Bayer and BraZander Nursery extend and expand collaboration

Bayer and BraZander Nursery announce that the De Ruiter Experience Center will be continued for at least another 5 years. “We’re very happy with what we’ve achieved together with BraZander,” says Managing Director Joost van Regteren, Head of Market Development EMEA/APAC at Bayer Vegetable Seeds. “The next couple of years we’ll take the collaboration to the next level!”

The De Ruiter Experience Center showcases new tomato varieties and explores the latest breeding, cultivation, digital, recycling, and sustainable pest management technology. It was newly constructed in 2018, at the site of BraZander Nursery in Bleiswijk. In 2020 the De Ruiter Experience Center became part of Bayer ForwardFarming, an initiative that works with independent farms around the world to help advance innovative, sustainable agriculture.

Jan Kamper, Market Development Lead Glasshouse at Bayer, underlines the strength of the collaboration. “Bayer and BraZander have been through a lot at the De Ruiter Experience Center. A whirlwind that led to some damage, the corona pandemic, high energy prices, it definitely wasn’t always easy, but it has strengthened our relationship.”

From left to right: oost van Regteren (Bayer), Rob Brabander, and Paul Zantman (BraZander). 

More than displaying products
The De Ruiter Experience Center serves a clear business purpose in demonstrating the innovative power of Bayer’s products. “The dialogue with growers, partners, is critical for us to shape our approach and focus on the things that matter for our customers”, explains Van Regteren.

But it also plays a much wider role. “Agriculture is facing a huge challenge: producing more with less. Bayer enables farmers to grow more per square meter, but also in a more sustainable way. At the De Ruiter Experience Center, we can both test and demonstrate new varieties and innovative techniques, including new digital tools, that help us meeting the challenge.”

One of the owners of BraZander Nursery, Paul Zantman, explains what’s in it for him: “I strongly believe in the power of innovation and sharing what we do, why we do it and how we do it. Progress requires innovation and innovation in turn requires collaboration. I’m looking forward to another at least 5 years of working together with Bayer on solutions. It´s informative and with all these international visitors, it really expands my horizon.”

An ultramodern center
The glasshouse occupies 8,000 square meters, of which 3,200 square meters is for lit crops. Attached to the glasshouse there’s a modern meeting center. The glasshouse is equipped with the newest technologies. For example the new Advanced Precision Horticulture-system uses 28 sensors to offer the grower more information on how the varieties are performing and so enables him or her to make better decisions. Water is being treated with UV and additional screens are preventing light emission.

Knowledge is being shared via all means possible: site visits, webinars, vlogs on Youtube and the HoloLens-experience (virtual reality).

Building activities in January, photo taken from Facebook BraZander.

Future expansion
As we speak, a new glasshouse for cucumber is being constructed next to the existing one for tomato. The greenhouse is being financed by BraZander, with Bayer using it for at least 10 years. The new greenhouse will consist of 3,200 square meters with artificial light for highwire and 4,000 square meters for traditional crops.

This testing footprint expansion in glasshouses will allow Bayer to evaluate new varieties under commercial conditions.

Open for business again
The announcement comes at a moment where the pandemic seems to subside, which allows the De Ruiter Experience Center to welcome an increasing number of people. Customers are coming back again and recently, for the first time in quite a while, the center welcomed an international political delegation from the Eurasian Economic Committee.

For more information:
Bayer Vegetable Seeds  

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