Collaboration with consultants
Mardenkro maintains close contacts with consultants who advise international greenhouses. Dutch horticultural technology is very popular all over the world but only with the proper know-how it is possible to achieve the maximum results.
Delphy (previously DLV GreenQ) is as an independent consultancy firm operating in more than 50 countries. Customers are advised by Delphy consultants who can rely on specialists within their own organisation if they come across difficult issues. Advice is given during greenhouse visits or remotely, for example via Skype.
Jeroen van Buren, manager horticulture Delphy, considers it very important that suppliers, such as Mardenkro, and consultants join forces as emerging horticultural countries develop. “At the same time it’s important that everyone keeps their own role. We work together, but we remain objective and independent. Sometimes we advise against certain solutions proposed by the manufacturer. This however, also works in the suppliers best interests. Ultimately, we need to be able to keep the growers’ trust,” he says.
The understanding of the relationship between light and the functioning of the plant has increased considerably over the last ten years. He’s noticed that growers are very interested: “They expect us to utilise this knowledge. This is why we familiarize ourselves, for example, through our own research and by holding meetings between Wageningen UR and suppliers, such as Mardenkro. We see developments that are of interest and we invite the suppliers to tell us about their new products and applications.”
More light transmission
A current item is better utilization of the available light instead of shading it out. Van Buren sees most interest from vegetable growers, followed by cut flower producers. But it’s also been shown that potted plants can often withstand considerably more light than is currently used as standard and that could lead to much higher productivity. The preconditions are uniform light distribution, control over plant temperature and sufficient air humidity. Diffuse and heat-reflecting coatings can play a major role in the first two factors.
“We are closely involved in trials with Phalaenopsis growers to manage light in a different way. That increases our knowledge and so we can give better advice,” he says. “The beauty of the ReduSystems’ coatings is that with little investment you can influence the light in the greenhouse. We are happy with the development that is leading to more advanced coatings on the market. That increases the possibilities.”
Knowledge from abroad
The Netherlands has seen little investment in new construction in recent years. The result is that the latest Dutch horticultural technology is mainly being applied abroad. “As a result, we now get a lot of information from abroad: experiences with new techniques are being gained there. Dutch growers can also learn from these businesses abroad,” says Van Buren.