Havecon client speaks...episode no.7.
The seventh story in our column 'Havecon client speaks...' This time featuring Paul and Mike Berkel, also known as the 'Berkel brothers'. They are the owners of Proplant Propagation Services Ltd. At the moment -and for the second time- we are allowed to build the second expansion since they became the owners.
Can you tell me something about the history of Proplant? When, how and why was it established?
Proplant was established in 1999 as a producer of premium young vegetable plants. About 5 years ago, in September 2017, we took it over as being the third generation of growers with over 50 years of experience in growing greenhouse vegetable plants. We provide propagation for Cucumbers, Tomatoes (grafted and non-grafted), Peppers and Eggplants
Now we are a leader in the North American market. We are specialized in the propagation of conventional and organic Tomato, Pepper, Cucumber & Eggplant plants for greenhouses and farms.
Can you describe your passion for greenhouse cultivation?
Our passion at the same time is our vision: to always be the party that is knowing what it is like to start your crop off with uncompromised quality and not have to worry about that. We are here to provide that service to all our customers. We do this with a dedicated team of growing experts that is willing to go above and beyond to ensure a healthy and vigorous plant that is delivered right on time, as promised.
What’s Proplant’s mission?
That’s a clear one: to consistently offer our customers top-quality vegetable plants so that they will have the best start possible of the vegetables they would like to grow in their greenhouse.
When and how did the cooperation with Havecon started?
The actual first cooperation with Havecon was before our time and goes back for about six years. The previous owners came in contact with Jon Adams (Havecon's North American Vice President) and chose Havecon to build their new extension. After we took over Proplant and were ready for expanding the growing facility ourselves at the end of 2019 we immediately contacted Jon.
Was there a tender process? If so, why did to choose Havecon as your construction partner?
No, there was not. The fact we did not ask other greenhouse constructors for a quote was because of the very positive feedback we got from the previous owners. And right after the first contact we had with you guys this positive feeling was confirmed. Therefore we did not doubt for a sec to let our first phase being built by Havecon and Voorwinden.
And now you have the experience with working with us in practice. What do you think?
We are very happy about it. The fact our next expansion, phase II, is currently being realized by Havecon again, emphasizes this. In the first phase all initial schedules were met and the same goes for phase II up to now. We can rely on each and every person involved in construction and that gives us the piece-of-mind we are looking for. All communication lines are consistent, open and transparent and that makes Havecon so great to work with.
So based on the above, how would you describe the cooperation with Havecon in three words (the first words that pop into your mind thinking of it)?
That would be best-in-class quality, excellent cooperation and meeting the complete timeline.
What are your future expectations in relation to your company and the sector?
Related to our company we are in the middle of building another new greenhouse. Construction of the greenhouse itself is finished just as the installation of the screening system. Within a couple of weeks the mounting of the actual screens will start.
Soon this will give us about 2.3 hectares of extra space to breed new vegetable plants to meet our customers demands. At the moment we have clients all over North-America, mainly in Canada and the Eastern Seaboard of United States
In terms of the sector we also experience the increasing wish of end-customers to eat vegetables that are produced locally. Thanks to Havecon and Voorwinden with the new facility to be operational by mid 2021 so we can meet this demand even better. A world-class cooperation!
More information on Proplant? Visit: https://proplant.ca/