One of the Netherlands’ biggest plant breeding companies has said it will close its doors for good at the end of March next year because of the impact of high energy prices on greenhouse-based cultivation.
Plantise, which specializes in growing vegetables and decorative plants will shut down its Dutch operations on April 1, 2023, with the loss of 200 permanent and 200 flexible jobs.
Company chief executive Marco Vermeulen told local broadcaster Rijnmond the company had been faced with a ‘whole row of price increases’.
‘Higher energy prices means everything we buy has become more expensive and we are picking up the bill,’ he said. Inflation is also leading to higher wage demands, he said. The government is also putting up the minimum wage 10% next year.
The company has operations at several locations in the Netherlands and 16 hectares of greenhouses in France, Tunisia, South Africa and the Philippines. Dutch News has asked the company what it plans to do with its foreign operations.
Jeroen Warnaar from the CNV trade union federation said the company had looked at different options to stay in business, but that there was no support from shareholders and the banks. ‘The risks would appear to be too great,’ he told local news website 1Limburg.
‘This is a clear signal that more greenhouse growers will be in trouble in the coming period,’ he said. Greenhouse growing is highly energy intensive and the sector association warned earlier this year that some 40% of growers could face financial difficulties.
Plantise said it had announced its plans to close down now to provide clarity to its employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. ‘A controlled winding down is the best way to prevent damage to everyone involved as much as possible,’ the company said.
Plantise was formed in 2019 through the merger of three family-owned firms and booked turnover of €81.4 million last year, according to the Financieele Dagblad.
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