The Witlofkwekerij Bruins IJssellof BV chicory farm is a real family business. Albert and Bertine Bruins are the 2nd generation at the helm of this modern chicory farm that is located in the market gardening district of Koekoekspolder in the Dutch village of IJsselmuiden. The business’s founders, Egbert and Riet Bruins, have now stepped back a little from the running of the business. Over the past 30 years, they have worked hard with their son Albert on developing and expanding this business.
Ever since he was young, Albert Bruins has been passionate about growing chicory and always spent a great deal of time on his parental farm. After a thorough educational grounding in horticulture, he officially joined the business in 1999. The Bruins family spends a lot of time on actively marketing its products, including by finding added value in the chicory market. Important steps in this regard included investing in a flow pack packing line and entering into a partnership with the chicory growers in Limburg, this partnership subsequently becoming the concern that is Vitalof.
The latest techniques and cultivation methods
IJsselmuiden is now home to a super-modern chicory farm that uses the latest techniques and cultivation methods. It’s a chicory farm that is one of the most innovative farms in the Netherlands. Working with its 25 well-qualified and committed employees, the Bruins family cultivates 140 hectares of chicory each year. That is no less than 200 football fields full! The family also devotes much time to ensuring sustainability, with the heat released from the cooling of the cold store being recycled to heat the handling and sorting area. The leaf waste that is left over after harvesting the chicory is sent to a fermenter where it is turned into electricity.