Erik van Velden

  • Head of Technical Services
  • 17 August 2023

From student to head of technical services. Erik van Velden is proud of his development and the trust he receives from Beekenkamp Group.

Erik can rightly be called a textbook example when it comes to developing yourself in a company. Smiling, he steps into the office in the morning for the interview; he enjoys talking about his career, but it is somewhat out of his comfort zone. That Erik is a true part of the Beekenkamp family, they knew that in the Marketing department for a long time, but ever since he was 15 years old, that promises to be a great story!

Erik tells how it all started: “At 15, I was looking for a side job. I could get a job at my grandfather in potted and vegetable plants, but my uncle who worked at Deliflor Chrysanthemums was short staffed, so I started working there. A fun and diverse job. From taking cuttings in and out of the cooling cell to supplying cask, every day was different”. Erik was currently in the final year of his VMBO education.


Erik is completing his VMBO and after the summer holidays he will start his MBO education in Automation and Energy Technology. In his spare time, he is still active at Deliflor. At the Christmas party at Beekenkamp Group, the company of which Deliflor is part, Erik came into contact with colleagues from Technical Services: “I was looking for an internship and they were looking for support with various activities, win-win! During my eight-week internship, the colleagues from Technical Services and I became so enthusiastic that I made the switch from a part-time job at Deliflor to Technical Services after this. The work was super diverse and informative for me, I looked for malfunctions, did maintenance on machines and was allowed to think about how things could be done better and faster.”


Erik completed his MBO education and at Beekenkamp they didn’t want to let him go. “They wouldn’t let me leave,” he jokes. Erik likes this himself because he is enjoying it immensely. He starts work as a Mechanic and is immediately thrown in at the deep end because a colleague dropped out. He says: “Being thrown in at the deep end is always a challenge, but this was a very interesting one! It shows that the company had confidence in me and dared to express this in the form of this position.” Erik goes to work at the various Beekenkamp production sites and soon gets his own work bus, always a special moment in a Mechanic’s career anyway.

Continuing to grow

After working as a Mechanic for more than 10 years, Erik noticed that he was ready for something different. “Basically, fixing a breakdown is always the same trick; just thinking logically and finding the right place to start. The challenge was running out,” Erik says. Besides being fanatical at work, he is perhaps even more fanatical on the football pitch. Unfortunately, this resulted in a nasty injury that kept him at home for several weeks. Sitting still? That’s nothing for Erik. “With my laptop on my lap, I spent those weeks digitising a lot of Technical Service documentation and after this, the Research and Development Center (RDC) project came my way. Beekenkamp had bought a piece of land and a state-of-the-art greenhouse had to be drawn in here.”

Through this work, Erik grows to become Project Manager of the RDC and, besides drawing in, also deals with planning, contact with the consulting firm and construction meetings. In this position, he gets to deal with many different people and parties. Erik says enthusiastically: “Because I have worked as a Mechanic in the field for many years, it was a matter of applying my knowledge at the front end of the project. This is another great example of tackling a challenge, just doing it and, above all, thinking logically”.

Erik feels like a fish in water in the role of Project Manager and as soon as the RDC is completed, the next projects are already in the pipeline. A major renovation is taking place at Deliflor, the vegetable location in ‘s-Gravenzande is being expanded by 1.5 hectares and a newly acquired site is to be completely rebuilt into a greenhouse for young plants. “In this job, ‘no’ is literally not an answer, we always have to think in solutions and that’s what makes it so super challenging,” says Erik.

At the time of writing, Erik has been able to progress to Head of Technical Services. Proudly, he says: “This position came my way this year and you know what’s a fun fact? For every position I’ve had at Beekenkamp so far, I’ve never had to apply. Hard work and a positive attitude will get you there! And

Family business

Erik loves working for a family business like Beekenkamp. There is investment in job satisfaction and the personal approach makes you feel like you are really contributing to the company’s growth. “What I can also really appreciate about Beekenkamp Group is that they are into innovation. We are almost always open to commissioning prototypes of machines and installations. Great examples of this are the Drygair, the clip machine and the press line for field vegetables,” Erik says.

Erik is also a regular face at staff association activities. Cooking, canoeing or the annual party, Erik enjoys being there. “The social aspect of these activities is really super fun, you meet colleagues from all over the company and it’s also nice not to have to talk about work sometimes.”

Share on Social Media

Want to join the Beekenkamp family?

Want to join the Beekenkamp family?