The acquisition of Gakon Horticultural Projects by Netafim has not gone unnoticed in the horticultural sector. This change also brings a new perspective for the Gakon partners. We asked Rob Bekkering, Commercial Manager at Van der Valk Horti Systems, about his opinion and vision on the acquisition.

Rob Bekkering has now been working for Van der Valk Horti Systems for almost a 6 years, of which the last year and a half as Commercial Manager. During this period he has worked extensively with Gakon, which he is very satisfied with. “The collaboration between Van der Valk and Gakon is going very well. I mainly work together with Rob van den Ende (Manager Screen Systems at Gakon). Rob is a nice guy, he has a lot of knowledge. That makes it pleasant to work with someone.’’ In addition to the collaboration on a project basis, Gakon and Van der Valk have also collaborated in the field of product innovation in recent years. These products are in the final phase and more will be announced shortly.

Just like for many others, the acquisition came as a surprise to Rob. “Of course we were surprised when we heard about the acquisition, but we certainly see it as strengthening both companies,” said Rob. “I see it as a strategic move. It is a very strong interpretation to add Gakon’s knowledge to the Netafim organization and vice versa. Projects are getting bigger, so you have to keep up with that growth. Then I think these kinds of steps are very useful. You prepare for the future in this way.”

The relationship between Gakon and Van der Valk goes back much further. In 1967, Gakon owner Bert Gardien and Van der Valk owner Hans van der Valk decided to work together. The collaboration came about because Van der Valk supplied quality materials and customization. This was again very important to Gardien because he could rely on his supplier. Gakon and Van der Valk was therefore a perfect match from the start.

Rob looks to the future with great ambition. “We have worked together with Netafim before, because we have supplied the air mechanism on various projects. And of course we are very satisfied with the collaboration with Gakon. We are confident that we can contribute to the growth that both companies will achieve.”