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period of cultivation change causes top pressure at Van Eck B.V.

"Netherlands: "To disinfect is made to measure"

It is a busy period at the moment for Van Eck Bedrijfs- hygiene. "These are the most important months when dealing with glasshouse horticulture," said Richard van Lierop, who has been working at Van Eck's as a relationship manager in horticulture for three years. In addition to horticulture Van Eck is also active with company hygiene and the control of vermin in the foodstuff industry, social service sector and poultry farming.
"I started in poultry farming with disinfecting the stables. Over a number of years work has increased with other sectors, amongst which is horticulture. Today we are active with a team of 30 people and control the development of all new disinfecting techniques ourselves. Also we have the facilities to train the staff to become professionals having the knowledge of the means, the technique and safety. In the meantime we are known to offer made to measure work in all facets of company hygiene. We specialise in keeping out and fighting rodents. We therefore have horticulturists and packing companies from the fruit and vegetable sector as clients as well, who instruct us to guard their entire company hygiene with quality programs, such as BRC and GlobalGap.

The start
Years ago Paul van Eck was approached by a cucumber grower with the question of whether Paul could assist in disinfecting his glasshouse. "This grower knew that we were capable of disinfecting large stables" Paul says. "In this way it all started. Finally we developed the first Turbofog, with which, under high pressure we apply disinfectants. This worked extremely well and the growers were enthusiastic. It went through the country like wild fire, that we quickly and efficiently disinfect glasshouses. Now 10 years later we have 8 teams in total going round with a Turbofog, so that we really are flexible.
Over the years many horticulturists came to know where to find Van Eck at the time of cultivation change. "We are active all over the Netherlands, but also have clients in Belgium, Germany, the UK and even in Greece and Turkey" Paul says. "But to be in a lorry for seven days in order to disinfect a glasshouse in 4 hours is more a hobby" Paul jokes. "These are quite some adventures and a unique experience when going that way with a machine." Nevertheless he is certain about disinfecting glasshouses abroad. "To Spain and Italy is of course quick and hygiene will become more and more important there as well."
Double security
It is a busy period at the moment for Van Eck Bedrijfshygiene. "These are the most important months when dealing with glasshouse horticulture" Richard van Lierop, who has been working at Van Eck's as a relationship manager in horticulture for a period of three years, says.


Marc van Eck, Paul van Eck and Richard van Lierop

Double security
At Van Eck's they know that hygiene is becoming more important all the time in Dutch horticulture. "The last few years there are not too many horticulturists running the risk of missing disinfection once" Richard van Lierop tells. "Even more so we notice that more often than not there is a need for a double disinfection. We then disinfect twice: the first time with formalin when the glasshouse is empty. After that when the new foil and rockwool is in the glasshouse we give an extra treatment with cold fog of hydrogen peroxide-peractive acid. This is a perfect final treatment. For this we also have developed machines by ourselves, which with a special nozzle and high pressure produces the finest mist."

The use of disinfectants, especially at the time of cultivation change is often associated with danger to public health. The disinfection of the glasshouse with formalin or hydrogen peroxide is a specialised activity, which can only be attended to safely and well by professionals with the correct machinery. "Formalin is quite safe provided one deals with it correctly" Paul van Eck says. It is a reliable and allowed means of disinfecting glasshouses perfectly."

Richard stresses that the many 'cowboy stories' about the danger of Formalin hardly ever tell the truth correctly. "When using Formalin in the glasshouse it is necessary that one knows what one is doing. Therefore we always work strictly according to safety protocol. We advise every horticulturist in general for a climate and air strategy inside his glasshouse. Provided one follows this advice all will be well and one can enter the glasshouse safely when we allow this."
Plant protection
A different trend established by Van Eck is the use of plant protection means. "We are more and more often enlisted by growers to apply plant protection means with the cold fogging in the cultivation" Richard says. "Plant protection means for instance protecting soft wood around the inner tree trunk. Caterpillars and other infestations are expensive. Growers and advisers do not want to run more risks by using the solutions incorrectly, because that is of course throwing good money after bad. Therefore they choose to leave it to us. With our fog machines we are able to apply the medium quickly through the entire glasshouse in a professional manner. The quality of the fog is so high that the medium reaches as far as the end of the longest paths. This is unique and with that we supply perfect protection. Also we save the grower of lot of time and inconvenience. This kind of work, just as fogging, we do whenever required."

For more information:
Van Eck B.V.
Richard van Lierop
Tel: +31 (0)88 410 0041 

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