New Mini-Air and Mini tunnel fruit covers for Reijnders family in Linkhout (Belgium)

The Reijnders family started growing tomatoes on a large scale in 1995. In 2010 they decided to embark on growing fruit as well, starting with kiwi berries. Unfortunately it turned out that this was not profitable, so they switched to strawberry cultivation instead. In 2013 the company stopped growing tomatoes to fully focus on soft fruit, in particular strawberries.

In 2014 the greenhouse was converted for that purpose, and this proved to be a success. Gert Reijnders - together with his wife Inge and son Robbe - produces 150,000 kg strawberries annually. They are not only sold in Belgium; the rest of Europe can enjoy them as well.

The Reijnders family not only sells strawberries at wholesale auctions but also directly to consumers by means of strawberry dispensing machines. These have been placed at various locations throughout Belgium. This was another great success. So much so, that they reached a point where they could no longer handle the production capacity. They were looking for a solution, and that’s when Meteor Systems came into the picture.

It was decided to expand. Together with the experts of Meteor Systems, it was decided to opt for the Mini-Air and Mini tunnel fruit cover, with a total surface area of 5,300 m2. In addition to the covers, a complete GM04 suspended growing system was supplied, including growing gutters and drip irrigation system. The fruit covers were completed at the end of 2021, and the first strawberry plants are now in full bloom.

Gert Reijnders about working together with Meteor Systems:

“The Mini-Air is a beautiful fruit cover with many advantages. We can harvest several times per year and it is easier to control the climate by opening and closing the hoops. As we are careful about how we deal with the environment, it is a bonus that rainwater is collected and reused. This was already happening in our greenhouse, and now it is also done outside.”

“It had been good to work with Meteor Systems in the past, which is why they were the first company I thought of when planning our expansion. We embarked on the process together, and they were able to help us find the best solution based on their practical experience. I decided to go for the Mini-Air fruit cover system. Within three months of getting the permit, the technical operators started on site with roll forming the growing gutters. As soon as installation was completed, I could start planting. It was great to work with Meteor Systems, which managed to supply everything on time, in spite of Covid and the war. That's worth a compliment! By now, a couple of months have passed and the strawberry plants are looking great.”

 

Het Broek Softfruit

More than 25 years ago, Arnoud van Asseldonk set up Het Broek Softfruit to grow strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Het Broek Softfruit is located in Veghel in North Brabant. Besides growing fruit, the company also sells strawberry, raspberry and blackberry young plants.