"We have been active in the German market since 2000 and have made a significant contribution to the fact that film tunnels are now operational. Through our experience and knowledge, we not only shaped the German market, but we also shaped it in a trend-setting fashion. Our managing director Maria Mauel has had a close relationship with the various major producers developing the tunnels," says Christian Kruse, commercial director of Haygrove GmbH. Haygrove GmbH is based in Bad Zwischenahn, in Lower Saxony, and will present its new gladiator tunnel at this year's expoSE in Karlsruhe.
The Gladiator tunnel is available in different widths and can be adapted to the challenges of modern cultivation through additional extensions. "Our latest developments are automatic ridge, side and gable ventilation, which are fully automatically controlled for heat, wind and rain." That is, the tunnel reacts autonomously to changing weather conditions.
"Due to the total height of up to five meters, there is a high volume of air in the interior of the tunnel. Both the ridge and the side and gable parts can be opened, resulting in a variety of either manually or electrically operated ventilation options. The tunnel provides optimum ventilation, both electrically and autonomously, and the roof opens and closes automatically, depending on the weather conditions. " This saves on personnel costs - an important aspect for any grower.
"This year in particular, there were problems: There was hardly a proper spring and the summer came fast and stayed long. This resulted in many fruits ripening at the same time, falling prices and a lack of qualified seasonal workers." These are factors that are hard to anticipate on, says Kruse. "That's why we're going the extra mile to reduce personnel costs, and our solutions will make it easier for the assistants, which makes farms using our systems more attractive when looking for a job."
Substrate system in the tunnel
An example of this are the company's substrate gauzes: "These make work easier and enable more productivity. Also, harvesting is less physically demanding and less back-breaking."
Collaboration with customers and their own tests under a variety of conditions are crucial for the quality of the tunnel systems: "These experiences are incorporated into the development of each tunnel and substrate system." The extra strong steel -grade XS350- used for the construction should provide the correct stability.
After-sales service and heavy metal team
Its service concept is also very important to Haygrove GmbH. In order to achieve exemplary customer satisfaction, the company implemented, among other things, an after-sale service and the ' heavy metal team'. "We deliver our tunnels in individual parts. That's why we have our after-sale service, which means we send an employee to the company that counts, checks and sorts the parts." This is to prevent delays during the construction phase.
The heavy metal team then takes care of the assembly: "We deliver all our pipes as straight pieces, the anchors for the tunnel are screwed into the ground and the bows are made directly on site by our heavy metal team, through the use of a bending machine." This service facilitates the process for the producers. "Our team is on-site to help the customers and give guidance so they do not get injured when installing the tunnels." This service is certainly worth it, says Kruse: "We are servicing 400 German growers who adopted our film tunnels. We have different solutions, depending on their requirements and product. For a while now, we have also had customers growing ornamental plants."
The GmbH is a subsidiary of Haygrove Ltd, founded in 2016. from Ledbury, United Kingdom. The branch with the German facilities made logistics considerably easier; in the previous years all orders were coordinated via the headquarters in Great Britain. "Haygrove is one of the world's leading manufacturers, with over 900 permanent employees and operations in the UK, South Africa, Portugal and China, where we also sell the berries from our operations." Haygrove Ltd. produces and markets raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries. The main focus of the GmbH is on the sale of tunnel and substrate systems.