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Herkuplast introduces new tray models:

Strawberry tray plant propagation an industry on its own

HerkuPlast has successfully launched new strawberry propagation trays for single use. Sales manager Alfred Boot says the strawberry tray plant industry has seen a big increase over the past couple of years and the propagation of the plants has become an industry on its own. 

"The European acreage with protected berry cultivation is on the rise and so is the demand for propagated strawberry tray plants," Boot says. He explained that tray plants allow for a maximum number of truss and flowers in each plant. This enables growers to plan their planting and cropping cycles with a maximum effect. 

Tray field

Herkuplast's Alfred Boot looks back at a very successful season and is already planning the new production schedules for strawberry, raspberry and blueberries trays.
"Strawberry growers want to produce berries as early as possible and heavily rely on the tray plant starting material. The plugs are produced as potted fresh plants to be used in August or stored for use in the spring. The smaller plants have a smaller root system in a smaller pot and are best used in tabletop systems outdoors."

The first trays appeared on the market some 20 years ago. They were heavy duty, more expensive trays. They are bought as a long-life tray. They need to be thoroughly cleaned in order to avoid serious diseases.

The new strawberry propagation trays from HerkuPlast are made of a lighter and thinner material, and they can be recycled after use. The big advantages are:
  • new, clean trays ever year (no set back of growth because of old, contaminated plastic)
  • no cleaning needed
  • fully stackable trays; saves up to 75 % of storage space compared to many alternatives made out of hard-plastic. This makes stock-keeping for growers, distributors a lot easier (read; cheaper).
  • a small amount spend every year; keeps cash flow intact

Alfred Boot; "As a grower you are not stuck to a system in which you have invested a lot of money. Our system allows you to adjust to changes in a dynamic market as soft fruit. Another advantage of our production method is that we can make any quality, so also heavy duty or medium. There are less risks of contamination. And the trays also work perfect on tray-fillers."

All trays can be collected and recycled after use. "For instance in Holland, our distributors pick up the trays after the season and delivers them to a nearby recycle-company. This way the waste problem for the growers is solved, the trays will be grinded and serve a new purpose." 

Alfred Boot (middle) at Antwerp Strawberry Conference where HerkuPlast was Platinum Sponsor. Also on the picture is Matt Gold (USA), Mike Gitzels (NL), Chus Ferrando (Spain) and Paul Greenhalgh (UK).

Apart from investing in new moulds for tray production HerkuPlast believes in bringing scientists, growers, distributors and manufacturers together. It's for this reason that the company is not only exhibiting on international shows but is also a serious sponsor of seminars and congresses. HerkuPlast sponsored the Quebec event last year. In 2017 Rotterdam berry congress and Antwerp strawberry congress were among the events where the company contributed. "It is a contribution in professionalizing our industry, part of the money we earn we spend on supporting events like this, said Alfred Boot. "Although it looks in the last couple of years that we see too many shows, seminars and congresses. Each country has several events per year. This looks a bit like an overkill at the moment." 

Herkuplast's programme for soft fruit trays now holds 16 models. The company will introduce new models for the 2018 season.

For more information and samples:
Alfred Boot 

Publication date: 10/27/2017



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