International growers receive education from Dutch grower Royal Pride

“Article Hortidaily”

Dutch suppliers are typically able to realize some impressive overseas projects, but due to lack of practical knowledge of the local people, results are often disappointing. With the Horticultural Business School, Prins Group, Stolze and Royal Pride are attempting to change that. Frank van Kleef: “Cultivation is about more than learning how to grow a crop.”

“We often note that projects aren’t successful in other countries. This is usually due to a lack of knowledge in all fields. Not just in growing, but in organization, labor, engineering, marketing, sales and energy,” says Frank van Kleef of Royal Pride. When setting up operations, it’s often stipulated that a Dutch grower will start the project. “But eventually these people leave. Then you see that the knowledge is often not accurately transferred. Which of course isn’t that surprising. Things that take you 20 years to learn, aren’t that easily passed on.”

In order to change these and other issues, Royal Pride, Prins Group and Stolze founded the Horticultural Business School in 2013. The goal is to train employees of foreign companies.

Theory to practice
To transfer knowledge, HBS adopted people from China and the UK who have a master’s degree in Plant Science from the WUR. “They have shown to be knowledgeable and interested in growing crops,” says Van Kleef. This way, broad knowledge can be properly transferred, which, according to Van Kleef, is important. “Cultivation is more than just learning how to grow a crop. We teach them how to put theory into practice. By helping them with all aspects necessary for a profitable business, we make entrepreneurs out of them.”

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