Field Visit Profiles
Noord-Brabant is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country and represents the administrative layer between the national government and the local municipalities. The provincial administration takes initiatives on an economic, social and cultural level and coordinates actions, primarily on Spatial development, Accessibility and mobility for the region, Regional economic policy and Cultural and regional identity
ZLTO represents the interests of around 15,000 farmers and growers in the South-Netherlands being members to the association, aimed at producing healthy food innovatively and sustainably. ZLTO participates and invests in strategic activities and innovation within the food and agriculture sector that are of added value for the (future) market position of its members. ZLTO supports green entrepreneurs in their daily operational business, is a connection between farmers and consumers also a connection to other sectors and organizations for creating new opportunities for sustainable economic growth and social welfare.
FrieslandCampina is world’s leading dairy companies, employing 23.769 people in 34 countries branch offices, exporting products to more than 100 countries and has annual revenue of 11, 6 billion euros. Company is fully owned by one of the world’s largest dairy cooperatives, Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A., with 18.261 member dairy farmers in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. FrieslandCampina’s activities are divided into 4 market-oriented business groups: FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition, FrieslandCampina Dairy Essentials and FrieslandCampina Ingredients.
Rabobank is an international financial services provider operating on cooperative basis with nearly 2 million members, being one of the largest cooperatives in the Netherlands. Its cooperative identity stems back to 19th century when a group of farmers founded the first agricultural cooperative banks. Its strong agricultural roots mean that its unparalleled knowledge in the food and agri industry. Measured by Tier 1 capital, Rabobank Group is one of the world’s largest financial institutions offering retail banking, wholesale banking, private banking, leasing and real estate services, serving approximately 8.3 million clients around the world. Rabobank is committed to making a substantial contribution to welfare and prosperity in the Netherlands and to feeding the world sustainably.
HAS is the leading higher education and expertise Centre in the Southern Netherlands in the field of agribusiness, food and environment; ranked as the 2nd best medium-sized University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. HAS employs 450 people and serves 3,000 students and 300 participants on professional courses. HAS incorporates studies while working actively with local businesses; focuses on entrepreneurial study involving substantial cross-fertilization with day-to-day business practice; channels cross-fertilization professionally through HAS Knowledge Transfer and Training.
LIB is Brabant’s Agricultural Innovation Agency, powered by ZLTO (Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organization of the Netherlands) and the Regional Authority of Noord-Brabant. For more than 20 years LIB stimulates innovation on the farm level, co-financing projects, establishing networks for agricultural innovators, organizing networking events, bringing together farmers – scientists – food processing companies and instrumenting matters for sustainable economic development of Noord Brabant region. Each year LIB approves co-financing about 40 projects and coordinates for resulting positive impact to the beneficiaries and the local society.
De Kruidenaer is family business facility which produces almost 30 different species of high-quality fresh herbs. Owner of 20+ ha of soil, cultivations taking place in greenhouses, tunnels and in open ground. In the greenhouses, De Kruidenaer cultivates mint and basil (regular green, red and Thai basil), while in the open ground, chives, dill, rosemary, coriander and parsley. During winter, a large proportion of herbs are imported from selected suppliers abroad.
Natuurlijk Tomaat is a family business that effective 2015 started tomatoes’ organic cultivation in greenhouses. Among others it grows high-quality cherry tomatoes, san marzano’s, cocktail, roma and vine tomatoes. Furthermore, from its own production Natuurlijk Tomaat makes sauces for soup and pasta, tomato jam and chutney, also sweet-sour tomato ketchup in collaboration with De Laarhoeve.
Van der Meijden is a family business established on 1989 which over the years set up an SPF company producing top-quality piglets with 1000 sows. Van der Meijden passion for pig farming took him to establish a pig farm training center about providing onsite courses for people involved in the pig industry from all over the world.
Signify GrowWise Research Center has been established on 2015, following Philips (now Signify) initiative to develop the perfect blueprint for city farming production on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. To a growing area of 8 climate-controlled rooms (234 sq.m) researchers try a variety of crops under different LED-lighting, climate conditions, software controls, sensors and logistics in order to optimize growing conditions for vegetables, fruit and herbs and advancing city farm building blocks.
Van den Borne is a family business that currently grows 550 ha of potatoes, 50 ha of sugar beet and 300 ha of maize. For becoming leader on potato farming in southern Holland, since 2006 company is investing on experimenting and applying precision farming, flying drones, using satellite data and researching, analyzing and visualizing soil scans and yield data in a cycle of 14 phases. It has also established a Smart Fieldlab to help farmers at making evidence based decisions and reach higher yields with the same assets through data collection, translation and visualization.
De Ruurhoeve dairy is a family farm has started in 1970 with 80 dairy cows in 30 ha of agricultural land. On 1977 EU agriculture ministers visited the farm; being on 1990 new activities added, such as hi-quality cheese production, an agrifood shop, classes & workshops etc. The cows are mainly black-bred Holstein-Friesian and in recent years were also added red-colored Holstein and Belgian blue cows. Since 2007 De Ruurhoeve uses milking robots and feeding machines about increasing animal welfare and ensuring efficiency, quality and better results.
Van den Berk Nursery specializes in the cultivation and supply of avenue trees, conifers, shaped trees, rhododendrons, solitary trees and shrubs. Led by the 3rd generation, this family business stretches across 500 ha (380 of which in Holland and 120 in Germany). Its assortment consists of 1600 species and cultivars, which the size ranging from medium (70cm) to extremely large (4m). Van den Berk is one of the largest in Europe with exports to over 35 countries, working closely with landscape architects, greenery managers, contractors, garden designers and horticulturalists, while has been awarded on 2009 as winner for entrepreneurs in horticulture and as ‘Bronze Rose 2009’ in the international ‘Grower of the Year’ competition.
Philips Fruitgarden has been founded 90 years ago by Anton Philips. Today the family farm cultivates and supplies healthy organic fruits from its 12 ha apple, pear and plum orchard. In the recent years the family has also established a modern pancake house on the site, a farm shop selling apples and pears from the orchard and the Pit, an iconic venue amongst the greenery for social and business gatherings.
Bavaria Brewery is the 2nd oldest family-owned company in Holland that employs around 1000 people, while its beers brewed since 1719 in accordance to a unique 7 generations’ family recipe. What started 300 years ago in this family farm grew into an international business due to the switch from top to bottom-fermenting beer in 1925, the natural mineral water sources, its own malt house, meaning that almost the entire production chain is in-house. Bavaria also managed to acquire leading positions in niche markets being the founder of the completely alcohol-free beer, having invested to La Trappe Trappist monastery beer and more.