"The French market is a very good market to cultivate for. There is a demand for a clean, sustainably cultivated quality product: the tomatoes must be red and of good taste." This is what Jean Marc Paimblanc from the French tomato nursery Le Maraîchers du Mont Saint-Michel is saying. Recently, Havecon completed the company's 17 hectare greenhouse.
The greenhouse is up and about, the heating system and the water systems are completed. At the end of January, the first plants will be moved into the greenhouse and next year Le Maraîchers du Mont Saint-Michel (the growers of the Mont Saint-Michel) hope to get the first tomatoes from their new greenhouse. There will be quite a lot of them: already in their first year, there will be cultivation on 17 hectares. "That's new for the French market, where the average nursery has an acreage of a few hectares," confirms Jean Marc Paimblanc, director of the company. "Customers would like to cooperate more intensively with cultivation companies. That is where this size fits: it allows you to deliver in a customer-specific way."
The greenhouse is divided into three blocks of almost 6 hectares each and is equipped with diffuse glass to make optimum use of the available sunlight. The construction photos of Havecon, which is realizing the entire project in collaboration with the French CMF, show very well how the light is spread. At the company a processing room has been realized to have the tomatoes packaged to size and delivered to the customer. Also a number of CHPs have been installed.
"The people in France remain very modest but this really is a state of the art construction project in beautiful Normandy", according to Ramon Bol, responsible for the sales in Europe within Havecon.
Le Maraîchers du Mont Saint-Michel are focusing on the local market. "The demand for local product is rising", says Jean Marc. "It is not only about the postal code of the company. A French tomato also ought to have the right quality and provide the right experience: the consumer wants a cleanly grown, red and tasty tomato, cultivated by a company from the region. All this gives value to the concept of local."
Although the postal code of the company may not be the most important for the sales, the location is of course important: the company is unique in the region, has a strong sales market here and even has the metropolis of Paris, at less than 300 km distance in a straight line. The fact that this location is less than twenty kilometers away from the well-known Mont Saint-Michel, is really a great advantage. There is a reason why they have incorporated the French icon into their company name. "The Mont Saint-Michel is a household name domestically and outside of France", Jean Marc concludes. "They receive thousands of tourists a day - only the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower attract more visitors. And in this region, no comparable tomato nursery has been established yet, so that is a great opportunity. In the coming years we hope to supply regional parties with our local production."