Van der Avoird Trayplant is praised for innovation

Strawberry and raspberry plant breeder Van der Avoird Trayplant has received the award for agricultural food from the province of North Brabant. The company, which started production of a new greenhouse in the spring, is receiving recognition because ‘the environment has been spared for years thanks to one smart innovation after another’, according to the province. “Moreover, they give back to nature the land that they no longer need because of these innovations.”

See photo report with a tour of the new greenhouse at Van der Avoird.

Elies Lemkes-Straver, deputy for agriculture, food, land and broad prosperity: “Ground plant shows that cultivation does not have to be at the expense of nature. In fact, it may contribute to it. Due to the very sustainable business operations, there is hardly any impact on the environment. And because of these very involved entrepreneurs, we have even got new nature. With a beautiful hiking trail. ”

Dream of sustainability
Van der Avoird Trayplant specializes in ‘growing’ strawberry and raspberry plants. The company propagates cuttings, which are then sold to growers throughout Europe and abroad, who cultivate them further and sell the strawberries and raspberries to e.g. supermarkets. Peter van der Avoird started 20 years ago in his father’s business with an invention from which the current company owes its name: the use of trays (boxes) in which new shoots can grow. This meant that more plants could be produced faster.

But he wants more. “I have a sustainability dream,” says Peter van der Avoird bluntly. He strives for a reduction of 95 (!) Percent of all environmentally harmful elements: energy, water, soil, nutrients, biological and chemical pesticides and is already well on his way to realizing his dream. For example, his company has been off gas for seven years; heat and cold storage now even provides an excess of energy. Van der Avoird Trayplant also has a closed water system: all water is purified and recycled. The water basins are completely covered by solar panels, and the heat obtained is stored in the ground to heat the greenhouses in winter.

Exhibition piece
The latest example of sustainable work is the layer cultivation that the company has introduced. Peter van der Avoird calls it ‘our showpiece’: “If you grow in storeys, you can store as many plants in one greenhouse as you used to be able to store on 240 hectares. We want to give back to nature the pieces of land that we no longer use as a result. ” The start has already been made: a nearly two-kilometer-long strip has been enriched with native plants, trees and water. This has created a hiking area that is part of the Wouwer valley between Gilze and Rijen. Van der Avoird contacted Brabants Landschap to find out which plants originally grew here. For example, the plantain has now returned. “I can see again the enormous biodiversity that I grew up with here as a boy,” the owner says enthusiastically.

High-tech greenhouse
Another recent example of smart innovation is the ‘growth lights’ that the company uses. This light approaches the diffuse sunlight; it guarantees maximum growth for the crops and a comfortable workplace for the employees in the greenhouse. The next innovation is already in the pipeline: Van der Avoird wants to produce strawberries all year round. The high-tech greenhouse that should make this possible is almost ready.

Ambition province
Van der Avoird Trayplant contributes to the province’s ambitions for the agricultural and food chain of the future, as described in the policy framework Agriculture and Food 2030. Among other things, the province has set itself the goal of making agriculture and food production in Brabant the most sustainable in Europe. In this way, the province wants to ensure that the agricultural and food chain in Brabant contributes positively to European climate goals and to a healthy living environment.

Source: North Brabant Province

Leave a Comment