Jeremy Riley (front right) with Edwin and Robin Vervaet (front left and centre) surrounded by employees of J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd.
Vervaet buys 50% share of J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd
Dutch agricultural machinery manufacturer Vervaet has purchased a 50% share of UK-importer J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd. This strengthens the existing strong relationship between the two family-run companies, which now extends back over 25 years.
With no members of the Riley family currently in a position to continue the business, the move is deemed by both companies as the logical course of action in preparation for the future.
Headed by managing director Jeremy Riley, J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd was established in 1994. Highly successful, the company currently has 14 employees based at its purpose-built premises at Attlebridge in Norfolk. Riley has been the sole importer of Vervaet beet harvesters and Hydro-Trike self-propelled applicators since day one and it didn’t take long for the harvesters to become market-leader, which they still are to this day. Customers are provided with extensive backup throughout the UK, and the Riley name has earned an enviable reputation for first class service. Second hand machines are usually fully refurbished at Attlebridge before being delivered to their new owners with a warranty.
“We want to underline our continuing commitment to both our customers and the UK beet industry,” explains Jeremy Riley. “I’m certainly not packing up or retiring, and this agreement means that there are more options open for the future. My belief has always been that you have to look after customers and over the years we’ve built not just business relationships but friendships too. This goes for both customers and the Vervaet family as well. I have every faith in both their company and the people involved, so involving Vervaet was the right thing to do going forward.”
Today Frans Vervaet B.V. is run by Robin and Edwin Vervaet and the brothers reciprocate Jeremy’s thoughts about his own company and emphasise how essential the UK is to their business.
“The UK is our most important export market, together with France,” explains Robin Vervaet. “It is often the biggest market for harvesters, and the Hydro Trike has a bright future here too, so we wanted to safeguard our position in the country but also allow the opportunity for Jeremy’s own family succession if and when the time is right. We have a great history of working together and Jeremy is a true gentleman. During all this time we’ve never ever had a contract – we both know that our word is our word and everything is done on 100% trust.”
“We’ve known Jeremy since the late 1980s and we have also become close friends,” adds Edwin Vervaet. “The reason we are so successful in the UK is that together we can offer the best package. Both companies try to help the customer as much as possible, and place ourselves in their position if there is a problem. Like this the customer always has the best deal on the market.”