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De Ruiter Seeds breaks ground for new Tomato Experience Centre
Last week the construction of the new demo-greenhouse of De Ruiter Seeds was officially started. Growers Rob Brabander and Paul Zantman, who are going to take care fo the crops at the Tomato Experience Center, Henk Verbakel of Havecon, Joost van Regteren of Monsanto / De Ruiter and Albert Abee, of the municipality of Lansingerland, tightened the official first bolt.
Construction of the greenhouse at full speed.
The greenhouse will become 8,000m2 in size
The Tomato Experience Center will be located at the Violierenweg in Lansingerland and will be 8,000m2 in size. Growers Rob Brabander and Paul Zantman have already been working with Monsanto / De Ruiter for six years. They are also closely involved in the construction of the new Experience Center. Because a large part of the Dutch and international tomato acreage is lit by now, 1/3 of the Experience Center will also have supplemental lighting installed. For the same reason, the test center will be equipped with several weighing and measuring systems, but not with diffused glass or 100% LED: that does not match sufficiently with practice - which of course is the most important for De Ruiter. Moreover, the greenhouse is divided into four segments so that the segments can be controlled separately. This autumn, about 300 new varieties will have to be placed in the greenhouse.
Rob Brabander and Paul Zantman
However, in the greenhouse it's not just about the new varieties, said Joost van Regteren, who is responsible for the technology development at Monsanto / De Ruiter. "It's more than just a demo. Also big data plays an important role. The center is part of a digital platform. We also want to show the products that are in between breeding and commerce so that we can respond to the wishes of the market." In view of the growing demand for a sustainable cultivated, tasteful product from a closed chain, he sees an important role for this. "Worldwide we see greenhouse horticulture increase and we see companies making the change from open field to greenhouses. For that we are making a knowledge center, a meeting place."
It may not be the biggest project at which Havecon is currently working, but an important one.
Growing greenhouse horticulture
Henk Verbakel of Havecon, as greenhouse builder, is obviously very content about that growing greenhouse horticulture. Moreover, the construction site is around the corner from the Dutch headquarters of Havecon and that is pleasant for a change. "But it is even more important that we see two young entrepreneurs starting to work on such a beautiful project, with a positive impact for Dutch horticulture. For too long nothing much has happened, so we are certainly proud about this project."
Various partners participate in the project
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