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Dutch growers’ unions and producer organizations

In June2001, an article on producer and marketing cooperatives ran like this:"The organization of the sale of Dutch horticultural products is currentlygoing through turbulent times." Almost thirteen years later, the situationis no different. An overview of the major players in Dutch horticulture.

Dutchgreenhouse vegetable acreage increased slightly in 2013, totaling 4,886hectares (compared to 4,865 last year). Greenhouse acreage in the Netherlandshas been on the decline since 2009, dropping below 10,000 hectares for thefirst time in 2012. Notable changes: the decline in pepper acreage (from 1313to 1244) and the increase in the acreage of tomatoes (from 1692 to 1768hectares). The increase in tomatoes is mainly due to an expansion in vinetomato acreage.


2013counted sixteen producer organizations, including a union of producerorganizations. One approval was withdrawn last year. The PT has not recognizedany new producer organizations. The Netherlands has a union density of about90%. That percentage of producers is affiliated to a producer organization,being among the highest in the European Union.

Van Nature

Van Naturewas created in 2012 from a merger between BGB (Best Growers Benelux) andVersdirect.nl. Previous merger attempts by BGB (with Coforta and Kompany) wereunsuccessful, but in Versdirect.nl they found the right partner. Thecooperative began in 2012 with an area of over 500 hectares. Two years later,Van Nature has grown to 630 hectares: 320 hectares of peppers, 160 hectares oftomatoes, nearly 100 hectares of cucumbers, as well as some smaller productslike eggplants and peppers. Van Nature is honest about their ambitions to growto at least 700 hectares. According to the cooperative, size is a goodfoundation for the future, but not an end in itself. Market demand continues tobe the leading factor. Van Nature regularly presents itself with fixed customersand supply chain partners Combilo, Haluco, Levarht and Scherpenhuizen.

Coforta

The yearsof growth of the Coforta acreage came to an end on January 1, 2012 when 80growers switched to FresQ. The acreage of Coforta decreased by 600 hectares tojust over 500. The number of members had been dropping for some time, but dueto scaling this had little overall effect. In 2012, acreage grew again, with 71ha of tomato and cucumber in both the Netherlands and at Coforta. In total, thecooperative represented 580 hectares of fruit vegetables. This year, Cofortahas 430 hectares of fruit vegetables. Coforta is owner of The Greenery and iscurrently undergoing a major reorganization, based on the notion offacilitating as a chain partner rather than as a producer.

CoöperatieDOOR

CooperativeDOOR unites the production of Green Diamonds (cucumbers), Purple Pride(eggplant) Prominent (tomato) and PapriCo (paprika). In total, DOOR sports 30members with a total area of almost 400 hectares. The sales partner of CooperativeDOOR is sales organization DOOR Partners. The organization is characterized bya limited group of suppliers and a close relationship with customers. A largegrowth of one of those two is not a goal, as focus is on quality and service.

HarvestHouse

HarvestHouse, with over 800 hectares of workable land, is the largest cooperative inthe Netherlands. Over 90 growers are members, including those of Paprika NL(over 200 ha paprika) and Rainbow Growers (24 members with peppers, tomatoes,eggplants and Spanish peppers). Paprika NL represents over 200 hectares ofpeppers. Rainbow has 24 members with peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.

KompanyU.A.

As ofJanuary 1, 2014 Komosa and SunQuality are merged into Kompany. The organizationhas 43 members and an area of 190 hectares, on which cucumbers and tomatoes aregrown. Previously, SunQuality had some members growing peppers and tomatoes,but these have since terminated their membership. A merger with ZON fruit &vegetables will be explored this year.

CoöperatieveTelersvereniging ZON.

Growersassociation ZON now includes Fruta Nova, LLS Growers and Growers union Pamosa.The sales organization of the association is ZON fruit & vegetables. Thearea currently boasts just over 400 hectares of fruit vegetables. As statedabove, a possible merger with Kompany is currently under consideration. In caseof a merger, the combined acreage would be around 600 hectares of fruitvegetables.

Best ofFour

Best ofFour has been active since January 1, 2010 and grew out of a fusion of BrassicaGroup, Tradition, Unistar and WestVeg. The cooperative started with amembership of 160 and has grown to approximately 180 members. The acreage offruit vegetables is over 500 hectares.


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