Van Nature growers Rob Brabander and Paul Zantman of Brabander-Zantman V.O.F. cultivate bell peppers and tomatoes on two sites in the Netherlands. Their main focus is specialty varieties such as:
-white bell peppers (spicy)
-purple bell peppers (spicy)
-brown bell peppers (very sweet)
-vine cherry tomatoes (very sweet)
-around 15 different varieties of specialty tomatoes such as orange plum tomatoes and brown cocktail tomatoes. These diversely flavoured varieties are sold in our Wild Tomato Mix which is extremely popular with consumers and the hospitality trade.
Some of the greenhouses used by Brabander-Zantman have natural sunlight, others have artificial lights. In the unlit greenhouses the young plants are placed in early January, with the first harvest taking place in Marche. The young plants in the lit greenhouses are planted in October, with the first harvest around Christmas.
The company has three staff members on the payroll, supported by a temporary workforce of around 30. The permanent staff each have their own area of expertise and form the foundations of the company.
Brabander-Zantman holds Global-gap certification and is also certified for Japan and the USA.
“Looking at a greenhouse bursting with new, young plants is always a satisfying moment. And we get the same feeling when a trailer is loaded here with beautiful vegetables we have grown” say Rob and Paul, before continuing “Looking ahead, we see a future in cultivating speciality tomatoes and sweet peppers, and maybe other vegetables, for specific niche markets. Something out of the ordinary, after all our company motto is: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!”