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Meyers Softfruit, Belgium

"Belgium: "Building a new greenhouse is a big leap"

Meyers Softfruit from Riemst in Belgium is going to expand. The company currently has a total area of six hectares. In addition to greenhouses, there are poly tunnels, vertical farming and propagation fields for strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and red currants. Now 13,000 m2 of greenhouse horticulture is being added. Owner Wim Meyers runs the company together with his father Louis.

New construction
Wim: "On the other side of the street we are building a completely new company. There will be a strawberry greenhouse, a warehouse and a rainwater reservoir. In the past, when we did an extension, we only added a bit to the existing building, so this current addition is something really new for us. I know that our acreage does not represent that much compared to some large growers, but for me it feels like a whole world that we are putting up."

In the new greenhouse, Wim will for the first time work with lighting. He has chosen SON-T lamps. At the moment, a CHP is being installed to supply the whole company with heat. The low temperature network of the CHP will be directed to the tunnels. Wim: "That eliminates the risk of frost and we can harvest longer in the autumn."

Wim: "We are not going for a winter cultivation. But we are going to try to get the first cultivation a little earlier, so that the second cultivation does not fall in the middle of summer. At that time the competition is huge because of the harvest from the open field. Our aim is to be on the market as much as possible: from the beginning of March to Christmas." Meyers has three cultivations per year.

Risk spreading
Things are going well at Meyers Softfruit. Wim: "We have different crops. Financially it balances out just fine. For example, last year the prices of the red berries were fantastic. This year the price was slightly lower, but then the raspberries were more expensive. Also the blackberries commanded a good price, while that was disappointing last year."

Wim aims to start planting in the new greenhouse on 15 February.

For more information:
Meyers Softfruit
Allewijstraat 3
B-3770 Riemst
Wim: +32 (0)478 938 826

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