The management team of the Green House Horticulture Looije Agro Technics (LAT) has not only one but three members since last year. Mark Lodge and Tom Van Zundert have now joined the board, in addition to Martin Lugge, who has been in charge of the company since its inception in 1999. They are now in charge of operations, and Martin has played a more advisory role. He also stays on special projects.
Mark Lodge, Tom Van Zundert and Martin Lodge in front of their offices in Made in the Netherlands
“I used to do everything myself, but that is not possible in the gardening market today and I don’t want to do it anymore,” said Martin. At the end of the last century, he started his own company.
Today, the Looije Agro Technics team consists of 25 people, all of whom specialize in one-room gardening projects. And then, of course, depending on the construction supervision, construction management or construction coordination, what the farmer or the investor wants.
At one point, Martin began buying greenhouses to help gardeners. This was one of his previous work with a young Dutch plant producer. Over the years, it has become more and more important, because Lojé Agro Technologies not only is active in the Netherlands, but also counts “construction” in special buildings in Belgium and Germany. We often talk about construction projects, although that is not what we do, for convenience we often call it that.
The world of fruits and vegetables is not new to Mark and Tom. Although he recently joined the management team, both were active in the construction management company for some time. They both have their own special skills. Tom more mark in the field of power and lighting and in the field of construction.
“But in the end, we use all the knowledge and skills we have as a team,” says Mark. The customer expects us to keep abreast of all the developments in technology and, for example, policy and marketing. Reality and freedom here are key concepts for us as a company. The farmer is very eager to use a particular method, it does not work in the client’s specific situation. Then it is up to us to explain it.
Three-man administration in Demo Greenhouse, Lodge Agro Technical, with extensive gardening techniques. Useful for decision-making farmers.
Over the years, Martin has seen many techniques. Some did, but many did not. One development, for example, was the use of special types of glass. Martin says: “Our customers adopted this technology ten years ago. It was exciting for us at the time, because little is known about it yet. In the end that worked well and now the discussion is not only about light transmission but also about glass quality.
They are now seeing a lot of progress in the field of light, one of Tom’s unique ones. Martin: “Now he understands better than I do. I’m good at advising clients, but it’s good that Tom and I have a specialist at home.
The role of the construction management company in providing independent advice to the client, for example in the choice of lighting. But one thing is simple, says Tom. “The plant is always honest in the end. The plant eventually says whether it will do something or not, and it is up to us to use that knowledge to avoid misleading customers.”
With the expansion of the management team, Looije Agro Technics is building for the future. “By taking this step, we will continue to do so,” Martin said.
A parallel with customers can be drawn here. Both family business management, such as Loji Agro Technologies, need continuity, and it is growing. That is why in the middle of the summer of 2021, the Dutch management company already knows what to build next year. That is the beginning. Mark: “You will see that more and more plans are being made for the client in advance.
Tom also has an explanation for this development. “Thanks in part to the investors, they see the strategy and vision becoming very important in many companies. The decision is made to build next year, either after an emergency family discussion or at the end of the season. Often such a plan is already in the pipeline.
And that’s a good thing, because otherwise, these days it also takes a lot of time to manage with all the rules and regulations. Explaining the current state of the market, Martin said: “That is why I talked about building a greenhouse for 2023 today.
He had already seen his own company, Martin Mark and Tom’s introduction. But he has no intention of quitting. In fact, he has had more work in recent years. Once the money is in place, our role has already been completed, and now you see the need for initial support, especially with new projects for investors. Now I help clients with this as well. My ‘old’ experience over the years is very important.
For Mark and Tom, they are well aware. Tom: “Just as we need the right mix of knowledge and skills with all the specialists here, we need new and experienced people to bring new things. I think we got that now. »
For more information –
Looije Agro Techniques
4921 PL Made