The Flemish greenhouse sector is currently severely affected by lack of space. The Province of Antwerp is exploring the potential of horticultural clusters, but is already supporting individual companies with their applications for permits and the purchase of land.
In a video report, grower Marc Mens explains more about these issues. He himself is working on an area of 14,000 square metres. The biggest setback for the Flemish greenhouse sector is the lack of space, he says. "The current trends are moving towards an increase in scale, both in area and in height. Acquiring affordable land is a problem, as well as having the certainty of owning the necessary space. "It is mostly necessary to rely on the patience of the neighbours, but it has also to do with the fragmented areas in Flanders, which make it necessary to shop around for different pieces of land in order to join them together."
With the plan "Sustainable horticulture Zeeland" the province is trying to help by providing horticultural clusters. In this way, growers can make joint use of the facilities. A feasibility study, however, revealed that this was not the best solution, and also not the most popularly supported; therefore, the province still favours the independent development of glasshouse businesses.