A total of fifty farmers and growers from the Dutch production region of Voorne-Putten have joined the marketing cooperative De Proefschuur. They want to make their products available on the island and, thanks to their own brand, achieve a better turnover. 

"The Proefschuur is a cooperative of growers from Voorne," says chairman Arnout den Ouden. "We want to make our product available in the region and surrounding areas, to gain a bit more yield for the affiliated growers." He explains that the club has a number of advantages over regular trading. "The origin of course: the pick-up from the farmer and delivery at the supermarket takes less than 24 hours, which is almost impossible for a ‘normal’ supermarket because they have a longer distribution chain. This adds value for the growers, but of course, we cannot ask twice as much as the competitor. It's price-sensitive, we cannot price ourselves out of the market."

The launch last Saturday by the mayor 

About fifty companies have joined De Proefschuur, with a diverse product range. Obviously, there is no obligation to sell all of the production through De Proefschuur and if greenhouse vegetable growers are already affiliated with a recognized producer association that does have this obligation, they sell the product through this association. "If you both want a solution, you'll find it eventually," says Arnout. "About half of the number of vegetable companies is now affiliated and the first livestock companies have joined, but that can be expanded if companies can realize an expansion in our assortment." Due to the regulations and the cold storage requirements, no meat can be supplied at the moment. "But in the future we want to offer all possible products under the brand: milk, dairy, meat, perennials, flowers – you name it."

How do they prevent mutual competition? "Where we buy the product must be in the interest of the cooperative," Arnout continues. "This is also clearly agreed this way: internal competition benefits nobody. The yield for the affiliated companies comes from the return on the invested capital: growers receive dividends on the money they have invested in the cooperative."

Since mid-October, the fresh products of the cooperative are available in two supermarkets in Voorne-Putten.

For more information:
De Proefschuur