Bayer, De Ruiter and BraZander Nursery have unveiled the next steps in their cooperation to demonstrate sustainable glasshouse tomato production. BraZander will be the first nursery in Bayer's ForFarming network. This is a new step in the cooperation of Bayer and the growers, because in 2018 they worked together on building the De Ruiter Experience Center.
The Netherlands is recognized internationally for its innovative technology and best practices in glasshouse production. But, as Paul Zantman, co-owner of BraZander pointed out, “It is often not known just how sustainably we are working and just how safe and healthy our products are. We hope that the connection with Bayer will help the glasshouse tomato community to bring that message to the broader public in a clear, transparent and continuous way.”
Jan Wisse (Communications Manager Bayer Crop Science Benelux) and Paul Zantman (BraZander)
De Ruiter Experience Center
Founded in 2001, Paul Zantman and Rob Brabander have grown BraZander’s operations to just over 12 hectares, spread over five locations in the area. BraZander partnered with De Ruiter in 2018 to build the De Ruiter Experience Center, an information center and glasshouse wherein 1 hectare is dedicated to commercial tomato production and 0.8 hectares are dedicated to testing and demonstrating new tomato varieties.
“At De Ruiter, we have always believed in the power of demonstrating our product portfolio to our customers,” said Joost van Regteren, Head of Market Development EMEA/APAC, Crop Science Vegetable Seeds. “The De Ruiter Experience Center is an excellent platform to demonstrate innovative and sustainable agronomic technology with visitors ranging from growers and food chain partners to consumers.”
Klaus Kirsch (Global Forward Farming Director)
Development and promotion of sustainable growing systems
Now, in the next evolution of the collaboration, BraZander joins the Bayer ForwardFarming initiative comprising of more than 17 other independent farms in the network across 10 countries and 3 continents and will be the first glasshouse in the Bayer ForwardFarm network.
Klaus Kirsch, Global Bayer ForwardFarming Director, commented, “Bayer ForwardFarming focuses on three different aspects of sustainable agriculture: environmental responsibility, economic viability, and how sustainable measures contribute to broader societal prosperity. Together with Paul Zantman, Rob Brabander and the De Ruiter team, we’re looking at each of these elements here at the BraZander nursery in an effort to develop and promote more sustainable growing systems that can be adapted for other glasshouses around the world.”
Jan Kamper (De Ruiter)
360 virtual video tour and public launch early 2021
At the De Ruiter Experience center, not only are new tomato varieties tested and demonstrated, but in-depth insights on modern breeding technology as well as the benefits of these new varieties are also shared with customers, the value chain and consumers.
In the first phase of the collaboration, information and focuses are extended in more detail to cultivation, irrigation and fertilization management; CO2 and light management; consumer benefits; recycling and waste management. These topics are also demonstrated in a 360 virtual video tour at the location.
Step-by-step, a number of additional aspects of glasshouse tomato cultivation will also be addressed. This announcement will be followed by a public launch with stakeholders at the De Ruiter Experience Center in early 2021.