Schalkwijk, The Netherlands

Zachtfruit Schalkwijk B.V.


Growing Fruits and Innovation – a Matter of the Heart

The van Garderen family’s berry farm is situated on the island of Schalkwijk, surrounded by the water of the Amsterdam Rhine Canal and the Lek river, in a unique landscape that dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Founded in 1981, the family has grown the farm enterprise into a leading company in the fruit sector, with redcurrants and blackberries as the main crops grown on the farm. The van Garderen family grows berries on 35 hectares and cools and packs over 12 million packages of fruit from its own cultivation and from third parties.


The van Garderen family is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible way, especially considering the farm’s unique location.

  • Location: Schalkwijk, municipality of Houten, near Utrecht.

  • History: Founded in 1981, the farming operation has now expanded to a second location, where the ForwardFarming activities are concentrated.

  • Farm size: 35 hectares.

  • Crops: 30 hectares of redcurrants, 4 hectares of blackberries.

  • Soil: The farm grows berries on 35 hectares and also cools and packs over 12 million packages of fruit from its own cultivation and from third parties. The cooling capacity is over 550 metric tons.

  • Notable partnerships: ForwardFarming Fruit is a collaboration between Zachtfruit Schalkwijk B.V., CAF (Centrale Adviesdienst Fruitteelt), The Greenery and Bayer. This ForwardFarming initiative includes additional collaborations with various institutes and enterprises.

Modern and Sustainable Agriculture Coming to Life

Zachtfruit Schalkwijk maintains an apiary for bees to support pollination of the crops, helping to ensure a successful harvest. In addition to the apiary, the farm also features insect hotels to act as shelter and nesting sites for solitary bees and beneficial insects like earwigs and ladybugs. Digital tools like a drip-irrigation system that is controlled via tablet or smartphone are also present on the farm, helping to ensure efficient use of water. Decision support systems help to optimize crop protection in terms of timing based on crop growth and weather conditions. Biological, chemical and technological crop protection measures are combined to form an integrated cultivation system.


Contact us

We're happy to connect with you! Contact Christy van Beek with any questions or inquiries.