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.’
The internationally operating company called VB in 2016 was founded in 1966 by the brothers Joop and Aad Verbakel. Back then, it was a heating company supplying the Dutch glasshouse horticultural sector: J&A Verbakel Verwarming. It didn't take long before the brothers started expanding across borders to realize heating projects throughout Europe. And in the 1970s, the young company was one of the first horticultural sector suppliers in the United States.
The success of J&A Verbakel Verwarming did not go unnoticed in the sector. Various partnerships were established early on, with Bomkas Kassenbouw in Wateringen being taken over in 1983. This provided the power and capacity to conquer the Middle Eastern and Far Eastern markets. The progressive greenhouse and climate control projects booked successes around the world, leading constantly to increases in scale. But Verbakel-Bomkas wanted even more.
New opportunities presented themselves not in a far-off country but much closer to home. And in a completely new branch for the VB: professional sport accommodations. In 1996 Verbakel-Bomkas installed its first field heating system at PSV in Eindhoven. This application of horticultural sector technology in sports fields led to the establishment of VB. To lead this new section of the company, Edward Verbakel, the son of founder Aad, joined the management team in 1997. Verbakel-Bomkas, the company with such a successful history, decided in 2012 to change its name to VB. Edward Verbakel explained, ‘Along with the increasing versatility of our various sections of the company, it is easier for our foreign clients to pronounce VB Group than Verbakel-Bomkas. That clearly reflects our international aims.’
Its 50 years of existence will be festively celebrated this year with invited guests from the entire sector. VB will not only host a jubilee event in April, it will also bid farewell to one of the founders, Aad Verbakel. After 50 years, he feels the time is right to pass the baton to the next generation.