Recently, Lauwerysen-Krijnen, one of the five locations that are part of the Den Berk Délice cultivation group, acquired the ‘Planetproof’ certificate - the first Belgian tomato grower to do so. At the Lauwerysen-Krijnen location, they cultivate ‘Miss Perfect Délice’ and ‘Kumato Délice’.
Koen Lauwerysen & Ria Krijnen, business managers at Lauwerysen-Krijnen (part of Den Berk Délice)
“We aspire to grow the tastiest tomatoes for the consumers, and we want to reach this goal in the most sustainable way possible”, says Koen Lauwerysen, co-business manager at Den Berk Délice. “Sustainability is a ‘hot topic’ at the moment and that is important to us. Den Berk Délice has been working on improving sustainability for years. As such, we are one of the first Belgian growers to invest in anti-reflection and diffuse glass.”
This glass has a special coating which allows it to, on the one hand, let more light in, and on the other, to spread out the light more evenly, thus allowing the plant to receive the light better. Koen Lauwerysen: “This way we reach 10% more production on the same acreage by using the same energy and nutrition input.”
One of the topics that falls under this idea is crop protection. Koen Lauwerysen: “For crop protection, we invest in biological and integrated methods to protect our crops from pests and diseases.”
Water is also an important topic. “The rainwater that falls down on our greenhouses we store in a large reservoir. The reservoirs we use are rather large, allowing us to have enough rainwater stored to water our plants year round. In the extreme heat of last year, it was a bit suspenseful, but we managed to get through it with only the rainwater. The rainwater is decontaminated by heating it (using heat from the CHP). The water that is not absorbed by the plants is stored and decontaminated again, this way no water is wasted.”