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Wim van Wingerden joins Botanicoir:
"Huge potentials in the emerging berry industry"
With the global market for soft fruit growing at a rapid pace, there is a growing demand for substrate solutions specifically tailored to the berry industry. This was the reason for the former Dutch commercial greenhouse grower Wim van Wingerden to take on a new opportunity with UK coir manufacturer Botanicoir, to share his knowledge and consult growers on the use of coco substrates.
Van Wingerden is a familiar face in the international horticulture space. After operating his own commercial glasshouse farm in The Netherlands for many years, he started to travel the world as a hydroponics consultant, helping other growers to maximize their quality and production. In his latest adventure with Botanicoir, van Wingerden is focusing on the introduction of coir growing media to the growing soft fruit industry.
"Ever since I started consulting for them six years ago, I noticed Botanicoir's products stood out in comparison with other materials available on the market. Because of the consistency, I realized there was a huge potential for the use of their products in the berry industry", he said. "This is why I have decided to take on the distribution and dealership for the European market."
In order to underline his enthusiasm for Botanicoir, Van Wingerden explained what makes the material differ from other materials available on the market.
"In most cases, coir substrate mixes consist out of larger coco husks, chips, fibers and unfortunately also a lot of dust. Some mixes contain even up to 20% dust, which makes it very difficult to grow berries on it. Botanicoir's factories have incorporated a special production method that filters out any material smaller than 2 millimeters. This gives the eventual mix a more open structure and better aeration, which makes it perfect for use in soft fruit crops."
Van Wingerden explained that the open structure of the material makes it very easy to drain the media. "It's creates a free drainage of the material and excess water can easily exit. This results in a healthier root system and a stronger and vital crop. If you have a mix with a lot of dust, or use standard potting soil mixed with perlite, your substrate easily becomes too saturated and less easy to drain and a deficiency of oxygen is created. The coir from Botanicoir is easier to steer and is more forgiving in an occasion when you overwater or are too late to irrigate."
Over the last period of time, van Wingerden achieved great results with the introduction of the substrates among European berry growers. Many of them use their coir discs. "Growers find them very convenient and are very pleased with them. I enjoy to support them, it is great to work with a good product that actually works." Van Wingerden added that Botanicoir is using experienced berry advisors to support their customers with their crops too.
At the upcoming FruitFocus event at East Malling Research in Kent, Botanicoir is pleased to inform growers about their special substrates tailored to hydroponic soft fruit production. As well as this, the company will introduce a new innovative breakthrough innovation that will take the use of coir substrates in soft fruit crops to the next level."We created a new special mix tailored to berry crops. It is really outstanding and we can't wait to share this. It will be very interesting to any hydroponic berry grower, since we invented a mix that nobody has made before."
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