Kwekerij J. de Groot BV

The company was started in 1963 as a tomato and cucumber farm by Joop de Groot. At the beginning of 1970, his son Jan started his own business in the nursery next to that of his father. Later Joop stopped and the nurseries became 1 company. Since 1986, the company has completely transferred to the cultivation of pot plants.


Meanwhile, Kwekerij J. de Groot is 13.4 hectares large, divided over 4 locations in West-Brabant near Breda, where it produces a wide range of house and garden plants. The assortment consists of approximately 40 species, among others Ficus, Dieffenbachia, Spathiphyllum, Alocasia, Begonia and Dahlia. Nowadays the company is run by the brother of Jan, Leon and his sons Joost and Niels.


The increasingly sustainable production of the products is a continuous priority. At an early stage (in the 90’s) the company started using CHPs (co-generation of heat and power). This means that the gas, which has been used for many years to heat the greenhouses, is used more efficiently. Electricity is generated when the gas is burned. The heat and CO2 released as a result of this process is used for the cultivation of the plants.

The next step is currently being considered. Solar panels have been installed for this purpose and new techniques are being examined.

The use of plant protection products has been significantly reduced over the years. It also remains a major challenge to continuously improve this. The aim at the locations in Oosteind and Prinsenbeek is to achieve complete organic control by 2018.

All in all, continuous steps are being taken to make growing ever more sustainable and to continue to provide consumers with attractive products in the future. This is what Kwekerij J de Groot does every day.


Three water sources are used:
1 Rainwater: Rainwater collected on the glass roof of the greenhouses is collected in water basins.

2 Groundwater: When there is a lack of rainwater, we use a water pump.

3 Ditchwater: If the above sources are not sufficient, ditch water will be used.

Plant protection agents

Chemical control against pests, disease and weeds is minimised. It is being used less and less and less, but unfortunately we cannot yet prevent it altogether. At the site in Prinsenbeek, 95% of the control is already organic.


Pot soil

The plants are grown in a mixture of peat and coconut fibre.



99% of the waste is recycled. The following waste streams are currently being separated: Paper/cardboard, plastic, green waste, glass, pottery/trays and residual waste.



A registration system is used, to provide insight into how we score in the field of energy, fertilisers and crop protection products. Nursery J de Groot is also in possession of various certifications from the officially accredited organisation MPS.

Trucks with a Euro 6 engine are being used for transport. Since 2016, the roofs of some of our barns have been equipped with solar panels. In addition, new technologies to reduce the use of fossil fuels are constantly being considered.

Crop Protection Agents Kg Active Ingredient: 

Provides insight into the use of plant protection products. Red stands for substances with a high environmental impact, orange for substances with a low impact on the environment, green for substances with a low impact on the environment (Source MPS-A).

Energy (GJ):

Provides insight into the use of the amount of energy. (Source MPS-A)

Fertilizers (KG) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Consumption:

Provides insight into the use of Nitrogen and Phosphorus. (Source MPS-A)


The employees at Kwekerij de Groot are covered by Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for the greenhouse horticulture, the rules are of course respected.

There are about 25 permanent employees. And there are about 10-20 temporary employees forming a flexible shield. People in permanent employment and temporary agency workers receive equal pay and treatment.

Within the company it is possible to grow to other functions. This is supported by training courses and reviews.


Did you know that flowers and plants have a healthy effect on people?

  • Plants provide air purification..
    People breathe in air, take out oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In the case of plants it is the other way around. During photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it back into oxygen. The amount of oxygen in the air is increased by the presence of plants, which makes breathing easier.
    Air-purifying plants can absorb harmful substances from the air through their leaves. These harmful substances are then stored and broken down in the plant’s roots. These plants can also break down dirty odours, so they are actually natural air fresheners.
    For the sake of clarity, every (indoor) plant produces oxygen, but not every plant also purifies the air. Air-purifying plants are e.g. the Spathiphyllum, Calathea, Hedera helix (ivy), Areca palm and the Ficus. For many plants we do not yet know to what extent they have an air purifying effect since they have not yet been tested.
  • Plants ensure a better concentration and a reduction of stress.
    Plants create a relaxed and better atmosphere, also at work.. Plants make the workplace a more pleasant place to work.
    Apparently there is even a relationship between the presence of plants and the productivity of employees.
    Moreover, the presence of plants has a positive effect on the creativity and concentration of people.
  • Plants reduce the dryness of the air
    The dust content and humidity in the house are strongly related with each other. The dryer the air, the more dust. This can cause symptoms such as a tickling cough, dry skin, headaches and irritated eyes. By watering plants, it finally evaporates again through the stomata in the leaves. Plants can thus increase the humidity of the air, which therefore benefits the air quality.
  • Plants provide a pleasant and warm feeling
    Research has shown that plants are good for people in various (subtle) ways. They play an essential role in creating a pleasant, natural and quiet environment in which to move, work and/or relax.
  • Did you know that flowers too have a healthy effect on people?
    Flowers can brighten up any room in a magical way. They give meaning to our emotions such as love, joy, comfort, compassion and sorrow. Flowers provide a relaxing effect on our constitution. They provide positive energy in the home and a warm feeling. In short, everyone is just very happy about that!



The Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector is worldwide renowned for its innovative power. In order to be one step ahead of the competition from other parts of the world, people are constantly looking for better efficiency in the use of raw materials and space. This, of course, without compromising the (top) quality of the Dutch product.

The glasshouse horticulture sector in the Netherlands can cope with this rapid pace of innovation thanks to a strong relationship between research and practice. In addition, a great deal of knowledge is exchanged between the entrepreneurs in order to make progress together. The flower auctions are a good example of this as one of the largest cooperatives in the world.
Below we describe a few examples of this innovative power.


Biological control and integrated pest management
In order to minimise the use of pesticides and to find a better balance between parasites and their natural enemies, natural enemies of the parasites are used in the greenhouses. Thanks to the intensive exchange of knowledge between the growers and their suppliers, growers are increasingly able to produce a top quality product with organic solutions.


Combined heat and power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (CHP) is a large engine, originating from the shipping industry. Only it has been converted to run on natural gas. The efficiency of this motor is higher than traditional gas boilers. These engines drive a generator that generates electricity. This electricity is used in the company’s own nursery or is supplied back to the public electricity grid. The ‘residual heat’ produced by the engine is used to heat the greenhouses. After cleaning, the exhaust gases can be used to provide the plants with CO2. All in all, these motors provide an efficiency that can be up to 20% higher than the traditional method of heating (gas boilers).


Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is used for this type of energy. A drilling tower is used to drill a well to a depth of 2-3 km. At this depth, water of more than 80 degrees can be ‘collected’. This heat is used to heat the greenhouses and then the cooled water is returned to the soil via a second source. It is expected that these sources will be able to continue to produce sufficient heat, even longer than the life of a greenhouse.

Drilling the well is an enormously expensive investment. In addition, there is a great risk that the drilling will ‘fail’. By working together with each other and with governments, in the Netherlands we are able to gain experience with this way of heating greenhouses sustainably.


Water purification
Plants need water and nutrients to grow. More and more nurseries are making use of the reuse of drainage water. This is water that is collected before it disappears into the subsoil. This ‘drainage water’ still contains many nutrients that can be used by the plants.
By reusing this water and mixing it with clean water, less fertilizer is used.
However, the drainage water also contains some ‘wrong substances’. The content of these wrong substances determines how much water can be reused. The application of new techniques creates opportunities to filter these ‘wrong substances’ out of the water.


Diffuse glass
In new constructions, more and more growers are opting to cover their greenhouses with diffuse glass. Diffuse glass ensures that light is distributed much more evenly across the crop without any shade or light spots. This leads to a more even greenhouse climate.
Temperature and humidity can thus be controlled more accurately, which means, for example, that the opening of the air windows can be limited, which leads to lower CO2 emissions.


LED lighting in greenhouse horticulture
A new innovation in horticulture is the use of LED lighting. This lighting is not comparable with LED lighting used in consumer use. In the horticultural sector, the lighting is produced by ‘power LEDs’ and therefore much higher. The major advantage of these ‘power LEDs’ is related to sustainable business practices: energy savings compared to high-pressure sodium lamps (orange-coloured lighting). This saves more than half of the energy.
Another major advantage is that when using LEDs, crops can be better controlled using the different colours in the light. This is in favour of a better growth and a higher quality of the product.

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