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"Collaboration is the new growth: knowledge sharing rather than competing"

Middenmeer is the place in the world where most orange peppers are grown. Leon and Petra Barendse are running this company. Annually, Petra leads more than 5000 people from home and abroad around their ‘great’ company with huge enthusiasm. In the season 30,000 kilos of peppers are harvested on a daily basis. Wrapped on the spot and the next day sent to the customer. Greenport NHN wrote a description of the company.
Barendse DC is growing orange and green peppers on a sustainable base on Agriport A7. Moving from competing towards collaboration and growth through sharing knowledge is the new approach," Petra collaborate with employees, colleagues, knowledge institutions, customers and suppliers towards a healthy world. In 2014 she was nominated for the Enterprise Award Noord-Holland.

The origins
The grower Barendse DC originates from the Westland. The brothers Leon and Mathé Barendse started with the cultivation of orange peppers in 1986 in Poeldijk on their parents' company of two hectares. In 2000 a second branch was added, Barendse DC then grew to 6.7 hectares. In that year, along with a fellow grower, they founded the sorting and packing company Dutch Colours. Together 12 hectares of orange peppers were sorted and packaged. In 2006 this grew to 18 hectares. In 2004 on the old production site five-hectares was newly built, the company thus increased to nine hectares of greenhouses. Due to the increasing demand of the customers for its own sorting and packing company, Dutch Colours, the brothers Barendse had to increase the scale of operations. In 2006 it was decided to expand the business in the new greenhouse area Agriport A7 (Wieringermeer in North Holland). Barendse-DC II is now a fact. In Wieringermeer it is possible to manage the costs and to use energy more efficiently and thus to grow more sustainably. In Middenmeer they have acquired over 45 hectares of land. The first 19-hectare greenhouse was completed in November 2007. This means that in the future there is room to double the size of the company. In 2012 the sorting and packaging company Dutch Colours also moved to Middenmeer. The horticultural company in the Westland was sold in 2013 and its director Léon Barendse continues as an entrepreneur on location Middenmeer.

The peppers
Barendse DC is growing orange peppers year-round. The season runs from November to November. In November, the young plants are planted in the greenhouse. The first orange peppers are harvested in March. The cultivation of peppers is focused on high quality and durability. Through variety trials they are constantly looking for the most optimal variety and conditions. For the selection of the best varieties product quality (e.g. shelf life), taste, production and application mode (form), crop (disease-burden and labor) and susceptibility to disease are monitored. Cultivation takes place in closed systems. This means that energy is used as efficiently as possible and the environmental impact is minimal. Used water is recycled and illnesses are biologically controlled. To this end, the crop is continuously monitored. By monitoring, the use of fertilizer can be kept to a minimum and pests and diseases controlled locally.
Peppers are very healthy and versatile in their application. For example, a pepper contains three times as much vitamin C as an orange. In addition to vitamin C, peppers also contain vitamins A, B1 and B2 and minerals such as calcium, iron and sodium. They contain very few calories. The peppers can be consumed in different ways: in hot and cold appetizers (stuffed peppers, in soups or salads), but also in main courses (in pastas and several other national and international dishes). To stir-fry them is very appropriate. To let as many people as possible enjoy the orange pepper Barendse DC makes peppers available to the food bank weeklt.
Barendse-DC uses the latest technologies in the field of energy through cogeneration and geothermal power (since 2014). For the geothermal project at Agriport A7 wells are drilled to a depth of 2,500 meters to win geothermal heat for the greenhouses. They also have three cogeneration plants (CHP) with a capacity of 10MW. CHPs consume natural gas and produce electricity and heat. The electricity is used for the electrical installations on the company, but mainly fed back to the main network (about 90-95%). This can supply 10,000 households with electricity. On 5 September the geothermal energy station of Agriport started to produce heat for the greenhouses.

It is time for orange! This is the message of the campaign in which the orange peppers are the centre of attention. These delicious, sweet peppers are not yet available everywhere and that is a shame. Hence, action is being taken for this beautiful product. More information about the action is available at:
Noord-Holland made ​​a beautiful film with Barendse DC. They are guided by the always enthusiastic Petra Barendse.
Watch the film at Greenport NHN.

Want to visit Barendse and Agriport? Check out