Netherlands: Naturelle awarded Nature Counts label

On Friday 28 September 2012, during the GreensParade conference in Barendrecht, the 18th Nature Counts label was awarded to a producer at Naturelle, the organic branch of The Greenery. BakkerBio VOF is now the second organic producer at Naturelle to receive the Nature Counts label.

A sustainable harvest is an important basis for the ‘Healthy is more’ pillar of The Greenery’s sustainability policy. After all, what is good for plants is good for people too. Nature Counts is The Greenery’s sustainability label. Producers who receive this label are leading the way in minimising the use of crop protection agents, saving energy, recycling waste materials and conserving nature and the landscape. Where one Nature Counts accredited producer invests in geothermal energy for efficient CO2-neutral glasshouse heating, another invests in healthier soil life, prioritising plant
health, and yet another employs modern techniques such as GPS to optimise sprinkling and minimise the use of fertilisers. These producers have shown the courage to invest in sustainable production methods and the willingness to share their accumulated knowledge with colleagues.

Healthy soil
BakkerBio VOF, the 18th Nature Counts producer is. an organic grower that aims to close the mineral cycle within the business, focusing on healthy, living soil. Planting the soil almost yearround with crops and green manures keeps the soil life continually well nourished. Thanks to fixed lanes and minimal ploughing, BakkerBio ensures that the soil remains undisturbed, resulting in optimal soil structure, natural plant growth and better fertiliser fixation, with a 20% reduction in fertiliser use. The grower is also 50% self-supplied with fertiliser, thereby working towards closure of the mineral cycle. The majority of the fertiliser used comes from the organic Charolais cattle
that graze in the nearby Lauwersmeer National Park. CO2 reduction is achieved through a combination of reduced nitrogen use and reduced transportation.

Not only does BakkerBio go a step further than other producers in soil management, this organic producer is also active within the Farmer and Climate network. Here, 16 growers work with Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR) and the Louis Bolk Institute to achieve climate neutral business operations.

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