More than forty years ago, his father started Van Belle Nursery. He himself has played an active role in the business for the last 21 years. In that time the company has experienced rapid growth. And anyone who knows Dave Van Belle won’t be the least surprised about that.
And the end is not yet in sight. At the back of the complex, work is progressing apace on another new greenhouse. “Our vision is to grow. We aim to achieve that by making a substantial investment in people. Everyone here is involved in the company and its strategy. Hence the great dedication. That is the key to success here.”
The company has two divisions, one focused on young plants, the other on products for immediate sale. The range that Van Belle Nursery supplies is very wide. “The market here in Canada demands one-stop shopping. So we try to supply everything, in principle. The benefit of that to us is that our trucks are always full. The distances that have to be covered here in Canada are way too far to travel with half-empty trucks.”
Dave started talks with ErfGoed while the first greenhouse was being built, although the cultivation floor that they were offering was too expensive in his eyes. We can do that much better ourselves, he thought. However, when all things were considered, he is glad that he decided for Erfgoed. “All the reasons they gave convinced us to try it out, and it’s working so far.”
They have since gained enough experience with the new ErfGoedFloor, a vertically-drained cultivation floor, to be able to say that they are more than satisfied. “In summer, the crop stays cooler. And we also see much more uniformity. Not to mention the significant water saving. And the fact that I am even saving on fertilizer is something I certainly hadn’t reckoned with.”
“We could never have installed a floor like this ourselves. This is a real boon, something that gives us much better-quality plants. And I’m guessing this floor will have a long service life, too. That’s another difference with any sort of floor we might have installed ourselves.” The first greenhouse has a surface area of two hectares. Another five hectares of ErfGoedFloor will be installed before Christmas.