Capi produces light-weight plant pots that look like ceramic pots. They are advocates of reshoring: reclaiming jobs from low-wage countries. “Customers prefer Made in Holland over Made in China,” says owner Toine van de Ven.
Capi started as a one-man business in cast-iron statues. Twenty years later, founder Toine van de Ven sells his luxury pots around the globe in about seventy countries. Again and again, he notices that Dutch products have a good reputation. “Just like Germany, the Netherlands is a brand. We should be more aware of this.”
About one-third of all Capi pots are now produced in Tilburg. This should reach two-thirds in 2019. We aim to move full production back from China. “That is not a dream,” says Toine, “but a goal.”
China more expensive
The entrepreneur has a number of reasons for reshoring. He mentions, for example, the fluctuating dollar rate, the fact that China is becoming more expensive, better intellectual property rights in the Netherlands, transport fees and cultural differences. “It is a distant place as well as a distant culture. Here, I can just swing by the factory.” In the Dutch factory a self developed way of rotational molding is used which saves more than 50 percent on energy. This line's pots are fit for recycling as well. More environmental consciousness is key at Capi.
Reshoring means more local employment opportunities. Capi employs about thirty people in Tilburg. That is why the city values employers like Capi, more so because the company also provides jobs for people who are distanced from the labor market.
Capi currently employs eight people who started out in the Diamant work training company. If it were up to Toine, more people with occupational limitations would work in ‘regular’ companies. “In the end, they are simply Capi employees; part of the team.”
Doing good business in Tilburg
Toine likes the entrepreneurial climate in Tilburg. “I have everything I need here.” He mentions good infrastructure, the many networking opportunities, and the city’s positive attitude. In 2017 Capi moved to a brand new building at business park Vossenberg II. The company has doubled in size and covers a surface of 38.000m². The production capacity also has doubled to twelve robots after moving and will triple in the future.
Toine also gives back to Tilburg. He prevented Gianotten-Mutsaers, the city’s longtime book store, from closing its doors. Since that takeover, the store has grown every year. “It’s a matter of keeping the business up to date and making continuous investments. I do the same with Capi.”
That social engagement was passed on from his mother, says Toine. “She was a firm believer in reaping what you sow, and so am I now.” Corporate social responsibility is in our company’s DNA. “We are known for it in our field and that makes clients trust us.”