LISSE, The Netherlands: JUB Holland from Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, was presented with the 2017 Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur Award on Wednesday January 11th at a reception for the New Year at Keukenhof in Lisse.
The jury was impressed by this stable family business because of the long family tradition, but also because of the wide range of activities within the chain. The commitment of five generations has enabled the company to achieve a distinctive position within the international market. JUB Holland stands out because of its strong vision and social engagement by giving bulbs a place in society. The entrepreneurs seek collaboration with municipal councils and organisations for this in an innovative way. A key element in this is the use of bulbs to support biodiversity. The 2017 winner operates with vision, daring and vigour. JUB Holland acts as a pioneer in developing the bulb sector.
Bunnik Plants in Bleiswijk and Green Specialties Holland in Lierop were also nominated for the Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize 2017. These exceptional entrepreneurs stand out because of their sustainable business activities, market orientation and innovative products and strong international activities. At Keukenhof the entrepreneurs talked about their family businesses: about traditions, but also about innovating the business. Hence Bunnik Plants opted to overhaul the organisation. The pot plant company has been using self-managing teams with their own responsibilities for a number of years. Green Specialties Holland has taken a new path, and is no longer a producer of raw materials but a supplier of ready-to-cook products in its cultivation of leaf crops. Green Specialties Holland is able to do this through its excellent collaboration with chain partners. The 2017 nominees are real family businesses that have been innovative and committed for generations in order to succeed in what they strive for: future-proof horticulture.
The theme of the award ceremony – ‘Family businesses, the art of successful transition’ – is very topical in the horticulture sector. In his study ‘Fresh blood, fresh direction’ (Nieuw bloed, nieuwe koers), Prof. Purcey Heugens of RSM Erasmus University has concluded that the handover of family businesses does not always go smoothly. A discussion took place with the leading entrepreneurs in the hall about how the business transition can be managed better.