“Within two weeks I was back home.” Gerrit Staal, who since March 1st is Export Manager Horticulture Sector at Elpress, can laugh about it, but it took some getting used to. He had imagined his first steps in the world of hygiene in greenhouse horticulture differently. For business the coronavirus, the 'culprit' of working from home, is not bad. “Elpress is doing well, also in greenhouse horticulture. Elpress is making a name for itself in the horticulture industry. That is really cool to see. Now I'm also contributing to this thanks to my professional network.
Elpress, which has been active from its location in Boxmeer, the Netherlands for more than 40 years, started as a producer of pumps but is now known worldwide for complete solutions for hygiene and cleaning machines, especially in the food industry. “That's about 90 percent of the market,” says Gerrit. “But the greenhouse horticulture industry is picking up. Food safety is also becoming more important in this market. It shows with requests for projects in the Middle East, North America, China, you name it.”
The coronavirus, however unpleasant the effects of the virus, has once again forced the world to face the facts and show how important hygiene is. It is up to Gerrit as Export Manager to advise growers on how to improve hygiene matters together with local partners around the world. “Basically, as a company, you have to make sure that the complete hygiene route, as we call it, is correct. What can be done depends on the customer's demands, desires, and of the site in question.
Elpress's team then helps to set up the complete hygiene process. “Companies often have specific requirements, such as the ability to connect the chemical tank to a hygienic entrance. This way access is exclusive to authorized personnel. This is safe, but it also looks better”, according to Gerrit who is now well established in the world of hygienic entrances.
Almost all of Elpress's personal hygiene equipment is HACCP International certified. “This proves that we provide our customers across the world with the best and, above all, the most hygienic solutions.”
It goes without saying that there is more to it than just a hygiene entrance, perhaps the best-known hygiene equipment that is now a staple in greenhouse horticulture. “We make complete hygiene systems, making sure that people go through all the steps of sanitation before entering a production or processing area. Washing your hands is mandatory, as is cleaning the soles of your shoes and then disinfecting your hands and the soles of your shoes.”
Everything under one roof: turnkey
Elpress does more than solutions for personal hygiene. “For cleaning crates, among others, we make industrial washing systems that are perfectly suited to the specific company and efficiently handle costs and the environment.”
The company has cleaning systems for grading, processing, and packaging machines, but also other surfaces. “Contact time is important here. Machines can be kept perfectly clean to prevent cross-contamination or other contamination hazards. This way you can ensure that everything is taken care of concerning hygiene.”
The Hygiene Selector helps businesses. “Companies can specify which certifications it wants to comply with and how many people have to go through the hygiene route to the production area. We also ask whether compliance with the legal minimum is sufficient for a customer or whether they require a more company-specific approach.”
So far, Gerrit sees that from the complete Elpress product range, the most demand is for ‘standard’ hygiene equipment. “For a horticulture company that means a hygiene entrance, wash basins, and a crate washing system. Here there are also different possibilities, from 'basic' to advanced. And there are always new developments. I can't say anything yet, but trust me, these will be interesting developments.”
For more information:
+31 (0)6 51627745