The food and agribusiness is the largest economic sector in the Netherlands and horticulture - with its suppliers and customers - is one of the most important drivers of our economy. The agrocluster is comprehensive and often involves long chains: From raw materials and equipment, cultivation and processing to packaging, storage and distribution of vegetables, fruit, pot plants and flowers. Because of the large number of transactions in the agricultural chain, the close relationship between a larger number of players in the production chain and the fact that it involves a cultivated and traded natural product, there is a substantial risk of damage to crops and the corresponding crop damage discussions.
For example, in our practice we regularly see disputes about the compensation of cultivation damage at the grower that is allegedly caused by another (supplying) party in the production chain. Causes of damage include mistakes made when repairing a machine or installation, contaminated seeds, unsuitable fertiliser or other cultivation materials, a dysfunctional greenhouse (or parts of it), incorrect cultivation advice or faulty plant material. The grower suffering crop damage then often wants to recover the damage from the party causing it, while the supplier who is said to have caused the damage almost always wants to defend themselves against the claim and not pay. The supplier may then argue that they were not in default, or that there is force majeure on their part, or that they can invoke a limitation of liability, often included in the general terms and conditions.
For decades, Cees (and its legal predecessors) has been a well-known player in the greenhouse horticulture sector, with a number of lawyers who have been rooted in that sector since childhood and therefore know the practice well. We also have thorough knowledge of the legal fields relevant to crop damage, such as contract law, liability law, insurance law and compensation law, and we know exactly which legal discussion points are part of crop damage proceedings. Our experience and practical knowledge give you, as an entrepreneur who suffers crop damage or is held liable to compensate crop damage, a head start in crop damage cases.