Fruit crate fillers

Munckhof Machinefabriek changes hands after 134 years

The Dutch family business, Munckhof Machinefabriek, is changing hands. After 134 years, this compan, based in Horst, will have new owners for the first time. Munckhof is a European market leader. They develop and build machines used in the cultivation of fruit. The business was taken over by Henri Michiels and Han Smits. Munckhof Machinefabriek will now be known as Munckhof Fruit Tech Innovators. The new owners have growth ambitions in new geographic markets and areas of application.

Expanding new techniques, markets, and applications
Munckhof Machinefabriek was founded back in 1884. It was started by a renowned local blacksmith called "Smitten Ties". Through the years, the company remained in the hands of the Van den Munckhof family's descendants. Munckhof Machinefabriek grew into an A-level supplier. They became the market leader in the field of harvesting techniques, spraying installations, and crate fillers. Their products are mainly used in the growing of apples, pears, cherries, berries, and olives. The company now has 40 employees and a turnover of EUR6 million. 

After 134 years, Thijs and Peter van den Munckhof are the last of the Munckhof owners. They are slowly cutting back on work. Since the end of May, Van den Munckhof Machinefabriek has been in the hands of new owners. Henri Michiels earned his spurs as Technical Commercial Director at Dinnissen Process Technology in the Netherlands. Han Smits is the previous International Business Development Manager for the Swiss company, Glencore Grain. They want Munckhof Fruit Innovators to continue developing and producing high-tech solutions for precision farming. This means Munckhof will keep doing what it has been for the past 134 years.

They offer fruit growing technology and logistics solutions. With these, an even higher and better quality yield can be produced. Less labour, fertilisers, energy, and pesticides are also used. The application of smarter sensors, GPS technologies, and internet connections are becoming increasingly important. So is the automatic registration and use of big data. Forward-looking farmers can use these solutions to not only measure the exact growth and yield of each tree. They can also see where diseases begin and can then, if needed, quickly intervene. New techniques are also going to play an important role in spraying. They can be used to administer precise amounts of fertilisers and pesticides to flowers and leaves. This further reduces the wastage of products, and the toll they take on the environment.

Little will change for employees and buyers
Munckhof's takeover spells little change for employees and clients. They can continue relying on the same products and services they are used to from Munckhof. Thijs and Peter van den Munckhof will still be involved in the business. The takeover and growth ambitions have, however, resulted in new job openings. They need tertiary, and secondary-level technical, commercial, and logistics employees.

Source: Munckhof Fruit Innovators

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