The 29 Prominent growers produce the top tomato varieties all year round. With such a wide range, we offer the perfect tomato for every consumer. Our growers are also committed to ensuring that all those tomatoes reach your shelves as fresh, flavoursome and great looking as possible. And to achieve that, they work with numerous partners and with each other. Because together we’re strong.
As an innovative specialist in tomatoes, we are passionate about getting as many consumers as possible to enjoy our healthy, great tasting products every day. The growers who cultivate these products are leading producers of top-quality tomatoes.
Our core values form the basis of who we are and how we act and do business every day. We care – we are fresh – we are healthy – we are partners.
“I’m Jack! Tomatoes are in our blood. We’ve been growing them with love and care on family farms for generations, always working closely with nature. Together with our partners, we invest our time and energy in the top varieties and focus our efforts on what the market needs.”
“I’m Bart! At Prominent we want our member companies to have a flourishing future, so we aim to produce on a sufficiently large scale and use sustainable cultivation methods. We respond to market demand in an innovative way. And of course we are also committed to providing a pleasant working environment for our staff so that they can flourish too.”
Prominent is a cooperative made up of 29 tomato growers. We work together in sales, packaging, breeding and deployment of staff. But we also develop our knowledge together – for example in the areas of cultivation, crop protection and energy. Our three own growing sites operate as a trial garden.
Growing tomatoes goes back many generations in the Netherlands. Many of our family businesses started in the Dutch greenhouse horticulture region known as Westland. A number of them also searched and found a location elsewhere in the country. The Groenewegen family - with Jack and his daughters in this picture - is another company with quite a history. Find out more.
Koos Groenewegen opens a 1.5 hectare tomato nursery in Naaldwijk. Jack, his son, joins him full of enthusiasm in the late 1980s.
Faced with a lack of space to expand, the company moves to De Lier. Jack takes over the running of the business from his father at the age of 22.
Jack gets together with other growers to form the Prominent growers’ association. He is also one of the pioneers of the vine tomato.
Jack now grows cocktail tomatoes. Business is booming at his 16 hectare nursery. And why would it be otherwise when you work together on innovation and invest in quality, knowledge and sustainability?
Will one of Jack’s daughters soon follow in their father’s and grandfather’s footsteps?
Time doesn’t stand still. We want to safeguard our members’ positions and keep on supplying you with a wide range of outstanding tomatoes. That’s why we are committed to developing in a sustainable and innovative way and why we are working on new solutions to meet the demand from the market. We are also constantly developing our business operations and achieving economies of scale. And we are doing that by transforming our association step by step into a commercial enterprise. Between now and 2028, Prominent members can choose to continue to operate independently, merge with other growers or come on board in return for shares in Prominent.
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At Prominent we are passionate about working in and on a healthy environment. We use natural resources sparingly in the controlled greenhouse environment. We also work hard on reusing waste materials and aim to use 100% of the tomatoes we grow. We keep our impact on the climate as low as possible by taking innovative measures around renewable energy, using water sparingly, using natural crop protection and achieving a high yield per hectare. That’s why Dutch greenhouse tomatoes are the best choice when it comes to sustainability.
We use energy to heat our greenhouses and keep them warm. We do this as sustainably as possible by using geothermal heat and surplus heat from industry. Two of our growers are already using geothermal heat, and Prominent growers are currently developing geothermal heat sources at 20 other production sites. We also have concrete plans in place for the wider use of surplus heat from industry.
We need energy to light our greenhouses. Innovative, energy-efficient lights enable us to supply tasty top-quality tomatoes all year round using less energy. We are also looking into the wider use of green electricity for lighting our greenhouses.
At Prominent we want everything that leaves the greenhouse to be put to good use. For example, we turn tomatoes that are too big, too small or damaged into oven-dried tomatoes. Any left-over tomatoes (about one percent of the total) are turned into animal feed. And the plant residues? They are used for biomass, which in turn is used to generate a large proportion of the renewable energy produced in the Netherlands. And finally, the rockwool slabs on which we grow our tomatoes are turned into bricks after we have finished with them in the greenhouse.
Tomato plants grow on rockwool slabs in our greenhouses. They are supplied with water with added nutrients via drippers. And if there is any water left over, we collect it in gutters. We disinfect it and add more nutrients before it goes back into the greenhouse. So the system is closed: not a single drop of water is lost.
We produce the best possible climate in the protected environment in our greenhouses. This involves creating a biological balance in which pests and diseases get little chance to establish. As a preventive measure we use parasitic wasps and predatory mites, which are natural enemies of pests. And in the unlikely event of an infestation with pests or diseases occurring, we correct the system with biological crop protection products. We only use chemicals when even that doesn’t work – and then only where absolutely necessary. And always following a strict protocol, of course.
In the late 1980s it was discovered that bumblebees were extremely efficient pollinators of tomato plants. Because they are relatively large, they make good contact with the flowers’ stamens and pistils. That’s why we use them to spread pollen in our greenhouses nowadays. So it’s all down to the bumblebees that we can grow our tomatoes there.
At Prominent we work as responsibly and sustainably as possible. We therefore follow developments closely and like to try out new possibilities at our Innovation Centre. This helps us move ever closer to our goal of making our operations completely circular.
Prominent is your guarantee of top quality, hygiene and food safety. We don’t just keep a close eye on our tomatoes while they are in the greenhouse. They are checked again when they are ripe, mature and picked. And then? Then we get them out to your store as fast as possible. Packed just the way you want them, and super fresh.
Our inspectors repeatedly monitor our tomatoes for keeping quality, colour, weight and the percentage of natural sugars (the Brix reading). They only give them the thumbs up if every aspect passes the test, including after they are picked and packed. And then we get our top tomatoes onto your shelves as fast as possible.
After picking, we ship our tomatoes to the exporter or sort and pack them in our in-house packaging centre. Because every customer has their own requirements, we pack all tomatoes to order. Flow pack with one truss or a 1 kg pack? No problem. And all within 24 hours of picking. Around 75 million packs leave our premises every year. Would you like to find out more about our packaging options? Then visit our Product range page and check out the options in each segment.
You can see our growers’ and packaging centres’ most recent certificates here.
Our digital logging system enables us to track our tomatoes from the grower to the retailer’s shelves. Every grower has a unique code that is printed on the label, making it easy for anyone to check where the tomato was grown.
At Prominent we respect nature and care about people. And that includes future generations too. So we grow our tomatoes as energy consciously as possible. We save energy wherever we can and are increasingly using renewable energy sources to heat our greenhouses. And if we have any energy left over, we supply it to thousands of households in the region.
Want to know which other measures we take? See our animations about energy, water, crop protection and 100% use of waste streams..
Geothermal heat simply entails using the warm water that can be found deep below the ground. First we heat the greenhouses with warm water pumped up from underground. Then we pump the cold water back into the ground where it is warmed up again. Prominent growers in Vierpolders and the Westland area are already using geothermal heat.
Tomato greenhouses can act as a huge solar collector. They intercept an enormous amount of heat. We use some of this heat in the summer and we also store some for use in the winter. And there is often heat left over, which we use to heat nearby residential districts.
To grow tomato plants in greenhouses, we need heat and CO2. These are often produced as by-products in industrial processes, as happens in Rotterdam. So it’s no surprise that Rotterdam’s industry is happy to supply us with its by-products. It’s a win-win situation.
Sometimes it’s easy to work in a sustainable way. For example, our rainwater reservoirs collect enough water to irrigate our plants. We use the water in a closed system. The rainwater has certain nutrients added to it before it is used to irrigate our tomato plants. And if there is any water left over, we collect it, disinfect it and add more nutrients before it goes back into the greenhouse. That way we don’t waste or discharge a single drop.
When it comes to doing business sustainably, we’re continuing to make great progress. For example, we will soon be using more green electricity and we will be switching over to lower energy LED lights as soon as we can. We are also planning to drill for geothermal heat at 20 of our growing sites and we will be supplying more residual heat to homes in the surrounding areas.
Prominent growers grow vitamin powerhouses that fit in perfectly with a healthy lifestyle. Besides vitamins, our tomatoes are packed full of minerals and antioxidants. So they’re not only bursting with flavour but they’re super healthy too. That’s why it’s so great that tomatoes can be used in so many different ways.
Tomatoes are packed full of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, zinc, calcium and iron. They are also rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that protects your cells and keeps you looking young. Among other things, this pigment acts as a sun filter from the inside out.
You can do so much with tomatoes. You can eat them whole, add them to a salad, cook, bake or grill them, use them in soups or sauces – and so much more besides.
Need inspiration? Check out our delicious recipes with tomatoes here.
Tomatoes retain the most flavour if you keep them at room temperature. And that’s now a scientifically proven fact. Too low temperatures not only spoil the flavour of a fresh tomato, they also affect the nutrients in it. So always keep tomatoes out of the refrigerator.
Our youth is our future. The Municipality of The Hague sees the truth in this. Together with Prominent’s growers, they launched a project, called FETfit, to provide children in the city’s primary schools with more information about healthy food.
For more information about FETfit, look at the site www.fetfit.nl
Prominent works with scientists and other partners on innovations relating to nutrition. Here are some examples:
Personalised eating means nutrition tailored to a person’s specific needs, such as patients in hospitals.
The cartridges in 3D food printers contain specific nutrients which enable foods to be tailored precisely to an individual’s needs.
It’s now possible to extract precious nutrients out of tomatoes. These nutrients can then be added to other foods as healthy flavourings, for example.
Here at Prominent, we believe in working together. And as providers of supply chain management, we work with all the links in the chain, from breeders and suppliers to retailers and customers. We focus our efforts on growing the very best varieties and also in understanding the needs of our partners – including the shopper. So we work together from greenhouse to fork.
To stay ahead, you have to keep on developing. So we’re looking for partners who would like to work with us to produce the perfect product, such as breeders, suppliers of biological crop protection products and climate or data system experts. The first thing we do in a transparent supply chain is to share knowledge. Then we trial innovations in our Innovation Centre, working closely with our partners.
Besides being innovative tomato growers, we also specialise in marketing tomatoes. Shoppers often find it difficult to make the right choice, so we investigate what Femke wants, what’s important to Laurens and what Bella’s favourite foods are. Based on their motives and the choices the most influential target groups make, we develop a shopper and category strategy that resonates perfectly with your customers. After all, it’s the consumer that determines our success!
We are constantly developing our Innovation Centre. This will enable us to keep on testing all our innovations going forward, including at product level.
To enable us to respond even better to shoppers’ choices, we constantly invest in market research. We use the results of this research to optimise your and our sales results even further.