Isis de Wit is convinced with the rise in waste costs, there will come a time growers start using biodegradable products in mass for their cultivation. On the 1st of September, she started working as account manager at Paskal Netherlands.
The Israelian supplier of greenhouse accessories and monitoring systems is currently busy expanding in the Netherlands. When the transition to biodegradable plastic becomes a fact in the Netherlands, the growers will already be familiar with the 100 percent biodegradable clips, truss arches and twine from the Paskal product assortment.
Roadblock in sustainability
In order to achieve this goal, Isis met with a few customers since starting at Paskal. “Covid-19 does make this more difficult, I hope I can really step on it as soon as Covid-19 limitations are lifted”, says the HAS graduate account manager.
Isis finished the International Food &Agribusiness course at the HAS. “During my studies, I focused on improving sustainability in food supply chains, researching where the roadblocks were in the supply chain from ‘farmer to fork’ and coming up with solutions for those problems.”
Until recently, Isis had little experience in greenhouse horticulture, but she is not unfamiliar with the life of a grower. Her parents own a flower bulb- and cut flower company where she always worked during weekends and holidays. “Because of that, I know what is important to agricultural entrepreneurs. ‘’The knowledge of Arjen de Haan (sales manager Paskal Netherlands), other colleagues at Paskal and customers, helped me to learn more and more about the interesting world of greenhouse horticulture.
Rising waste costs
One thing she already noticed: the waste costs for growers are rising. It is a development that works to the advantage of the clips, truss arches, and high wire hooks producer. “When the growers use our biodegradable products, the waste processor is guaranteed that everything is 100 percent biodegradable when processing and the green rates can be applied. This rate is lower than what most growers are paying for their cultivation waste now, since those often still contain some plastic or metal.”
At Paskal, they realise growers are willing to make the change but still need a little push in the right direction. The demand from buyers to use bioplastics in cultivation can be a last push, says Isis. Or even European laws. “Straws, plastic cutlery, and others are already on their way out’’. Cultivations will likely see such measures as well, but it can only work when there is an affordable alternative.”
Clips and truss arches make the work in the greenhouse easier
Saving on labor
Even if those rules still need time to be processed, there are other advantages too. For instance clips, which can save on labor. “Binding the crops the right way is not easy. More and more growers face this problem when looking for new workers. Workers who become scarce. Recently, labor migrants have been shown negatively in the news in the Netherlands.
In the future it is possible, concerning the circumstances, the sector is pushed to action from retail or government, making it less interesting to hire migrant workers. Thus, an important group of workers can be left out who, for instance, do most of the binding and lowering of the plants. You can save on the costs of educating the new employees by working with the clips, which makes the job easier even for less experienced workers.”
Another product for more efficient use of labor is the smart irrigation monitoring system that is called Drainvision. The system can be used to manage irrigation as well as monitor the volume and EC of drain water, Isis explains. “In the past, a grower would walk around the greenhouse, have scales in certain places to see which tap area needed water.
With Drainvision, you can see exactly where water is needed, the grower can see this information on their smartphone or computer. This reduces the moments of contact with the plant and automates the observations. All in all, you increase both productivity and quality. In this way we at Paskal try to support the grower in every stage of the cultivation process to use the labor in the greenhouse more efficiently.
For more information:
Paskal Netherlands Ltd.
Isis de Wit
+31 (0) 613 619520