Foodservice supplier Van Gelder and indoor farming specialist PlantLab have entered into a partnership to produce various types of fresh vegetables in PlantLab’s fully controlled Plant Production Units (PPUs). Within the Experience Center located at Van Gelder’s new facilities which will incorporate aspects of knowledge sharing, innovation and experience, Van Gelder will showcase specialty crops. Cultivation will take place within two Plant Production Units designed and developed specifically for these purposes by PlantLab. Next to this, PlantLab will produce various crops in large volumes at its own production facilities for Van Gelder. These exclusive crops will enable chefs currently working with Van Gelder to provide new and exciting culinary experiences to their guests.
More vegetables on the table
“In today's world everyone is focused on eating healthier, but this has been a primary focus of Van Gelder for many years. Since early 2011 we have been actively promoting a healthy lifestyle which is a fundamental philosophy to our new facilities”, says Managing Director Gerrit van Gelder. “Together with our growers, suppliers and partners, it is our responsibility to ensure the products we deliver are high in quality, healthy and fresh. This also means that we are constantly looking for products with better taste and higher nutritional value.” Gerrit van Gelder continues: “During this search we encountered indoor farming and in PlantLab we have found a highly qualified partner.”
Indoor farming at PlantLab
Indoor farming is a cultivation method which allows crops to be grown in a multilayer system within a completely enclosed environment. “At PlantLab we refer to this as Plant Paradise; the optimum growing conditions for the most flavorful and nutrient rich produce,” according to Ard Reijtenbagh from PlantLab.
The fresh produce is grown close to the consumer year round irrespective of climate or season. Ard Reijtenbagh explains: “This allows us to reduce transport-related CO2 emissions and waste in the supply chain. Furthermore, we only harvest once our crops have reached their peak in flavour. PlantLab’s products are grown pesticide-free and we utilise up to 95% less water during production”.
The partnership between Van Gelder and PlantLab has a strong emphasis on sustainable production and delivery of fresh, flavourful, nutrient rich (vitamins and minerals) vegetables with a constant focus on food safety. Furthermore, both organisations will focus on innovation of new products at the Experience Center in Ridderkerk (NL). The newly designed and developed Experience Plant Production Units will provide inspiration for indoor farming, new products, new flavours and vegetables that contain higher nutritional values.
Gerrit van Gelder enthusiastically explains, “Together with our clients we will search for new products with exceptional new flavours. By doing this we can distinguish ourselves with exclusive, high-quality products. PlantLab will collaborate with us in the field of production, product innovation, technology, software and cultivation”. PlantLab’s Ard Reijtenbagh explains: “It’s of great importance for us to be in touch with the market, partnerships such as with Van Gelder enable us to do so”.
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