Established by GroentenFruit Huis, Royal FloraHolland, Flynth advisers and accountants, Interpolis, the Dutch Ministery of Agriculture and Rabobank, the prestigious prize has been championing outstanding achievement in Dutch horticulture sinceThey recognise best practices in horticultural production by the top fruits, vegetables, flowers, trees, bulbs and ornamental plant production nurseries from the Netherlands, celebrating the expertise and energy they give to horticulture. The awards also stimulate and promote best practices by giving attention to outstanding producers and promoting knowledge throughout the industry. Independent and impartial, the awards started in in response to the rather difficult period following the recession of the s, a gloomy period of low consumer confidence and unemployment in the Netherlands. Back then, the Dutch horticultural industry identified the need to recognise progressive growers who embrace technology, modern and sustainable production practices, market innovation, strong customer service and demonstrate their position as an industry leader.
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The number of mergers and takeovers in the greenhouse horticulture sector is set to rise sharply this year and in the coming years. The number of private equity parties entering the sector will also rise, although there are more options for growth. Including for growers, who in comparison with the high number of takeovers in the horticultural technique sector are currently somewhat lagging behind, certainly in the Netherlands.
For a short time last year, they saw stagnation in the number of mergers and acquisitions, but after a short COVID shock, the market has regained its momentum. In doing so, Oaklins points to the growing world population that needs to be fed, land scarcity, water scarcity, increasingly stringent environmental regulations, a rising demand for sustainable and traceable, the demand from supermarket chains for higher quality product, continuously, as well as technological innovation.
Takeover waves The news of companies merging or taking over each other followed immediately in quick succession in the first months of this year. Then, by the summer, it was back to normal and companies were tripping over each other, often announcing takeover news.
Many horticultural technology players in particular are on the move. They are all looking for a way to remain competitive in a growing world market. Although growers are also continuing to grow both nationally and internationally, they are still often doing so by buying greenhouses or complete businesses from colleagues without the intervention of investment parties. Felix explains that mergers, acquisitions or attracting investments and investors often happen in waves.
The result is that it then becomes busy again and there are plenty of discussions. Even in the middle of summer this year. Parties still want to complete transactions and continue to hold talks, whereas it is normally quieter in the summer.
In addition, international parties are finally able to travel more easily, although it remains to be seen whether this will continue next autumn. And the banks are now open to new customers, whereas they weren't for a while last year. This means that many parties feel that now is the time to make a move. Sales climate That last statement may sound as if the purchasing party has complete control. However, that is far from being the case at the moment, Felix says.
That is because there is a lot of money in the market at the moment with low interest rates and it is easy to raise finance. Many investment companies have what we call 'dry powder', i. Now, horticulture has traditionally been a volatile sector. And still is. But while that used to deter investors from investing in horticulture, that is now a thing of the past.
They have an eye on the horizon and want to grow towards it together with companies. This results in investment parties knocking on the doors of growers and technology companies. However, these days the latter have a choice and many investment requests are not born out of necessity, but out of ambition. We notice that selling companies often come to us for advice and to assist them in choosing a partner.
The fear of having to completely hand over the business is often no longer justified. There are still turn-around investors who thoroughly shake up companies that are not running well, resulting in many staff changes, among other things. Nowadays, however, you much more often see parties who have a supporting role, so that companies do keep control.
Investing in local, both for cultivation and technology Oaklins expects the greatest international growth in high-tech greenhouse horticulture. Frank de Hek, head of the horticultural team that operates from offices in the rest of the world as well as in the Netherlands: "Although low-tech is making a strong contribution to market growth worldwide, high-tech greenhouses ultimately deliver the most benefits if you look at what is driving the growth trend.
Nowhere can you grow as much as in cultivation facilities with the most modern techniques. However, so much expensive technology comes with large investments. This is one of the reasons why wealthy parties, increasingly from outside the sector, are entering the market. Felix: "Parties like these have the financial strength to help companies invest. They see that these investments will eventually pay off. After all, the demand for local food is increasing worldwide.
And in relatively new crops such as cannabis, soft fruit and lettuce grown on water, investors see margins. Frank points out that it is precisely players that now operate or can operate outside existing markets that can grow significantly. Felix adds: "We are talking about geographical markets where horticultural technology players are looking for a local presence. In this way, they want to benefit from the expected growth in horticulture in countries with the desire to become more self-sufficient.
That is why you see many Dutch market players now thinking about setting up local sales offices. Or about making small acquisitions of fellow companies abroad. For this, they are sometimes looking for financial strength and therefore investments or a partner who can help them take new steps.
We expect this to become increasingly common in horticultural technology in the near future, following the example of what has already happened in the world of plant breeding. When will growers follow? Oaklins closely follows developments in the international horticultural market from some 70 offices spread over 45 countries.
A few times a year they also issue a report on this, such as an earlier report on growers scaling up from and this spring on horticultural technology.
The developments in the technology market in particular raise the question of whether growers will also follow suit with mergers, acquisitions and attracting investors and investments. Felix expects that they will, but it remains to be seen whether they will do so at the same pace as horticultural technology. What a company wants differs greatly. It is always a matter of weighing up what will yield the best return or fit in best with a business strategy.
Certainly with growers who already have an investor on board, you see that they are explicitly working towards a vision, a point on the horizon. Where growth is concerned, growers have an easier time than in other sectors, simply by expanding the number of glasshouses. What currently still makes growers, at least in the Netherlands but also in Belgium and sometimes elsewhere in Europe, 'lag behind' when it comes to acquisitions by investment parties is that they are often still companies that are heavily dependent on one or a limited number of people in their business operations, Felix notes.
The same also applies to the necessary horticultural technology parties. That market is also fairly fragmented here. The afore-mentioned developments in the market mean that with every new acquisition, companies are once again questioning themselves about what they can do themselves.
That need not always be a takeover, merger or attracting an investment party. However, in anticipation of what's to come, there is no harm in ensuring that a company's management framework grows with the market. Felix: "That always makes a company stronger.
But it's not a deal breaker for investors if a company is still dependent on one owner. You do see that good agreements have to be made to guarantee continuity in the first years after the investment or acquisition. Foreign influence As well as the aforementioned concern about losing control, there are also concerns in the sector about the increasing influence of large financially powerful parties on Dutch horticulture. Are these parties gradually taking over the sector?
Felix does not see this happening just like that. If only because it is easy to drive to their headquarters for a cup of coffee. But of course we also see many international parties active, sometimes with a clear added value on top of the money they bring in. Think of technical knowledge from sectors such as the automotive industry. Foreign investors are therefore not necessarily 'bad' for Dutch horticulture.
Although it is still often the case at present that many Dutch companies are not yet as large in size and are therefore easy for investors from here to handle. Publication date: Fri 27 AugReceive the daily newsletter in your email for free Click here. You are receiving this pop-up because this is the first time you are visiting our site. If you keep getting this message, please enable cookies in your browser. Announcements Click here to receive this news directly in your inbox.
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This is reported by Wageningen Economic Research (WUR) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of joint research commissioned by the.
Our Thinking Grodan Blogs Dutch horticulture can connect the dots in the agricultural sector. Sustainable Growing. Stefanie Wienhoven. The story of horticulture Five months after the opening of Countryside: the Future, we spoke to Ed Smit and Renee Snijders from the NethWork foundation, an organization that aims to raise awareness of the role of the horticulture sector in the production of healthy food. For the exhibition, they brought together various parties from the Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector. For us, growing vegetables in greenhouses is by far the most sustainable, efficient way to produce food. In the past, the horticulture sector adopted a defensive attitude and sought little contact with the outside world.
The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.
They work closely together: with each other, with local and regional authorities, with top education institutions and with international research institutes. When it comes to greenhouse horticulture, Greenport West-Holland is one of the most important regions in the world with a concentration of state-of-the-art production, delivery, trade, distribution and processing companies, all strongly interlinked. The governments in the region — together with entrepreneurs, educational institutions and research institutes — have united in a network organization: Greenport West-Holland. Greenport West-Holland is a region in the province of South Holland, and contains leading horticultural municipalities such as Westland, Lansingerland, Pijnacker-Nootdorp and Barendrecht. In addition, there are three cities in the region: The Hague where the government of the Netherlands is located , Rotterdam with one of the largest ports in Europe and Delft the knowledge city of the Netherlands, including Delft University of Technology.
Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of China's Alibaba Group, speaks in front of a picture of SoftBank's human-like robot named 'pepper' during a news conference in Chiba, Japan, June 18,HK founder Jack Ma, largely out of public view since criticising China's regulatory system last year, has smelled orchids and brushed up his knowledge of horticulture on a surprise visit to the Netherlands, a flower developer who met him said. Ma, once China's most famous and outspoken entrepreneur,. He reappeared in Hong Kong in October, where he met at least "a few" business associates over meals, two sources told Reuters. He then flew to the Spanish island of Mallorca, where his luxury yacht is anchored, his first trip abroad since he fell out with Chinese regulators, two Spanish newspapers reported last week. Marco van Herk, commercial director at Dutch flower company Anthura, said on Wednesday he had been expecting to give a tour to a group of Chinese business executives earlier this week. We talked about how they orchids could smell great and were beautiful at the same time.
Every day we publish industry news, company reports, market updates and relevant KAS is the Dutch magazine voor professionals in horticulture.
By: Nic Jooste November 1,Originally printed in the November issue of Produce Business. Today, Dutch agriculture and horticulture is one of the icons of the modern world. The figures are staggering.
The Dutch horticultural supply industry is well positioned to assist horticultural businesses in Kenya, according to a new study executed by Advance Consulting. The study mapped challenges and opportunities in the Kenyan horticulture sector in the context of climate change. The report shows that there is a growing demand for climate smart agriculture CSA solutions in Kenya. SME farmers report many climate-related challenges such as erratic rainfall patterns, an increased prevalence of pests and diseases, temperature variability, lack of storage infrastructure and lack of access to CSA solutions. These challenges offer opportunities for Dutch and international companies offering CSA solutions to become active in the Kenyan horticulture sector.
Yet it has less than half the land area of the island of Ireland and is bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture.
The agricultural sector, food industry and horticulture together make a contribution of ten per cent to the Dutch economy. Dutch exports of agricultural and food products are the second largest in the world. By , we are expected to have nine billion mouths to feed. Current production methods will be incapable of meeting these growing needs. Due to scarcer raw materials, uncertain yields due to climate change, and increasing damage to our environment, it is necessary to change over to a sustainable production system that produces greater yields while respecting animals, people and the environment.
Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, as well as ornamental trees and lawns. The study and practice of horticulture have been traced back thousands of years.