Growers have traditionally come together in the greenhouse to learn from each other and strive for ever-improving crop quality. In organized form, growers call this 'excursion walking'. With the aid of LetsGrow.com, approximately fifty cultivation specialists from the tomato members of Growers United currently make digital excursions once or twice a week, and the results are better than expected. Tom Prins, Innovation Manager Tomato at Growers United says: "Digital excursions save time and provide a large amount of valuable information, good for new and in-depth insights into your cultivation strategy. It also fits in well with the strict hygiene rules we apply to prevent TOBRFV infection."
Digital excursions allow crop specialists, with the help of videos and plant measurements, to take a look at each other's crops and allow growers to learn from each other in terms of yields and growing conditions. In addition, it is the ideal way to make issues from the various locations transparent and discuss them. Every crop has its own challenges in the greenhouse, and through the excursion groups, growers can learn from other Growers United growers.
This adds up to mean that digital excursion walking is not a temporary solution. The advantages are endless, but of course, the participants in the excursion groups still miss the so-called 'concrete path chats' every now and then.
Tom Prins, Innovation Manager Tomato at Growers United with Martin van Tol, Sales Manager of LetsGrow.com, in a tomato crop
All data that arises from the digital excursion is clearly displayed in the LetsGrow.com platform. LetsGrow.com also guides the growers in the process and helps the participants to gain insight into the data they have collected such as videos, photos, and crop registrations. With this data, comparisons and analyses can be made, giving a better picture of how the varieties are growing and where optimization is possible.
Martin van Tol, Sales Manager of LetsGrow.com, says about this collaboration: "The tomato growers of Growers United are the only group that goes on a digital excursion on such a large scale. With around 50 cultivation sites, they are truly unique in this. LetsGrow.com is the strategic partner in the field of data and cultivation optimization. Together, we examine which steps can be taken to achieve the highest possible quality of the crop, at the lowest possible cost for the grower. We get the discussion going so that together we can lift the group to an even higher level by continuing to innovate."
Jacco Besuijen, Product Group Manager Tomato at Growers United explains: "Over the past year, we have given the digital excursion a firmer place in the organization. Since Tom Prins' appointment as innovation manager for tomato, LetsGrow.com and Growers United have been conducting monthly evaluations and there is a single point of contact for members. In this way, there is a continuous review of where improvements can be made."
It is expected that, in the post-Covid era, most Growers United Tomato growers will opt for a hybrid form: Digital excursion walking using LetsGrow.com will remain, but it is also expected that the results will be reviewed face-to-face. "A healthy combination of optimising processes through digitalization, but with a personal touch."
Growers United's tomato growers grow for the Prominent brand - this is the Growers United tomato brand. This organization is responsible for the sales and marketing of the product.
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