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Netherlands: Plant nursery Gitzels unites all activities in new greenhouse

Plant nursery Gitzels invests over €7 million in bringing together her company activities in the greenhouse horticulture area The Grootslag. The obsolete cultivation location in Hem (formally known as plant nursery Kaan) is being demolished, allowing the meadow bird habitat to be expanded.

In greenhouse horticulture area, The Grootslag, an obsolete gerbera-nursery, is being demolished, which in turn provides room for new buildings. “An ultra-modern greenhouse of 2 hectares in size for both the propagation of cabbage plant and warm plants for breeders," Mike Gitzels said back in May when the company launched a new company film. The greenhouse will be equipped for organic cultivation and be connected to the heat network so that it will be powered by geothermal energy.

Plant Nursery Gitzels is specialized in the propagation of starting material for cabbage crops meant for the professional open ground vegetable growers. In the past 30 years, the company has developed from a small, versatile plant grower to one of the Dutch market leaders in the delivering of cabbage plants. These days, the nursery cultivates 135 million of these young plants a year, giving the company a market share of around 75% regional and 35% national.

Besides the propagation of cabbage plants, Plant Nursery Gitzels also provides a wide array of services to seed- and breeding companies under the name ‘Breeding Services’. Located in the center of the Seed Valley, Breeding Services has, in recent years, grown into an important ancillary activity. The clientele consists of companies such as Enza Seeds, Incotec, Bejo Seeds, Syngenta, Bayer, and roughly twenty other breeding companies.

The nursery has had a Research & Development department since 2016. There, they research the usage of bio-stimulants, organic propagation, improvement of cultivation techniques, and water usage, to name a few. The knowledge gained from this has provided many new insights in the past couple of years, benefiting the company as well as many of their clients.

POP3 Relocation grant
William Gitzels: “The POP3 Relocation grant given by the province of North-Holland has provided us with the opportunity to demolish the 17.000m2 of cultivation area in the Dutch town of Hem. The cultivation area is located in the rural area bordering a bird habitat meadow. A location without good sewerage, internet connection, and disclosure that leaves something to be desired.”

"The Relocation grant allows the nursery to concentrate the company activities at their headquarters in The Grootslag. The outdated gerbera-nursery of around 36.00m2 that lay behind the property will be demolished, and a new modern greenhouse of well over 20.000m2 will be placed bordering the current greenhouses. The new greenhouse also offers the possibility to cultivate, for instance, organic cabbage plants, under SKAL license. The new greenhouse will be heated using geothermal heat provided by heat company ECA.

The location in Hem that has fallen behind will be turned into an agricultural cultivation area, and parts of the bird habitat meadow and company property will be turned into a private residence. Through this combined relocating and restructuring, it becomes possible to cultivate plants in a sustainable way with minimal environmental impact starting 2021 while keeping potential company growth in mind.”

Support by Development Company NHN
William Gitzels is happy with the support Dave Vlaming of Development Company NHN gave him: “Together with our subsidy advisor Wouter Opgenoort of Hollands Horticulture Advice, NHN has helped with the principle request to the municipality of Drechtland in regards to the location in Hem that had fallen behind. We have experienced very smooth cooperation with all parties involved. Development Company NHN has also supported us during the request for the grant, the application of which is not simple and requires experience as well as a significant amount of time. However, it has proven to be time well spent.”

For more information: 
Plant Nursery Gitzels 
[email protected] 

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