Havecon has been known as a turnkey greenhouse supplier for many years now, but as of now they'll take turnkey to a new level under the name of “Havelettuce Projects”. Havelettuce will not only take on the build of a greenhouse but the complete project realization, offering a plug and play concept for starting a lettuce greenhouse enterprise. With this new initiative, the door into the horticultural industry will open more easily, CEO Henk Verbakel explains.
Reduce food miles
"Growing hydroponic vegetables closer to consumers will reduce food miles and help reverse the trend of foreign produce imports. Together with our partners and suppliers we bring over 100 years of combined experience in developing large-scale hydroponic greenhouses for several kinds of fruit, vegetables and medicinal cannabis. With Havelettuce Projects, we're using this knowledge to offer 1-2 and 2-4 hectare standardized, turn-key hydroponic lettuce greenhouses," says Henk.
With this new concept, they're answering to the growing demand for local food production and helping investors and other newcomers to the industry find an easy entrance. "We'll manage the entire project from start to finish. This means you only deal with one company," says Jon Adams, Vice President North America. "Furthermore, we provide project anonymity to our customers to provide a competitive edge by being the face of the project until it goes live."
The horticultural industry has become of interest for many investors and according to the Havelettuce team, it's not difficult to see why. "It is a proven method of growing plants in a soilless environment by relying on a nutrient rich water solution," Jon explains. "Hydroponics can rapidly help serve unmet demands for fresh vegetables by being grown close to their markets. And it's a sound investment: with investment sizes of 20-50 million dollar for a 1- 4 ha projects we can show a 10 year average EBIDTA of 30 – 45%."
He adds how growing produce in a hydroponic greenhouse has many advantages. "Greenhouse temperatures and inputs can be precisely controlled, allowing plants to grow faster and face fewer diseases than their outside soil counterparts. Furthermore, a close-loop irrigation system results in major water savings and uses less fertilizers. This prevents pollutants from entering soil and groundwater as seen with open-field production."
And it's not just the existing industry players anymore that see these opportunities. Many new people are entering the industry. To make it easy for them to do so and to avoid reinventing the wheel, Havelettuce has been created. "Our team has built over 400 greenhouse facilities throughout the world from project as small as 0.1 to over 100 hectares. And now we combine our expertise in hydroponic farming with that of our partners. With the standards we created, Havelettuce Projects makes lettuce cultivation in greenhouses possible for everyone in any climate," he shows.
This means that location, climate, utility load studies, feasibility studies and all other things you can think of like the community outreach and education, the permitting and incentive procurement will be taken on by our team and by doing so relieve the investors, just as of course the engineering and constructing, project management, crop and harvest advice and grower consulting and training. "We will provide all the necessary tools needed to succeed in this industry."