The history of Berrybrothers

The timeline below shows the key milestones of our family business. Feel free to ask us about our latest developments!

Jan and Karin van Zuilen set up their first soft fruit nursery on a plot in the Betuwe, in the middle of the Netherlands. They grew various soft fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants on an area of about 3 hectares.
For years, Jan and Albert sold their fruit through the auctions. In 1998, the brothers decided they wanted more of a say in selling their product, and established Berryfresh BV that same year. Under this name, fruit was packaged and marketed within the accumulated customer base. Thanks to short lines of communication from growers to customers, and insight into production fluctuations, good relationships were formed, and Berryfresh continued its steady growth.
Berryfresh's customers are now also starting to ask for other soft fruits. They eventually decide to start marketing fruit from other cultivators in the area as well. As a result, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries were soon added to Berryfresh's range.
Jan and Karin's two sons joined the company in 2005. Gerco managed growing, Nijswin monitored the sales process and started exporting to other EU countries. The company name was also changed from Berryfresh to Berrybrothers. After all, it was now a real family business.
Nijswin, one of Jan and Karin’s sons started a nursery in northern Portugal, under the name Zuilen & Costa. Together with a Portuguese manager, he began cultivating redcurrants, which were exported to the Netherlands early in the season (mid-May). Berrybrothers also marketed blueberries from fellow growers in Portugal. And they started importing blueberries for the months November to May.
Albert and Wieke van Zuilen's nursery purchased an additional 16 hectares of land in the municipality of Buren.
Berrybrothers set up a new raspberry and berry nursery in Heythuysen, with new and innovative varieties of raspberries and blueberries, 7 hectares each.
Reinforcements were hired for Sales, HR, logistics and growing.
Construction of the new state-of-the-art tunnel in Buren for growing blackberries started. Berrybrothers began growing the new Sweet Royalla variety here.
After years of preparation, the new employee accommodation facilities at the Roggel location were completed. They provide a modern and spacious living environment for 88 employees.
The need to expand the nursery soon became clear. This was unfortunately impossible at the existing location. After much searching, Jan and Karin found a nursery with 10 hectares of land in Roggel, Limburg. The nursery in the Betuwe was taken over by Jan's brother Albert van Zuilen and his wife Wieke. And the two brothers soon started collaborating.
The company decided to start growing in Chile as well as in the Netherlands, so that they could meet customer demand to supply redcurrants all year round.
Berryfresh's customers start to ask for other soft fruits. The company eventually decide to start marketing fruit from other growers in the area as well as their own. As a result, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries were soon added to Berryfresh's range.
Berrybrothers purchased a new cold store that could store 400,000 kilos of redcurrants in modern ULO cells. This new location was IFS Food-certified.
Franciene, Jan and Karin's daughter, started working in administration.
The plot in Buren was planted in phases with redcurrants.
Berrybrothers built a new production/storage space of 2,750 m2. With all-new office and canteen space.
Berrybrothers opted for modern growing by switching to pot growing.
Gijs and Teun took over their father's business. Gijs became responsible for year-round growing, and Teun for the organisational side of the business. A true family business.