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Belgian growers invest 15 million in greenhouses North of Paris
Belgian growers, Jonas and Kevin Vandevelde, have invested through their company Les Serres des Hauts-de-France, 15 million in an enormous greenhouse farm in Arques. They hope to producer 6,000 tons of tomatoes annually and fulfil 10% of regional consumption under the brand name Les Nouveaux Producteurs. The project is supported by the Belgian cooperative, Reo Veiling, who are aiming to expand into France. They produce 250,000 tons of fruit and vegetables a year with 1,200 producer members.
Industrial greenhouse production should be promising North of Paris, not only for tomatoes but also peppers, aubergines, cucumbers and strawberries. The Serres des Hauts-de-Frances economic model relies on a big enough acreage for high production volume and and an economical energy source.
The greenhouses will be heated using natural gas cogeneration which is three times cheaper than conventional installations. Greenhouse farming has the huge advantage of not having diseases and therefore does not require phytosanitary products. However, the farm will not be able to produce using an organic label as, for the time being, it can only be used for field production.
The first harvest is expected in March, when market prices are the highest. Les Serres des Hauts-de-France will employ 26 people to start with, then 50 (full time equivalents).
Publication date: 8/9/2017
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