Hoving Dairy’s open day attracts more than 2,700 visitors: “Nice, but worried about the future”

Campina Open Farm Day at the Hoving family in Haren attracted 2,700 visitors on Whit Monday. Marjan Hoving-Veldman talks about a great success.

Hey Marjan! Did you expect so many visitors?
“Today was really great, it could not have been better. The weather conditions were favorable, and finally 2,717 people visited our company today. Yes, we tracked the numbers accurately. And it was super nice to see all that enthusiasm, very nice. ”

How do you explain success?
“As a company, we have always found it important to have contact with people. I do not know if you know where our company is located, but we are on the Oosterweg. In recent decades, the buildings have come closer and closer, whereby we have always sought contact with the residents. This has gained momentum in the past year with the opening of our farm shop. You may be familiar with the concept of ‘Buy locally’. We get a lot of positive feedback on this, and we also see that interest in local food is increasing. ”

So you already get a lot of people over. What does this open day add to it?
“You can just do a little more today. Usually people visit the farm shop, which means they already see a lot of the company, but today a lot more is possible. There were guided tours every twenty minutes. And it’s also very educational. For For example, we have received many children today. There are many children who believe that milk is made in the supermarket. Today we can show them how it really works. That a calf must be born first, after which milk production starts “It’s a foundation that everyone should know, but we see that by no means everyone knows it.”

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The kids could have their face painted during the opening day. Photo: Marjan Hoving / submitted

‘Buy locally’. Coincidentally, I was talking to companies in Ten Boer and Den Horn last week. They indicated a clear increase in the number of customers. So do you see it too?
“It is difficult for us to assess whether there has been an increase, because we only started a year ago. But we have definitely got off to a good start. The question, however, is what the future will do. In recent years, there has been a trend where it appears that farmers are being driven away from their land. Or is it smart? The question is, where do you get your food from? What about the warranty. Do you need to get your milk and meat from abroad? So you also become dependent on foreign trade in that area? We have all seen what is going on in Africa right now. Countries that depend on grain production in Ukraine but now do not get grain because Ukraine has been invaded by the Russian army, leaving the African populations now starving. Do you want to do that?”

Indirectly, you are now also referring to the discussion that took place last week, where there was talk of buying up farms due to the nitrogen crisis. Does this also result in sleepless nights in your business?
“No sleepless nights, but there is a lot of uncertainty. What will the future do? The next generation has just entered our business. But it is simply very difficult to predict what will happen in the coming decades. And it’s very annoying for your business. You have plans, you have ideas. And it is nonetheless slowed down by such noises, such uncertainties. How do you get on with your business? Something that is decided by officials in The Hague who have never been to a farm. Very ugly. “

Open day
Open day at the Hoving family took place for the third time. Visitors could get a guided tour and there were various activities for young and old, such as farm course, milk carton fishing, farmer bowling, farmer golf and clogs. There were also two ponies that children could walk and cuddle with, the ponies could also be cared for.

Photo: Marjan Hoving / submitted
Photo: Marjan Hoving / submitted

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