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228 greenhouse veg growers without successors

Netherlands lacking agriculture successors

Over 55 and looking for a successor? That might be difficult in greenhouse horticulture, at least in the Netherlands. More than 4 out of 5 entrepreneurs over 55 don't have a successor or takeover candidate on hand. Shepherds are lacking successors the most according to Statistics Netherlands.

In greenhouse vegetables, only 19.5 percent of the entrepreneurs over 55 have a successor available. That comes down to only 44 companies, while 228 companies don't have a successor in the picture. In potted and bedding plants, the percentage is even lower: 18.5%, only 32 of 173 companies. Cut flowers are a tad more popular. In that sector, 21.3% of entrepreneurs over 55, 61 of 349 companies, have an idea of who will succeed them.

The three sectors are high in the list with least business successors in Dutch agricultural industry. Only the sheep sector is worse off. The top 5 is completed by tree nurseries. Open field cultivation is doing somewhat better at 28.4%, while fruit cultivation ended up highest in food horticulture, with 1 in 3 entrepreneurs having a successor on hand.

The figures come from preliminary agriculture figures gathered by Statistics Netherlands. They see that most agricultural companies don't have a successor ready. "The bigger the company, the higher the chance of there being a successor. But the enthusiasm to take over is also going down in larger companies," they observe.

Company size
Company size plays a big part in business succession. Large and medium-sized business particularly have succession available. Of the larger companies, 70 percent have a successor in 2016, for medium-sized companies it's nearly 50 percent. The percentage of business successors for large and medium-sized companies had been on the rise since 2004, but decreased slightly between 2012 and 2016. The number of successors for large companies decreased slightly from 71 percent to 70 percent in this period, while for medium-sized companies it went down from 56 to 48 percent. In small companies, the number of company successors went down from 28 to 27 percent.

See the Statistics Netherlands figures here (in Dutch).
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