He is a specialist with Waterschap Limburg, in number of companies the second largest waterboard of the Netherlands. And as a former rose breeder, John Timmermans clearly speaks the language of the entrepreneur. It comes as no surprise that he is also active in various regional and national consultative bodies in the field of water and water purification. The meticulous charting of the water streams in cultivation companies is the most important challenge for the coming time in his opinion.
The Waterschap Limburg contains between 600 and 700 horticulture companies, with the largest concentrations of companies in the regions Venray, Venlo, Horst aan de Maas, and Peel en Maas, and has a company size varying from 500 m2 to 30 ha. John Timmermans, who regularly provides information to schools and companies: "I regularly have to specify the size of our work area in the west of the country, but the figures speak for themselves."
He regularly meets with colleagues from other waterboards and many greenhouse horticulture companies. "It is important to regularly exchange information and situations to create a level playing field for entrepreneurs. With regard to regulations and enforcement, there can be no distinction between areas. This specifically applies to larger entrepreneurs who are more and more active in the various regions, under various waterboards."
Taking up the challenge
Since 2001 Timmermans has been active in his present function. Back then, the waterboard was expressly looking for people with a background in practice. As a former rose breeder, Timmermans was the perfect fit. "In the beginning I was often labeled 'traitor', but my background soon turned out to be of added value in the contact with growers. You speak the language of the entrepreneur and that is the basis for good and constructive talks."
Controlling the water purification obligation, effective as of January 1 2018, is of course an important task for Timmermans and his direct colleague. "If you have not taken steps after sixteen months, you know you are in the wrong. I don't need to explain that to any entrepreneur." He sees that the majority of the entrepreneurs in the area have taken up the challenge in time; everyone in their own way.