France: High Environmental Value for tomatoes in Arques

In April 2018, as part of a promising partnership, BUFL started marketing the first tomatoes produced in greenhouses in the Hauts-de-France region.

This project, set up by producer Kevin Vandevelde, is consistent with a logic of sustainable development, with the creation of about 40 local jobs (full-time equivalent), a production intended for local customers and an innovative cogeneration system for an infrastructure limiting CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

To confirm this DNA, Les Serres des Hauts de France obtained the HEV certification (High Environmental Value) on May 18th, 2020, after an audit carried out in May which confirmed the high performance level of the infrastructure.

This HEV certification (High Environmental Value) attests that the producer implements agro-ecological measures efficiently on 4 major themes:

- By setting up agro-ecological infrastructures allowing the local fauna and flora to develop (hedges, untreated grass strips, water tanks…)

- By natural pollination with the presence of beehives. The 750 bumblebees introduced each week guarantee optimal pollination.

Phytosanitary strategy
The farm implements means to guarantee a limited use of inputs thanks to biological control (use of auxiliary crop insects), the trapping of harmful insects and plant grafting.

Fertilization management
The farm limits its impact on the environment by practicing reasoned and controlled fertilization. This good management results in a nice nitrogen balance.

Water management
The farm limits its impact on the environment through a reasoned and controlled use of water resources. No water is taken from surface water. Irrigation is entirely done by recovering rainwater and optimized thanks to the complete recycling of nutrient solutions.

The Arques tomato greenhouses are certified HEV 3A, the most virtuous standard. This certification allows BUFL to promote its responsible approaches to the consumer and at the selling sites.

Six farms are already certified HEV regarding the following products: carrots, onions, chard, radish, blueberries and asparagus. The Hauts-de-France tomatoes complete the HEV range already developed within the local sector. These products will represent 28,000 potential tons of fruit and vegetables certified HEV.

Along with the quality teams of BUFL/Fruidor, BUFL takes action in order to promote the local supply and to meet the expectations of its customers and consumers for quality food produced with respect for the environment. The offer certified HEV should expand further in 2020 with new partner-producers of BUFL/Fruidor in the certification process.

About “Les Serres des Hauts de France”

It is in 2014 that Kevin Vandevelde, greenhouse tomato producer, decided to settle in Arques, near Saint-Omer. Son and grandson of tomato producers, he has been producing, since 2018, 6,000 tons of tomatoes over 9.3 hectares of greenhouses. He has about 40 farm workers (full-time equivalent). A cogeneration unit helps produce electricity and heat up the greenhouses while reducing energy consumption.

Les Serres des Hauts-de-France is a member of SICA Gardens of Hauts de France* and part of the production is marketed by BUFL.

*SICA brings together 15 producers from the Hauts-de-France who produce about 10,000 tons of vegetables in open fields and greenhouses (tomatoes, zucchinis, leeks, cabbage, endives, lamb’s lettuce).

About BUFL
The Single Fruit and Vegetable Office (BUFL), created in 2017 by merging cooperatives and Fruidor Terroirs Flandres Artois, is a branch of the Fruidor network. The activity of Terroirs de Fruidor now represents 110,000 tons of fruit and vegetables per year marketed by Fruidor Terroirs and BUFL. Thanks to a federal approach, Fruidor Terroirs brings together about 250 French producers, either independent or from producer organizations, cooperatives or SICA. The highly diversified business of Fruidor Terroirs allows it to sell the entirety of its productions: 60% supermarkets, 20% wholesalers, 10% export, 5% catering, 5% industry.

Present in all production areas of France, the group proposes an innovative and diversified quality offer, as evidenced by the development of the key brand Les Nouveaux Producteurs.

For more information:
Marie-Christine Duval
Mobile: +33 6 61 50 98 09 

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