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"When we say zero, we mean zero"

Belgium: Weekly supply of zero residue herbs at Van Laethem

"Two weeks ago we unloaded our first shipment of herbs that were cultivated without the application of phyto products. From now on we expect a supply of five herbs every week, herbs that are cultivated without the use of crop protection products", says John Van Laethem of the company with the same name. Van Laethem has concluded a framework agreement with three producers, of which the company is convinced that they will be taxing the environment as little as possible through all stages of cultivation up to the packaging process.

Reducing CO2 emissions
For the conditioning of products in the country of origin Van Laethem has opted for the IFCO box. "For us, the advantage of this packaging is efficient transport over large distances, while this packaging can also easily be retrieved by the service provider in the local circuit," according to John. "In addition to our efforts to limit the use of crop protection products, we started looking for a uniform tool to calculate CO2 emissions, but that was not easy. We would like to use a transparent and easily understandable approach, which is why we have managed to use a maximum of 30 liters of diesel oil for the transport of each pallet of 250 kg of herbs within this project."

"What makes the quality of the zero residue products so special is the time that is taken between the different crops. This approach also has multiple positive effects on resistance, disease and over-fertilization in comparison with conventional practices in more intensive cultivation areas", Van Laethem continues. Together with the products, the company is working on the infrastructure to shape the use of blockchain in the future. "In the future, the consumer must, by scanning the QR code, be able to check the origin of the purchased product and how it was cultivated."

Consuming less
"With zero crop protection, no heating costs and the real minimum consumption of diesel oil for transport, we are convinced that we can win the trust of the consumer for this approach. To support this story as well as possible, we offer access to producers to a cloud solution that we have developed further ourselves. In our solution we can map out all the operations from seeding all the way to the hands of the consumer. For ourselves we have set the goal of including at least one producer each year in this progressive program. With this new project we want to consume less instead of just consuming it," John concludes.

For more information:
John Van Laethem
Van Laethem
Europees centrum
Werkhuizenkaai 112 M 27
1000 Brussels

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