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Written on February 7. 2024

Investing in a greenhouse? "Start at the beginning"

For international projects, the purchasing process for greenhouses has changed significantly in recent years. The conversation used to be predominantly about technology; however, nowadays, the focus seems to be on recoverability. According to Henk Verbakel of Havecon, this is exactly how it should be. He says: "Havecon started using this approach years ago." Recently, he shifted his complete focus to sales at Havecon.

He adds: "I understand that the recoverability period is leading. But don't underestimate the importance of a good starting point. You have to start at the beginning. I mean that we look at feasibility studies, business plans, financing, and location decisions. That's the beginning. Don't start the other way around. There are too many examples of newcomers who start by building and then face unforeseen circumstances. That's a shame. Moreover, it's unnecessary. Together with the investors, we prefer to first determine that a new greenhouse has a right to exist."

For these kinds of conversations, Henk and business developer Adnan Tunovic analyze the market for the new greenhouse. They consider matters such as the sales market, trends, developments, and new investment opportunities.

Heading towards a more favorable investment climate
Henk: "The sector, including the greenhouse builders, benefits from a calm market. This is highlighted by the effect of the war in Ukraine, Corona, and rising interest rates. Currently, interest rates seem to be falling, and the investment climate is becoming more favorable again. We definitely experience this in North America."

Havecon is active in the North American market and is currently experiencing a rise in projects. In this market, the retail sector increasingly demands vegetables that are grown in greenhouses. Horticulture seems to replace field cultivation for several crops for safety- and hygiene-related reasons. Further, climate change underlines the importance of guaranteed good production.

Henk adds: "In addition, horticulture meets several of the UN Sustainability Goals, which is increasingly taken into account in financiers' investment plans." According to Henk, the yield per square meter is consistently high with limited water use because excess water is recycled. He says, "It's good to see that more and more investors and governments appreciate this."

Management team
Henk points out that he is pleased with the addition of Peter Broekman as a board member. Peter is responsible for general affairs so that Henk can fully focus on commercial tasks. The management team also includes Hans van der Salm, who is responsible for operational matters. Henk is convinced that " the management team is future-proof and, in cooperation with Atrium, will elevate the company in the coming years.". He concludes that " the companies, and thus the interests, are getting bigger. Business development makes a project better, but also more complex. That requires more time and attention. And Havecon can offer that."

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Havecon Horticultural Projects
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