Cropex is a collaboration between 15 independent cultivation advisors. "Almost everyone of us has had our own production company, so we have a lot of feeling with the crops and the operational management," says Willem Valstar with StarGrow Consultancy. "That helps by giving practical advice to horticultural entrepreneurs."
In Cropex, the advisors discuss and share knowledge, meaning that a customer always gets advice from a specialist. The company gives advice on anything related to the cultivation, like climate control, water, fertilizers and new buildings, for example how the technical installations should be made optimal.
The advisors also know their way around labour, for instance what a grower should take into consideration when hiring people. Some colleagues also have experience in the making of organisational structures from companies.
"That's the beauty of collaboration, we have people with specific expertise. For instance plant physiology, lighting, fertilizing...we can provide clients with specific knowledge." One of the advisors is specialised in the making of growth models, another one has close contact with several universities.
The most important thing, however, is the cultivation advice. Mostly for tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, eggplant, herbs and leafy greens. The team works, next to a sturdy foundation in the Benelux, all around the world. "Due to the Corona crisis, we've, inevitably, had to develop our 'advice from afar' even further. We have calculation models, and can dial in on clients' climate computers."
"There is also a growing demand for integrated cultivation, in many places there's issues with pests and diseases. Then the windows have to be netted for instance, or investments in other solutions are needed." People everywhere find it important to be able to deliver high quality, residue free produce, the demand for healthy, fresh food is increasing. Cropex is also closely involved with developments in autonomous growing. The cultivation knowledge in other countries is often on a lower level than in Western Europe, and that can be helped with autonomous cultivation. The experienced grower in Western Europe, however, can also take their cultivation to a higher level with autonomous growing.