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CAN (ON): Proplant Propagation Services under new ownership
With over five generations and more than 100 years of family involvement in the horticulture industry, the Berkel family has kept their passion for the horticulture industry alive with the recent acquisition of Proplant Propagation Services. Brothers Ted and Don Berkel, who have been growing on their family run greenhouse operation in Simcoe, Ontario for over thirty years, were approached by their sons Mike, Paul, and Drew, on how to push forward into the next generation of greenhouse growing. With the current size of the home operation and the inability to expand on the current property, they knew it wasn’t a viable option for Paul, Drew and Mike to get actively involved at the home farm. They began developing a strategy that was going to best suit their situation and capitalize on their talents. After looking at numerous strategies, the Berkels were approached by the previous owners of Proplant about their possible interest in Propagation. Since the Berkels have been starting their plants at Proplant from the beginning, the conversation was a very easy one.
Proplant has been producing premium vegetable plants since 1999. With a recent expansion of 10 acres of diffused glass, the Berkels saw that opportunity was there. Once they knew it was viable they decided it was the right move to pursue, helped by the fact the previous owners were very receptive and extremely helpful from the beginning of the transitioning period.
As part of the transition, the management team has stayed in place. This includes Dr. Muhammad Saeed, head grower and general manager, as well as a skilled labour force that was very open and receptive towards working with a new ownership group. In addition, the Berkels have added their talents and experience to help create a dynamic team within Proplant.
Now with a full vegetable propagation season successfully behind them, the three young men feel very confident about the direction Proplant is headed. “Having grown up working together in the greenhouse since we were just kids, there is a strong sense of pride in knowing we are contributing to the success of greenhouse growers across North America”. They look forward to building strong relationships with their new and existing producers, and will continue to push for the consistent quality that greenhouse vegetable growers expect.
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