4Evergreen, Holland:

Producing bell pepper by using residual heat

Bell Pepper grower 4Evergreen recently obtained the Dutch environmental quality label Milieukeur. The company produces bell peppers on residual heat from neighboring factories. "We scored high during the inspection, but this doesn’t mean we are where we need to be yet," says Robert Grootscholte, commercial manager at the family company.

Nursery 4Evergreen is part of the Grootscholte Groep BV. The company is run by four brothers, one of them being Robert, and their father Willem. The company has multiple sites. In total 4Evergreen has more than 60 hectares of glass, and produces 18 million kilos of bell peppers on an annual basis: green, yellow and red. Partly for the European market and partly for the American market. Fifty people are working as full-time employees. During the summer the company hires 200 additional workers.

Producing on residual heat
'Specifically for our location in Terneuzen, which accounts for 10 hectares, we went for the Milieukeur," says Robert Grootscholte. "Here we grow our bell peppers on residual heat from neighboring factories. It is precisely here that we scored high, according to the results of inspection. However there are more requirements to be fulfilled. Apart from registering all business processes, you need to look at which active substances you use and how to minimize this use permanently. We already worked with biological agents, but there is always room for improvement."

International appreciation
"The main drive to work on obtaining the certificate is that everyone may know that we are taking care of the things that surround us," says Grootscholte. "This enables us to demonstrate that we are sustainable. We can deliver bell pepper with the Milieukeur. When this accreditation mark is recognized internationally, we will think about certification for our other locations."

Source: SMK-Nieuws.
For more information: www.smk.nl

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