The early years
The history of the Van der Knaap began in 1980, when Ron van der Knaap started making compressed peat blocks. In 1988, the company moved to an industrial site at Bovendijk in Kwintsheul (NL), which offered enough space to expand production.
Manufacturing all of these products called for reliable raw materials, which is why Holland Potgrond was acquired in 1994. 1999 saw the arrival of a new Holland Potgrond location in Grubbenvorst.
In 2008, Van der Knaap began working in partnership with Braam Plug Products in Aalsmeer. This culminated in two Van der Knaap-Braam locations: one in Aalsmeer and one in Kwintsheul. Van der Knaap Retail was established in 2008 to serve the consumer market with high-quality potting soil products.
Coco peat was 'discovered' in the nineties as a raw material for potting soil: an organic material offering many cultivation options. Forteco was added to the Van der Knaap Group to market the coco products. To meet the growing demand for coco peat products, the first coco peat production facility was opened in 2006: Growrite Sri Lanka. Sites in India and the Dominican Republic followed in the next few years. Production facilities were also established in Thailand, Turkey and Spain, mainly to supply local markets.
In 2014, the Van der Knaap Group won the Ambassador Award for its coco-production facility Growrite Substrates in Sri Lanka. A jury consisting of the Royal Association MKB-Nederland, Rabobank and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs singled out Van der Knaap as an innovative company that has succeeded in developing a new market for coco products.
Van der Knaap has obtained permits to produce peat in Estonia in order to further improve the quality and availability of our peat resources.