Due to the growing global population, greenhouse horticulture is facing a number of challenges. Innovation and technology are key to a sustainable future. The collaboration Atrium Agri is planning ahead for the future and investing in AgriData Innovations, a start-up which makes data-driven cultivation possible by using ‘smart eyes’ for greenhouse automation.
Devens, Massachusetts based Little Leaf Farms' mission is to provide fresh, locally grown lettuce grown sustainably all year round to their New England consumers. To be able to achieve this goal, it is extremely important to grow and supply products in a sustainable way all year round.
It was time for Atrium Agri’s growth strategy to take the next step. JB Hydroponics, a specialist in cultivation systems and substrates, is now the seventh partner in the partnership of Henk Verbakel (Havecon), Edward Verbakel (VB Group) and Koen Brabander (PB tec). With the added value of JB Hydroponics, they’ve taken another step towards achieving their ambitions.
Recently Atrium Agri signed an agreement with Advanced Climate Systems (ACS) for exclusive distribution of the BaOpt climate system in the horticultural sector. The ACS climate system, which uses diffuse ventilation, is used successfully in various industries. Because Atrium Agri and ACS join forces, the BaOpt system is now being introduced in the sector around the world.
Saturday, March 27 was Earth hour and VB participated.
Earth hour is an annual international event that calls on households and businesses around the world to turn off lights and other electrical equipment for 1 hour between 8:30 PM and 9:30 PM. Earth houf takes place every year on the weekend when the clock is changed.
CambridgeHOK are pleased to announce a significant change within their ownership structure, with the existing shareholders (Ross Hibbs, John Holland and Steve Hinch) selling the busines to new owners. Atrium Agri alongside the existing management team of Patrick Harte and Louis Bradley have purchased the CambridgeHOK Group; consisting of Cambridge Glasshouse, CambridgeHOK Construction and Hotbox International. Over the last 5 years the business has seen significant levels of growth with the business now employing over 70 people. In 2020 the group achieved an aggregate turnover of £35m.!
Not to long ago, VB moved to their new head office. For that occasion, Ilse took the visitor for a tour inside VB's new office building covered by a greenhouse roof and asked Edward and Marco about the innovative techniques used and the choices made in the design and realization of their new home. They also discussed today's global trends, developments and challenges, as well as the possibilities VB offers for these challenges by using innovative techniques created with horticultural experience. The online visitor will have a closer look behind the screens of VB!
VEK Adviesgroep joins Atrium Agri, a partnership of leading companies in greenhouse horticulture sector. VEK and Atrium will collaborate on horticultural projects both nationally and internationally. Managing Director Willem Nat is proud: "Our entire team stands behind this decision, were excited to take the next step."
In March, we started the construction of our new office in Naaldwijk, only 500 meters from our previous office. On July 20th we will move to the galgeweg. As July approaches, it is time for the finishing touch. Our next physical appointment will be at our sustainable new location.
Minnesota-based Bushel Boy Farms expands its commitment to meeting Midwest demand for local, high-quality fresh produce as it breaks ground on a new 20 hectare / 50-acre facility in Mason City, Iowa on September 11. The $35 million investment in the new facility will increase current production by 50% and is expected to bring approximately 50 full-time jobs to the city. Tomatoes will be the initial crop.
On Wednesday, March 20th, we symbolically celebrated the commencement of the construction of our new VB building in Westland, Netherlands. Completely in line with our recently presented strategy, the celebration highlighted our commitment to sustainability. Instead of having a traditional groundbreaking event, the children of our employees planted eight large oak trees at the front entrance of the property. With this, we want to give something back to the environment.
Recently, our partner Havecon completed a 17 hectare greenhouse for the French tomato nursery Le Maraîchers du Mont Saint-Michel (the growers of the Mont Saint-Michel). Le Maraîchers is a unique company, as there is no comparable tomato nursery yet in this touristic region (the Mont Saint-Michel is less than twenty kilometers away from the nursery).
Even though the temperature is dropping to a low -10 degrees Celsius this month, Intergrow has recently planted tomato plants into their new greenhouse facility in the town of Ontario in the state of New York. With the ability of producing tomatoes year-round out of this new modern greenhouse facility, the company grows a variety of tomatoes to sell to retailers throughout the North Eastern region of the USA.
VB completed the structure of a new R&D greenhouse facility by order of Syngenta Seeds, Enkhuizen, the Netherlands. The new R&D so called back-cross factory will help to speed up the process of bringing new value-adding traits to the market, with a quicker and more reliable automated Trait Introgression process. This month, VB started with the building of several integrated climate and adaptive screen systems.
From 2019 VB will invest in a new sustainable office building with associated atrium and industrial building at the Galgeweg in Naaldwijk (Westland). The current building, at Jogchem van der Houtweg in De Lier, reaches the limits of its capacity and with a view to further growth it has been decided to move.
21-09-2018 - This week, VB completed a greenhouse and climate control system in Siberia. From now on, this 10 hectare greenhouse nearby Tomsk, will provide Siberian with high quality vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and eggplants. “With this world-class greenhouse environment, we enhance the quality of our vegetables in our Siberian supermarkets big time. Because of our self-sufficiency, now we can shorten the period of transport with weeks, which improves the freshness,” according to VB’s client, a Siberian supplier.
With the launch of Dutch Greenhouse Delta on Thursday 6 September a powerful international platform to tackle the problems facing the world and its major cities is born.
Due to available subsidies, low interest rates and good market conditions with attractive prices for fresh produce, the acreage with high tech greenhouses in Japan is growing steadily. Over the last couple of years, VB has been involved in the realization of several high tech greenhouses and was responsible for the construction of several turnkey projects, as well as installing heating systems for greenhouse projects with our Japanese partner Tomita Technologies.
Three years ago the Grootscholte brothers toke over a tomato greenhouse in Smidsschorrepolder, situated on a parcel of 26 hectares. A year later they bought the last available 42 hectares in the same polder. With the new construction of 18 hectares the establishment grows to 28 hectares greenhouse, so this family business owns in total 80 hectares glass greenhouses, spread over 6 locations. The expansion does not only mean an enlargement of the area, but is also meant to realize renovation in the sector.
On 30th of May seven Dutch supplying companies of the horticultural sector, among which VB, officially have formed the public-private partnership Horticultural Connection. On that day the signing of a covenant between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherland Enterprise Agency and these seven companies took place. The Mexican Embassy in The Hague has also been present. The covenant has been signed for a period of three years.
For VB, 2016 is literally a year with a golden tinge. The Westland company was established 50 years ago. For half a century, VB has been one of the most progressive companies in the Dutch and international horticultural sector in the field of greenhouse construction, climate control and energy solutions. Edward Verbakel, director of VB, describes the situation. ‘Since the 1960s this segment of the horticultural sector has changed beyond recognition. New technologies and growing globalization are now the major themes. In addition, we value highly the collaboration with our partners. VB has continuously changed course in time and is looking forward confidently to the next 50 years.’
More than one hundred attendees, among which Mighty Vine’s management, employees, partners, builders, local authorities and buyers of fresh produce, witnessed the official opening ceremony. Also present were Edward Verbakel from General Contractor VB and Mighty Vine partner Frank van Kleef from Royal Pride Holland.
The work conducted to date for HFT Seed Services in Guatemala is successful as from the start in Early February and it is expected that the entire project can be delivered end of the summer, as scheduled.
In Rochelle IL a state-of-the-art complete greenhouse is being built for MightyVine Tomatoes. VB is responsible for the complete greenhouse design and general contract management.
The greenhouse infrastructure is designed for 30 acres of which 7.5 acres are currently under construction. It is the mission of MightyVine Tomatoes to grow great-tasting tomatoes year round for the local market. In order to achieve this goal, they have partnered with the best in the industry. MightyVine’s Dutch greenhouse partners include Havecon, PB Techniek and Priva.
Early February VB from De Lier, the Netherlands, started with the delivery of the materials for a complete heating and steam system for the greenhouse complex of HFT Seed Services in Potrero Carrillo (province Jalapa), Guatemala. VB specializes in complete greenhouse heating and greenhouse cooling installations.
The greenhouse is designed with a trellis of 9,6 meter and a bay distance of 5 meter and has continuous air ventilation, which is ideal considering the local climate conditions. Besides the greenhouse also the technical and packing building will be extended and a second heat storage tank of 2.500 m3 will be placed in order to provide all greenhouses with the necessary heat.
Starting August 30th VB from the Netherlands will install an innovative field heating system to improve the grass quality of the pitch in Camp Nou Stadium. Together with main contractor SIS Ireland the system will be installed in record time under the new pitch for Barcelona.
With a large number of recently completed geothermal projects, VB has become a well-known name in the geothermal sector. With appealing projects during the last years VB has proved to be a skilled professional specialist in the field of geothermal connections.
Geothermal energy for greenhouse applications gains a lot of interest in the Netherlands. This new concept which utilizes the heating source much better by means of heat pumps can increase the efficiency of this capital intensive energy source considerably.
VB has been awarded the NEN-EN-ISO 9001:2008 certificate. A great result established by all employees and a statement confirming the level of quality within our organization. Behind the scenes much efforts have been made to receive this certificate.
VB recently won the contracts for pitch heating installations in the stadiums of Club Brugge and KV Kortrijk, but also for 2 new training pitches of AFC Ajax.
This project is a combination of several civil-technical and architectural works.
VB is also active in the Westland area. A good example is the recent expansion of Metazet, a multifunctional building in Wateringen, Netherlands.
Verbakel-Bomkas and VB received an order for the Port of Moerdijk and the Provence of Noord-Brabant.
VB and Forzafit agreed in 2008 on a turn-key project for VB to realize a complete Sport- and Health Center. The center measures approx. 2.300 m2 and is located in the Schipborgstraat in The Hague.
End of February preparations are made for a second geothermal project in Westland, Netherlands. Again VB is responsible for all the installation works related to the connection of the geothermal source.
n July VB started to replace part of the existing greenhouses and has built a modern and technologic advanced greenhouse complex for VandeWetering Greenhouses near New York.
VB has completed the heating installation for the new 15 ha. greenhouse of ‘Pieter van Gog Gemüse GmbH’ and ‘Wichard Schrieks Gemüse GmbH’ in Wittenberg (Germany). The cooperation between ´Van Gog´ and ´Schrieks´ is the start of the building of one of the largest greenhouse complexes in Germany, which will have a final surface of approximately 40 hectare.
Looije Tomatoes, Venneperweg in Burgerveen, has realized a unique project for the production of honey tomatoes. VB has implemented this project in close cooperation with Priva, Havecon and FormFlex. Thanks to this cooperation the practical experience of these companies has been combined and this resulted into a new innovative and technologically advanced system called 'ActivAir'.