving our customers. That soon led to the founding of VDN, an important pillar in our history. Without VDN (now called Van Nature), we probably wouldn’t have been around anymore. We then slowly grew into a year-round range.” He mentioned the importance of the staff. “Not the bricks of the building or the wheels of the lorries, but the people make the company! I think it’s truly unique how they can get the right box or pallet to the customer in the everyday commotion.”

A pillar that was less pleasant was the fire of 1997, which burned the premises of the time in Veldhoven to the ground. “But because of this we were given the opportunity to go from 35,000 m2 to 65,000 m2 in De Keten. And when our neighbour sold his premises, it was the proverbial once in a lifetime opportunity,” Martin made the leap to the new premises. The new DC has a total floor surface of 40,000 m2, and a mezzanine of 6,000 m2. The building has as many as 57 loading docks. The building will be equipped with 20 empty barrel feed and discharge belts, two palletisers with a capacity of 60 pallets per hour and a bell pepper box washing machine with a capacity of 100 boxes per hour. The Co2 neutral office has a surface of 3,250 m2, and all this on a plot of 70,000 m2. The building has 450 lockers, 200 m2 of sanitary spaces, 200 m2 of meeting rooms, 450 m2 of canteen and an outdoor terrace of 150 m2. Before the party, the guests were shown around the building. 

With the new premises, Scherpenhuizen is aiming for the highest attainable Breeam-Outstanding score in the field of sustainability. The new DC will be completely lighted by LED lighting, and has no gas connection. The cooling system runs on solar panels, with which the company is self-supporting most of the year. There will be charging docks for electric cars. The high-quality residual heat from the cooling will be used to heat the crate washer, the low-quality residual heat will be used to heat the office. The grey water (rain water) will be reused and the foundation of the building consists of a combination of recycled soil and ground-up rubble from the previous building. Last but not least, the roof will feature a bee hotel, so that the honey supply of the canteen will remain level.

At the end of the party, the guests received the first honey production to take home, but not before a long night of partying. Their days of being cowboys might be in the past, but Scherpenhuizen can still party like the best of them!

Please click here for the photo report.

For more information:
Martin Scherpenhuizen
De Schakel 7
5651 GH Eindhoven, NL
Tel: +31 (0)40 25 84 684
Fax: +31 (0)40 25 84 612

Publication date: 10/10/2017


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