The new greenhouses owned by tomato grower Schenkeveld in Rijsenhout in the Netherlands are an impressive sight, and also clearly visible from the A4 highway. They now cover no less than 22 hectares. Richard Schenkeveld: “We are in the right place. The challenge? That is finding good staff in the coming period.”
How is it going?
“Our location Schenkeveld Schiphol now consists of two greenhouses of 11 hectares each and a processing area of more than one hectare. We completed the first crop in greenhouse Noord at the end of October. There, the first tomato plants were planted under lighting a year ago. Greenhouse Oost has also been taken into use. There the first vine tomatoes were harvested at the beginning of December. I am really proud of that.”
And the staff?
“With 22 hectares of TOVs, we provide quite some employment. We will double that size in the coming years. We have been able to put together a good team for both the greenhouse and the processing room. But we are still looking for employees such as cultivation managers, a team leader logistics, and so on.”
“We already have a lot of people in our team from the region. However, housing is quite a challenge. We would like our production staff to be able to be housed in the region.”
Value of the central location?
“In our decision to start a new company, accessibility was certainly a consideration. For us, the Westland is important. We come from there and our other locations are also there. We wanted to establish a new site of more than forty hectares within 30 minutes of these locations. This was no longer possible in Westland itself. That's when we arrived at PrimA4a as a site. Sometimes we say that it takes longer to get from Schipluiden to 's Gravenzande than just to Schenkeveld Schiphol, haha! The location is good for us. We are easily accessible from the A4.”
What does PrimA4a offer?
“PrimA4a offered the opportunity to buy a nice lot where you can set up a large-scale company. The advantage is a complete range of land, infrastructure, sustainable energy supply and good internet.”
Contact with neighbors?
“We had contact with other horticultural companies over the summer. They had water shortages during the enormous drought and because greenhouse Oost was not yet in use, we had enough water that they could use.”