There is still plenty of construction in greenhouse horticulture development area Het Grootslag in the Dutch province of North Holland. On social media, the progress at Jansen Paprika could be followed with grower Ivo Jansen regularly sharing building updates on Linkedin and Facebook (on November 2 the pouring of the center aisle was finished). Kwekerij Andijk, also a bell pepper grower, recently expanded with 6 hectares and proudly shared photos on their website. However, project developer Roelof de Haan has seen that growers are now slowing down and waiting to see what the developments are in the market and in Westland.
Middle path at Jansen Paprika
Building updates Jansen Paprika
Slowly but surely, the greenhouse horticulture area of 370 hectares in West Friesland is getting full. In July 2017 there was still 70 hectares available, while at the beginning of November 2018 about 45 hectares remain, according to project developer Roelof de Haan. "There are still 5 hectares for sale and there are still lots available from 4 to 10 hectares spread over the area, totaling around 40 hectares."
Geothermal energy a new requirement
In 2017, bell pepper grower VD Holland added another 9 hectares, which made that plot full. To enable future growth in the region, the province of North Holland is looking at the development of new greenhouse horticulture locations. A study was started in the spring and Roelof keeps a close eye on developments. "We are curious about what will be decided by the province. In the meantime, we are also looking at other locations in West Friesland that may be suitable for greenhouse horticulture development. A precondition for this is that geothermal heat is also possible at those locations."
Construction updates Kwekerij Andijk
Geothermal energy is also being worked on in Het Grootslag. Laurens Vlaar of ECW Geo Andijk said that the drillings had already been completed some time ago and that currently they are working to complete the extraction site that is connected to the two doublets and the heating network. "The wells were tested a few months ago. We are now finalizing the technical implementation of the installations. In the first quarter of 2019 we hope to supply geothermal energy to the first growers in the greenhouse horticulture area."
In the meantime, when you look at the available acreage for greenhouse horticulture, the Netherlands seems to be becoming full. Roelof also realizes this. "We indeed see that the land available for greenhouse cultivation is running out on the basis of zoning plans. On the other hand, we also notice that, compared to 2006-2007, things aren't that busy. The development options for greenhouse horticulture companies are, in other words, limited. In spite of the discussions about the price development of greenhouse horticulture products, we observe that the investment space is getting smaller rather than increasing."
The sentiment among growers seems to have changed. "This spring it was 'build-build-build', while at the moment the mood has changed to just wait and see due to the low prices that were paid this year for most greenhouse vegetables. But in addition to the prices for the vegetables, this 'construction sentiment', or rather the absence of it, also depends on what will happen in Westland. Will there be more greenhouse horticulture or residential areas? This decision will determine whether growers want to develop further or look for other locations in the Netherlands. A limited group of companies will continue to grow and also try to realize these ambitions, given market developments such as economy of scale."
Among them are, for example, CombiVliet and Schenkeveld Tomaten, where there is considerable expansion planned in several stages. Just not in the coming year, both companies have already hinted. First, both tomato growers want to get their new company up and running properly.
Roelof de Haan