Havecon client speaks...episode no. 3
End of last year we introduced a brand item on our website: 'Havecon client speaks...'
Today we continue this series of interviews again. We talk with our clients, of which many have been gratefully loyal to us for many years, about the history of their company, about the history of our cooperation and the way they experience(d) working with Havecon.
In this third episode we are calling with Dirk Biemans, co-owner of Intergrow Greenhouses in Albion, NY, USA.
Havecon built the first phase of a new construction project for Intergrow, a grower of various types of tomatoes in New York, which was completed in the fall of 2018. The total acreage of the grower, established in 1998, currently amounts to 39 hectares.
In November 2018, the first cultivation started in this new greenhouse and the second one is already in full use.
In conversation with Dirk Biemans, one of the four Dutch / Belgian owners of Intergrow and responsible for “basically everything except cultivation”. He leaves that concern to partner Mario van Logten.
“In addition, there are two remote owners: Dirk van den Plas and John Vermeiren. They both do not live in the USA and come over from Belgium a few times a year, ” says Dirk.
How did you end up in America, Dirk? “After completing my military service, I went to America to work for an American company. In 1998 I co-founded a 6-acre greenhouse in Fillmore, NY with the "local for local" principle. That caught on. Twenty years ago, quite a lot of tomatoes came from the Netherlands and Belgium, but that is almost no longer the case today ”.
About the origin of his collaboration with Havecon: “Me and my co-founders initially had Havecon not on our list at all. But Henk Verbakel heard about our expansion plans and reported to us if he could come and talk in the garden. During his visit Henk quickly convinced me (and my associates) that we would do well to work with them. With that, the first project for Havecon in North America was born in 2011 ”.
The development and construction of that project was immediately satisfactory. Dirk: “Of course there are always small hick-ups and things happen that were not foreseen before. But Henk and his team stand for what they say and promise and that has laid the ground for further expansions, which we all did with Havecon afterwards.
From extension project 2, construction partner Voorwinden Groep was also involved and you immediately noticed that these parties are a well-oiled machine together. With that in mind when the expansion of 2018 came up it was a no-brainer to go for Havecon again”.