Intro We love tomatoes Healthy companies, great working environment 1+1=3 Family business Bekijk de video The future: From association to enterprise Facts and figures

Mad about tomatoes!

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.

Our mission and core values

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.

We love tomatoes

“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.”

Healthy companies, great working environment

“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.”

1+1=3

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.

Family business

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.

1966:

Koos Groenewegen opens a 1.5 hectare tomato nursery in Naaldwijk. Jack, his son, joins him full of enthusiasm in the late 1980s.

1991:

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.

1993:

Jack gets together with other growers to form the Prominent growers’ association. He is also one of the pioneers of the vine tomato.

2018:

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?

The future:

Will one of Jack’s daughters soon follow in their father’s and grandfather’s footsteps?

The future: From association to enterprise

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.

Facts and figures

Prominent today:

  • Association of 29 growers
  • Growing 13 varieties of tomatoes
  • More than 418 hectares under glass
  • 200 hectares of artificially lit greenhouses (48%)
  • 25 hectare innovation centre divided between three Prominent-owned growing sites

Download our corporate brochure

Video: history

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Intro Economical with water Parasitic wasps are our friends The future Facts and figures Warm greenhouses Lighting responsibly
We Care.

Growing tomatoes responsibly and sustainably

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.

Warm greenhouses

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.

Lighting responsibly

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.

Circular operations

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.

But the reverse is also true. We use by-products ourselves, such as biomass, heat and CO2 from industry. We bring in CO2 to help the tomato plants in the greenhouse grow better.

Economical with water

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.

Parasitic wasps are our friends

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.

Efficient bumblebees

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.

The future

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.

Facts and figures

  • Energy-saving measures, breeding and more efficient use of greenhouses and installation have all led to a sharp drop in the use of fuel by the Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector (down 59% between 1990 and 2016). Physical production per square metre, on the other hand, increased by 48% over the same period.
  • More than 65% of our member companies will soon be using geothermal heat.
  • In our greenhouses we use 4 litres of water to grow 1 kilogram of tomatoes. Compare that with countries in the Mediterranean, where they use 60 litres per kilogram.
  • Every last tomato we grow is put to good use. Ninety-nine percent go to the customer fresh or dried. The rest are used as animal feed.
  • CO2 emissions from the Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector fell by 31% between 2010 and 2016.
  • In the same period, the use of renewable energy in the sector increased by 126%.
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Intro Top tomatoes From plant to fork – ultra fast and packed the way you want them Facts and figures Bekijk de video
Video: from seed to shelf
We are Fresh.

Quality tomatoes - they don't come fresher than this

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.

Top tomatoes

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.

From plant to fork – ultra fast and packed the way you want them

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.

Facts and figures

  • We pack our tomatoes the day they are picked. They are already on their way to the shops the very next day.
  • Certifications
    • We check our tomatoes for residues, and an accredited laboratory carries out analyses for the QS system that covers the whole of the supply chain.
    • The standard we follow for crop protection activities is GLOBALG.A.P.
    • Our packaging centre is BRC Food and IFS Food compliant.
    • Our packaging centre is also ISO 22000 certified for the preparation of dried tomatoes.
    • Customer-specific labour, safety and hygiene requirements are always honoured.

You can see our growers’ and packaging centres’ most recent certificates here.

  • Because quality is our top priority, all our growers comply with the Prominent quality system. This has earned them a whole host of certificates.
  • We also adhere to the GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP system which ensures safety in the workplace and appropriate pay rates for workers.

Track & trace

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.

Video: from seed to shelf

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Intro Geothermal heat Heating and cooling for a residential district By-products from Rotterdam The future Facts and figures
We Care.

Prominent tomatoes – saving energy and water

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

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.

Heating and cooling for a residential district

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.

By-products from Rotterdam

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.

Rainwater

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.

The future

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.

Facts and figures

  • We will soon be increasing the number of businesses heated with geothermal heat from the current two to 20.
  • The semi-closed greenhouse at the Prominent Innovation Centre produces a surplus of solar heat. We store that surplus in a groundwater source below a residential district in Naaldwijk. In the winter, this warm groundwater provides the district with heat. The used, cooled groundwater is stored in the ground and cools the greenhouse and the homes the following summer. We are committed to expanding these types of schemes.
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Intro Vitamin powerhouses and more besides Storage tips Recipes Storage tips Facts and figures Bekijk de video
Video: We are Fresh. How are you?
We are Healthy.

Healthy tomatoes – tasty vitamin powerhouses

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.

Vitamin powerhouses and more besides

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.

Plenty of variations

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.

Storage tips

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.

More transport- and storage tips.

FETfit

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

The future

Prominent works with scientists and other partners on innovations relating to nutrition. Here are some examples:

  • Personalised eating

Personalised eating means nutrition tailored to a person’s specific needs, such as patients in hospitals.

  • Food from the 3D printer

The cartridges in 3D food printers contain specific nutrients which enable foods to be tailored precisely to an individual’s needs.

  • Extracting nutrients

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.

Facts and figures

  • Lycopene is an antioxidant that protects your cells and keeps you looking young.
  • Did you know that lycopene is the natural pigment from which tomatoes get their red colour? The redder the tomato, the more lycopene it contains. And when you heat tomatoes, even more lycopene is released.
  • Did you know that tomatoes can lower cholesterol and act as natural blood thinners? They also help protect against cardiovascular diseases.

Video: We are Fresh. How are you?

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Intro Consumer determines success The future
We are Partners.

Working together for successful in-store sales

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.

Partners in the horticultural supply chain

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.

Consumer determines success

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!

The future

  • Constantly developing

We are constantly developing our Innovation Centre. This will enable us to keep on testing all our innovations going forward, including at product level.

  • Perfecting shopper marketing

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.

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