Modern farm with an eye for sustainability
The van Puijenbroek family has been investing in VP Landbouw (VP Agriculture) since the mid-40s. Today it is a large mixed company, active in vegetable farming, dairy farming and forestry. VP Landbouw has two locations in the Netherlands: Goirle / Hilvarenbeek and Middelharnis. The dairy farm supplies milk to Vreugdenhil. In arable farming, VP Landbouw mainly grows sugar beets, table- and consumption potatoes, spinach, peas, carrots, beans, grains and grass and corn for its own cows. VP Landbouw works with precision technologie to reduce water and pesticide use. Partly for this reason, the company has been noted as exemplary by Unilever.
In this video we see VP Landbouw as a Sustainable Carrot Grower in the Knorr Sustainability Partnership:
Sustainable progress is important for VP Landbouw. For example, VP Landbouw was one of the first farms to receive the sustainability label “Landmark farm” from Unilever. Every farm is different, from the soils to the history, the people and the resources. VP Farm is currently at a crossroad looking to move the farm in line with a long term sustainable progress vision.
The sustainability pogress plan of VP Landbouw focuses on animal welfare, biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, soil health, fire safety and the use of antibiotics. The use of pesticides, water, energy, fertilizers and antibiotics are in line with environmental benchmarks. In 2018, after the ESG screening and in collaboration with VP Capital, a roadmap was made to make the farm more sustainable. Some examples of sustainability initiatives that emerged from this:
- Solar panels and solar parks at both locations (already installed on the roof in Hilvarenbeek)
- Windmills: three 3.6MW windmills in Middelharnis in 2020
- Water: irrigation is entirely done with electricity in Hilvarenbeek
- Feeding fresh grass from our own land to the dairy cattle
- Animal welfare: annual audit by KoeKompas, follow-up on recommendations regarding animal health and animal welfare
- In Goirle, the farm is part of the Gorp en Roovert estate of the van Puijenbroek family, which has nearly 800 hectares of trees on which a sustainable logging policy is pursued.
- Innovation field to test new ways of seeding
The annual ESG scan of VP Capital also calculates the CO2 emissions of VP Landbouw and draws up a roadmap with concrete measures to reduce these, for example; installing solar panels.
VP Capital will compensate the remaining CO2 of its portfolio by planting trees via WeForest. Many trees have already been planted, read more about the collaboration with WeForest here.