De Kruidenaer has its headquarters in Etten-Leur, in the Dutch province of Noord Brabant, and grows several types of herbs, as well as lettuce and sweet peppers. The total surface area of its greenhouses covers about 32.5 hectares. This makes them one of the Netherlands' largest growers of leafy vegetables and herbs.
Since 2015, Meteor Systems and De Kruidenaer have completed multiple projects together. Christ Monde, owner of De Kruidenaer, approached Meteor Systems to ask whether there were any floating rafts available that would not easily become dirty or damaged and also have a long lifespan. Bas Dirven, head of R&D at Meteor Systems, came up with an idea, and together they started working on it.
The most recent project in their partnership is a vertical growing rack for germinating, breeding and growing. It allows the most efficient possible use of surface areas. These special racks can also be combined with hydroponic cultivation. The seeds are raised in the trays, and then placed in the floating raft to grow into fully-grown plants. De Kruidenaer uses this system specifically for herbs like mint, parsley and basil.
“We keep getting new results that are not only surprising but also allow us to constantly improve. I can now raise young plants under LEDs on a small area all year round, and these plants are more vigorous and produce a lovely end product. Meteor Systems speaks the grower’s language, and you definitely notice that in practice. Their roots also lie in horticulture, so the innovative growing system is designed based on the plant’s needs. I really like the simplicity of this approach. So I am very happy with Meteor Systems.”
Thwan van Gennip is a family business based in Lierop, in the Dutch province of Noord Brabant, and supplies international customers with high-quality strawberry, asparagus, raspberry and blackberry plants.