Meet the family Van den Oever of Nursery M. Van den Oever, Son & Breugel, The Netherlands

How long has the nursery been in your family? 

Our nursery was originally a hog farm. Our dad started a tree nursery as a sideline. It started as an open-field nursery producing all different varieties of hedge and dwarf conifers, boxwoods and Prunus laurocerasus. That was about 40 years ago.

Size of the nursery then and now

Our parents began the nursery on a small parcel of land. The company has gradually grown to cover around 25 hectares, 10 of which are used for container cultivation. We grow stock materials in the open-field area for use in the container cultivation.

Specialty/primary cultivation

We grow a wide range of ornamental shrubs and conifers in 12-litre containers and 35-litre containers. And we grow ornamental trees in 18-litre containers.

Company focus/mission

Our vision is: ‘Quality and diversity are more important than price’

Our mission is to be a leading family-owned company that distinguishes itself by growing a wide range of larger-sized garden plants for a growing loyal clientele.
We achieve this by:

  • Continually working to improve the quality and range
  • Selling our products at a realistic price
  • Producing with a focus on the market
  • Demonstrating far-reaching customer friendliness
  • Working with an enthusiastic team of employees
  • Collaborating with other leading tree nurseries

This makes us an extremely reliable partner for everyone.

What do you see as the biggest change in the business operations since the establishment of your nursery?

In terms of business operations, the continual focus on corporate social responsibility and the amount of time we spend on planning regulations, certifications and other administrative red tape!

In terms of cultivation, the shift from open-field cultivation to container cultivation. The ongoing effort to minimise or make as efficient use as possible of crop protection products and fertilization.

In terms of sales, the time pressure has increased dramatically. You used to sometimes have a week to process orders, but now you only get a couple of hours. In addition, the transition from open-field to container cultivation means we now sell our products 12 months a year, so there is sales pressure year round.

How have your clients changed over the past <50 years?

We’ve traditionally had a lot of exports and that is still the case. Because we switched from open-field to container cultivation, we now have many more garden centres and cash&carry centres as clients. Our clientele used to be comprised primarily of commercial nurseries and gardeners.

We no longer have many individual garden centres/gardeners as clients. Most of them do, however, still buy our plants, but they now purchase them through an exporter/wholesaler or purchasing organisation.

The visual attractiveness of the products has now become much more important to our clients, while a high-quality plant used to be the most important thing. But growing top quality plants continues to be our main aim and we see it as an added benefit if we can also sell them visually.

How long have you been familiar with Osmocote?

About 25 years. We’ve actually grown up with it ever since our company went into container cultivation.

What is your experience with Osmocote? How does Osmocote help you achieve your objectives?

My experiences with Osmocote are positive. Osmocote provides consistent quality, good support and innovativeness. A special such as Osmocote Exact Protect is extremely valuable to me. Osmocote creates peace of mind in cultivation.

How do you see the future of your nursery?

The future looks bright. We took over the company from our parents last year. Over the past several years, we’ve put a great deal of energy into obtaining permits to expand our nursery so that we can respond agilely to market demands. We have an excellent team, a great product and an outstanding clientele.