For three generations, fruit and vegetables have been grown by the Van der Wel family in the Netherlands. "After years of innovating, experimenting and mainly working hard, my father Gert-Jan took over the company in 1996. And now I, together with my father, do the general management," says Mario van der Wel. On 12.2 hectares the company cultivates tomatoes at two locations in 's-Gravenzande.
Tell us a bit more about the company
"After the takeover in 1996, my father specialized in the cultivation of vine tomatoes and since 2007 we have been cultivating year-round with the help of grow lights. This means that customers can count on high-quality Dutch vine tomatoes throughout the year. Since 2013 we have been working closely with fellow growers Zadelaers Boogaert Kwekerijen, Kwekerij Van Niel and Kwekerij T. Varekamp. Together we form the Mondial Group, which has been affiliated with DOOR / Prominent since 1 July 2018 for sales and marketing."
What is your role in the greenhouse?
"Now that my father and I handle the daily management, we have divided the roles well. His cultivation-technical knowledge is of great importance, and I focus on the other business units. Each location has a team of permanent employees who are responsible on a daily basis for the cultivation of perfect quality tomatoes. Also achieving the highest possible return and a pleasant working environment remain important priorities for us. I am proud of the performance of our employees."
Which segment do you cultivate?
"In recent years we have focused on the cultivation of large vine tomatoes. At the request of DOOR / Prominent, we will also grow medium-large vine tomatoes in 2019. A nice challenge to make this successful as well."
What are you currently up to?
"We like to look towards the future. For example, we now make the strategic choices with regard to the segments that we want to grow in the future. We are also involved with finding ways to implement sustainable energy. And another current theme is binding production staff to our company. That also remains a challenge."
What are your ambitions for the future?
"Within the Prominent growers group we experience a considerable diversity of companies, organizations and entrepreneurs. This offers possibilities. By opening up as an entrepreneur, I am convinced that we are going to have a bright future together. Working together is not a goal here, but an effective tool."