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EU: Nature Counts growers well-represented in The Greenery’s rangeGrowers affiliated with The Greenery work hard to ensure the sustainability of their cultivation and processing. Their front runners in sustainability were recently awarded the Nature Counts label. The label was awarded to four new growers on Friday, 13 April during the Coforta Day held at the Floriade flower and horticultural show. The products from the front runners have come to feature prominently in The Greenery’s wide range of produce.
Sustainable cultivation is a precondition for growers affiliated with The Greenery. However, several of these growers have taken matters a step further. Their innovative cultivation and production methods are demonstrably more sustainable than traditional methods in the relevant specialism.
Only products that have proved to be successful are considered for the Nature Counts label. The four new Nature Counts growers are Oirschot Organics, Westende Fruitteelt, Kwekerij Gerichhausen and Bonny.
The four new Nature Counts growers, from left to right: Kwekerij Gerichhausen, Westende Fruitteelt, Bonny and Oirschot Organics.
Oirschot Organics in Oirschot grows organic vine tomatoes and bell peppers with consideration for nature and biodiversity. Besides this, the local mineral cycle has been closed by collaborating with for example a nearby organic goat farm.
Westende Fruitteelt in Fijnaart grows several pear varieties using a low residue method that is achieved by cutting back the use of crop protection agents. The sorting hall, canteen and office are heated with residual heat from the cold stores.
Another aspect that makes Westende a front runner among top-fruit growers is its willingness to share knowledge and take risks in the development of new varieties.
Gerichhausen in Huissen has been growing vine tomatoes since 1977. The use of crop protection agents is reduced to a minimum through the use of the resilient cultivation method. Uniquely, the company reuses substrate mats over a ten-year period. Gerichhausen has been able to grow strong tomato plants and reduce the use of crop protection agents by 99% by positively influencing the root system through a special watering schedule.
Installation of three large windmills and solar panels has enabled tomato grower Bonny of Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) to stop using fossil fuels entirely. The grower’s desalinisation plant also runs on wind energy. The installation treats sea water so that it can be used to irrigate tomatoes and cucumbers, thereby preventing any valuable drinking and ground water from being wasted.
With the addition of these new growers, 7.4% of the volume of produce from affiliated Dutch growers is now produced under the Nature Counts label. Additionally, two of the Groups leading foreign suppliers have also received this label. The products from the front runners have come to feature
prominently in Their wide range of products, including the organic and international
ranges. The Greenery’s initiative to inspire growers to embrace sustainable cultivation has been yielding rich rewards. The label also facilitates clear-cut communication on sustainable products with both customers and consumers.
For more information: www.naturecounts.com and www.thegreenery.com
Publication date: 4/16/2012
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