Effective from 1 July 2022, Wilco Schoonderbeek will begin work at Horticoop as Director of Investments, a role in which he will be responsible for the comprehensive Horticoop investment process. Together with Steven van Nieuwenhuijzen (CEO) and Hend van Ravenstein (CFO), Wilco will be part of the Horticoop Board team.
Horticoop has been active an investment cooperative as of the end of 2021, when the cooperative became a platform for investment, innovation and development from which all stakeholders will profit: members, Horticoop businesses and the industry. The objective is to contribute to the sustainable and healthy future of the horticultural industry by investing in businesses which enhance the expertise, network and growth potential of the industry.
Wilco (49) has done more than his fair share in this area of operation, and, as Director of Investments, he will be spearheading the future-oriented growth of Horticoop, leading the process in which candidate-businesses are tracked down, acquired and embedded in the investment cooperative.
An experienced investor
In the course of his career, Wilco has gained wide experience of the investment profession; as part of large international businesses, with consultancy firms such as Andersen, PwC and KPMG, and as an investor using both his own funds and those of other parties. In doing so, he has specialised in the field of AgroFood investments and the setting up of innovative start-ups and scale-ups aimed at achieving the ongoing sustainability of the food chain and promoting the circular economy, among other things. In addition, Wilco was responsible for the start of the Deeptechfonds, an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and Invest-NL.
Wilco has extensive knowledge of the various stages of investment pathways, including sourcing, initial screening, due diligence, structuring, implementation, completion and portfolio management. Now he is committed to deploying that expertise for Horticoop. Wilco: ‘I consider this role to be a splendid opportunity to face a number of the big challenges that we as an industry are having to address. Ambition, courage and collaboration – and obviously the associated investments in innovations – are crucial to that pursuit. In order to guarantee the healthy future of the industry, we need to merge entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. Cooperation is essential if we are to be able to contribute in a valuable way to the food and floriculture chain’.
Steven van Nieuwenhuijzen, CEO of Horticoop, is enthusiastic about the appointment of Wilco Schoonderbeek: ‘Considering Wilco’s stature, we are thrilled that he is joining our business. With a view to Horticoop’s ambitions, his comprehensive expertise, experience and network are most welcome. What is more, Wilco is a bridge builder who can assist in capitalising on the opportunities vis-à-vis and between entrepreneurs; this goes for both Horticoop members and participations’.
The Horticoop cooperative has been working for nearly 120 years to ensure a stable future for the horticultural sector. The business cooperates with its approximately 400 members, all of whom run a professional horticultural operation, and with its businesses in the fields of lighting, climate, technology and substrates. The Horticoop businesses, including Lensli, Horticoop Technical Services, Lumiforte and HortAmericas are domiciled both at home and abroad. Horticoop entered the market as an investment party as of 1 December 2021.