Another novelty from April 1st that's not an April Fools' moment: at the start of this month, French greenhouse builder Filclair opened up an office in the Netherlands, in the middle of the Westland. The family run business, established in 1961, is known worldwide as a manufacturer of high quality plastic greenhouses. With the opening of a new office in the Netherlands, the team of Filclair adds Jelle Boeters to their team, and makes the step to become a turn-key supplier. "Customers prefer to get the whole package at once and that's what we can offer now", they say. "Many countries do not have the suitable climatic conditions to fit the glasshouse technology and is often missing the good option in hi-tech plastic greenhouses. With this alliance Filclair can help clients who are looking for a sustainable hi-tech plastic greenhouse in combination with Dutch technology."
High-tech greenhouses & high-tech installations
Filclair is known for their extensive range of high-tech plastic greenhouses, and installed around 6,000 hectares of greenhouses in more than 70 countries around the world, and the company has seen growing demand for their products. Now they add high-tech installations to go with it. “Filclair used to just sell the greenhouses, not the installations”, says Jelle. “Yet more and more growers and investors ask for totally care-free projects, meaning turnkey projects. This is also because sustainability is high on the agenda, both for customers and for Filclair. By offering a total package including all installations, we can assure the highest level of efficiency in the cultivation."
With about 50 employees, the French company is active (all around the world,) including North and South America, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala and Vietnam. In Mexico they have their own office with a team of 7 enthusiastic greenhouse dedicated skilled members. In Africa, there’s interest in the plastic greenhouses too, mainly from large breeding companies. There’s also applications coming in from the Middle East.
"In these times, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it is a big advantage to grow food locally, which these greenhouses enable," Jelle explains. "Especially growing in rural areas, but on cheaper ground outside major cities are currently important; whether it is in the US and Canada or South America or Mexico, there's a high demand to become more self-sufficient." Filclair mainly supplies for large-scale horticulture projects, although there are also projects under 1 hectare. “Lettuce projects for example are often smaller, yet the level of technique is still very high."
He adds how the level of technique is what matters most to make a project a typical Filclair project. “The type of customer that opts for a Filclair project is different from the ones who buy a ‘regular’ plastic greenhouse. The type of greenhouse is chosen because of the climatic circumstances, yet the installation can be compared with a glass greenhouse. Filclair’s mission “building Green Safety” becomes even more important in these times when it becomes clear that the world is vulnerable. Sustainability, in terms of optimum efficiency, is what matters most.”
It is in the installation where Jelle's knowledge and background comes in handy. Thanks to his experience at companies like Enthoven Techniek and Stolze, he's built up a lot of knowledge about water & technical installations. "Since my office is in the Netherlands, it is easy to connect to high-tech suppliers like these. There are lots of installation companies here, in the ‘heart of the horticultural area’ of the Netherlands, and I look forward to connecting to them and to start realising turn-key projects together."