In 2010, four entrepreneurs founded the company Neurather Gärtner GbR in Grevenbroich, Germany. Neurather Gärtner produces cocktail tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, snack tomatoes and small plum tomatoes in the high-taste segment for the regional market, i.e. within a radius of 150 kilometers. The company’s goal is to grow produce in a completely CO2-free manner. Green electricity is used for the lighting, while the greenhouses are heated by waste heat from a local power plant.
Supplying customers with produce all year round
Neurather Gärtner GbR started with 10.5 hectares. In 2013/14, they expanded that to around 15/16 hectares. In 2015, the first test was carried out using lighting, and Son-T and LEDs were installed as a hybrid lighting system. In 2016/17, this section was expanded to 7.5 hectares, to enable them to supply customers with produce all year round.
Halving electricity consumption with Codema
Mr. Knodt is one of the four partners in the business. He states: “Together with Codema, our goal was to halve electricity consumption in conventional production, i.e. in the water room. That was a major challenge, but together we managed to pull it off. Since Germany is the most expensive country in Europe when it comes to energy, this was very important for us. Codema took care of the whole process of converting energy, water and electrical control."
LED lighting also improves taste
“We want to be able to supply our customers with regional produce all year round,” explains Mr. Knodt. “As the normal season runs from March to November, lamps are required. To bridge that period in the middle, we opted for hybrid lighting. That means Philips Son-T lighting overhead and Interlight between the plants, i.e. LED lighting, to compensate for the high energy costs in Germany. We also think that LED lighting can improve the taste.”
UV system fully automated and energy-optimized
“Because we want to work as efficiently as possible in the greenhouse and in the water room, we decided, in consultation with Codema, to install automatic A and B filling here,” explains Mr. Knodt. “That means that the A and B tanks are automatically filled with fertilizer without any manual intervention. Our UV system is fully automated and energy-optimized, and the water room has been designed in such a way that we can bridge three days’ downtime, enabling us to cover the worst-case scenario.”
Codema chosen for their know-how and high-quality equipment
"We chose Codema because of their know-how, the advice they provide, but also on account of the quality of the equipment itself. We are extremely happy with that. In addition, it is naturally also a major advantage that they are located close to us. Plus the service they provide in terms of repairs and maintenance. You can rely on that 100%. Our cooperation with Codema for electrical distribution, water technology, climate control and climate computer has been outstanding. Our experiences with them over the past few years have been entirely positive – everything has been installed as agreed, and it’s something we can really build on."