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Grown up among the radishes

Monique and Ruud Cornelissen about Ortolanda Melderslo

Monique Cornelissen (29) und ihr ältester Bruder Ruud (27) arbeiten seit drei Jahren an der Übernahme von Ortolanda Melderslo, einem großen Radieschenzüchter in Europa. Die Geschichte von Monique und Ruud zeigt die schönen und herausfordernden Seiten eines Unternehmens, das an die nächste Generation weitergegeben wird.

As a group, Ortolanda has a total of about 70 hectares of greenhouses at three locations in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2017, all three locations bear the name Ortolanda, the name that was initially only given to the Italian nursery and which roughly translates as “Dutch vegetable garden”.

‘We have many fond childhood memories of the greenhouse,’ Monique smiles. 'When we were babies, our playpen was just between the radishes, we didn't know a daycare at all. When we were a little older, we always walked to the back after school, to have a look or to help. We really grew up in a greenhouse.”

Placeholder for ZON magazine 2022 nummer 1 JP Ortolanda artikelZON magazine 2022 nummer 1 JP Ortolanda artikel
If you want to run a company, it is important that your environment understands that you put a lot of time into it.
Ruud Cornelissen

Dare to take the step

Monique studied Commercial Economics with a specialization in Leisure Management and Ruud Mechatronics, a combination of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering,. It was clear to Ruud from an early age that he wanted to join the company and Monique decided to explore their company in Italy. "I spent a year and a half with it and got to know the company, the people, the culture and the language well."

Placeholder for Ruud monique niels vroegerRuud monique niels vroeger
With a family takeover you want to arrange everything very well, so that you can always sit together at the kitchen table.
Ruud Cornelissen

Such a takeover is of course not easily arranged. “What I would advise anyone going through something like this is good guidance,” says Monique. Of course there is also the Coolbergen family, with whom they work closely together. Coincidentally, there is also a family takeover going on there.

They are most proud of their father's stubbornness and perseverance, who regularly swam against the current and made his own plan. He was able to expand Ortolanda and make it the success it is today.

Since January 1, 2019, Ruud and Monique have taken over the first shares and are officially part of the company. The acquisition process is expected to last until January 1, 2026, from which time Ruud and Monique Cornelissen will be the official owners of Ortolanda Melderslo. A merger between Oude-Tonge and Melderslo is being worked on.

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