A major Dutch dealer has decided to stop selling farm machinery in the face of uncertainties within the agricultural sector and the difficulty in attracting staff.

Reitman Hasselt’s main tractor franchise is Claas, which it sells alongside a range of other brands such as Kaweco, Strautmann and Kioti compact tractors.

Claas machines at dealers
Claas is well aware of the difficulties dealers are having in attracting staff

In a statement on the company’s website, the management board announced that it will stop trading in farm equipment from April 1, 2024.

Despite the rather sudden cessation of selling into the agricultural market, Reitman has pledged to continue honouring existing orders and sales agreements.

Machinery already in stock will be sold on as well as the spare parts inventory for tractors and equipment that are already in the field.

Long service

Reitman has been serving farmers for 86 years with its other spheres of operation, such as landscape gardening and horticulture, being taken onboard over 50 years ago.

It also specialises in reed management and nature conservation machinery.

Dutch farm worker
Despite the idyllic notion of farming in Holland, agriculture there faces tremendous pressures

The company has decided to continue with sales and maintenance of equipment for these industries and will be focusing on growing them rather than trying to keep the farm machinery division going.

The statement from the company has stressed that it is changing to suit a new business landscape in the Netherlands where the pressures upon farming are mounting, pressures that lay behind the recent farmer protests.

Fight for Dutch land

Dutch Farmers are not only facing ever greater environmental restrictions, but also competition for the land itself, with a major project, known as Tristate City, set to engulf vast swathes of farmland if it goes ahead.

Staff shortages have also been flagged as a major concern for machinery dealerships throughout Europe as they struggle to compete with other, more lucrative trades in attracting young people into the business.

Claas itself has restructured its training in a bid to make a career in agricultural machinery more appealing.

However, when faced with both this issue and that of a slowly disappearing customer base Reitman has decided to get of agriculture altogether. It is unlikely to be the last.