Although the company in its present form is relatively young, it has accumulated over sixty years of experience. The origins date back to the early thirties of the last century. In those days, Jan van Willegen started to grow fruit trees in Wouw (North Brabant Province). He had part of these trees grown under contract by Peter Gerard Botden from Sambeek (North Brabant) Later on, their sons Gerard van Willegen and Jacques Botden followed in their fathers' footsteps. The two companies remained independent until Jacques Botden took over the nursery and trade of Van Willegen in the early eighties. By now, Gerard van Willegen has left the company altogether, and Jacques Botden runs his own nursery in Sambeek, Jac. Botden BV, and the trading company Botden & van Willegen.
With an annual production of approximately 2.8 million fruit trees, Botden & van Willegen ranks among the leading fruit tree nurseries in Europe. And yet it is not the quantity that secures the company such a prominent position. Quality is the key to their success. The production of fruit trees largely takes place in their own Nursery in Sambeek, at a surface area of approximately 90 hectares.
The rest is grown on a contract basis by a select group of fruit tree growers with whom Botden & van Willegen collaborate very closely. Regular meetings are convened to share experience and practical observations. Important items on the agenda during these meetings are crop protection, fertilization and branching.
The trees produced by Botden & van Willegen find their way to every corner of the earth. The main markets are in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and England. Although the products of Botden & van Willegen are also sold to Canada and various Eastern European countries.
Virtually all base material is acquired from the 'Vermeerderingstuinen Nederland' (Netherlands Propagation Nurseries).
In combination with the Naktuinbouw inspection in the nurseries, this provides a guarantee for the purity of the variety, its healthy condition, virus status and quality. Although quality is the trademark of Botden & van Willegen, there is more to it than that. We attach at least equal importance to the inclusion in our range of the latest varieties and mutations. Therefore, the developments are monitored closely at home and abroad.