Cor Pellikaan, the founder of Pellikaan, was born and raised in the Westland region in the Netherlands. He started, as a teenager, his working career in the greenhouses of this area. Cor Pellikaan:”After many years I learned and I knew what to look for in order to achieve a more effective and profitable workflow ‘under glass’. I developed a product which is used for a more efficient cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers.”
A breakthrough for the company was the idea for a new suspension system for cucumber and tomato plants. The idea came to Cor when he was working with tomato plants. As these grew ever higher, the height of the greenhouses grew accordingly from 2.5 meters to 7 meters. This height required several difficult cultivation operations, so he wondered if it was possible to hang the plant from the stem. Rope and clips wouldn’t be needed anymore and it would improve the handling of the plant.
This idea was received enthusiastically by the Dutch governmental innovation centre (now called Syntens) and the Applied Scientific Research Institute. Together they started to develop a system to hang plants from the stem which gradually evolved into what is known today as the Qlipr system, consisting of a crop hook, with two stainless steel clamps, to fix the plant. With this new system growers could make large strides towards a more sustainable and efficient way of working.
And at this moment there are more than twenty million Qlipr clamps sold. Mike Morrison from Temple Farms Organics (Old Mill Creek, Illinois, USA) is one of the users. He told us:“The system has been working nicely for us. Our tomatoes were grafted and then transplanted 4 months ago. The Qlipr System was easily adapted. We have a 96 foot hoop house with 3 rows of 80 tomatoes. Each tomato plant is trained to 2 leaders. Cherry tomatoes have reached 20 feet per leader, and heirloom slicing tomatoes have reached 15 feet per leader. That makes about 320 feet of cherry tomato leaders and 4800 feet of slicer tomato leaders. We amend with compost about half way through the season, and the health of the crop has been well supported by the system.”
The success of Cor Pellikaan’s clamping system has been achieved because it is based on a very simple tool. The plant is pulled down, the clamps are replaced, and the plant is pinched out and trimmed. Cor:”This makes multiple operations possible in one working pass, thus saving time and costs, as well as reducing leaf damage. Additionally, the design of the hanging system creates better working conditions as the other way of tending tomatoes often involved more physical labour whereby employees had to reach up far above their heads, or work with movable platforms. As a result the new way of working is more accessible for everyone”
Another benefit is the reduced impact on the environment. Pellikaan’s clamping system is reusable: clamps are easily collected and ropes are made of decomposable jute, making the system compostable and thus environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Christian Wimmer, Gemüsebau Wimmer from Graz in Austria uses Qlipr-system. He told us:“The Qlipr system is so easy to use – anyone can work with it. Add to this the fact that it leaves behind no plastic or string residues and we have yet another advantage: as we compost all our spent crops for use on our own plots we are therefore able to work as sustainably as possible.”
For more information:
Pellikaan Gewasklemsystemen B.V.
Tel. +31 (0)492 33 03 77
Fax. +31 (0)492 35 29 03
Mob. +31 (06) 547 870 29