Amigo Plant BV

Amigo Plant grow Succulents at 9 locations of which 7 locations are located in Heerhugowaard, 1 in Rijsenhout and 1 in Portugal.

At the age of 8, the owner Gerard van Langen developed his passion for succulents in a small corner of his father’s farm. Growing, interbreeding, and discorvering. After graduating from the higher agricultural education, he started working on the family business where tomatoes were grown, after which, together with his wife Miranda and later with his partner Koen Beemsterboer, he turned it into the largest succulent nursery in the world. Nowadays everything is done in-house, from interbreeding new species to supplying wholesale, retail and garden centres.

Amigo Plant creates a southern feel all year round on many window sills in houses and offices and a Mediterranean feel on your own terrace or patio. The mission of Amigo Plant is therefore to put trendy, high-quality succulents on the market – at an affordable consumer price.

Amigo Plant leads the way in the development of new plants and plant concepts. Because Amigo is constantly bringing new products to the market, it is always fun for its own employees, their customers and consumers to make, sell or buy the products. Because of this diversity, employees do their utmost each and every day with all their love to make the succulents as beautiful as possible

Sustainability

The plants that Amigo Plant is growing, all originate from the botanical wealth of mother earth. Small cuttings can only grow into mature plants thanks to the conditions that the natural processes provide for.

Based on this philosophy, we consider sustainable entrepreneurship to be very important. Within the company, Amigo Plant therefore respects the surrondings for people and the environment.

The diagrams below show graphs of our consumption of crop protection agents, energy and fertilisers. The black stripes are the set standards. The limits indicated are the legal limits for environmental pollution. You can easily see that everything is done to ensure that the limits are not exceeded.

Water resources
Succulents have the ability to store water in their leaves. As a result, they require only little water. Rainwater falling on the greenhouses is collected and stored in basins until it is necessary to use. The substances contained in the rainwater are absorbed and consumed by the plants. Plants have a purifying effect anyway. They also absorb CO2 and give oxygen back.

Substrates (potting soil)

Succulents are grown in potting soil. Regular tests are carried out to see how and whether raw materials other than fossil raw materials can be used. A large part of the composition of the soil now consists of coconut fibers, that otherwise would be a waste product. This helps with recycling and reduces the need for raw materials from the earth. Coconut is a natural product which can also be recycled by the consumer.

Plants are contained in plastic jars, these jars can be very well recycled by separating plastic waste. The pots are made from recycled material. This also applies to the transport trays.

Amigo Plant tries to recycle as much as possible. We have a special paper and cardboard press. Plastic and green waste are collected separately.

Together with a group of growers Amigo Plant is at an advanced stage to take heat and CO2 from the waste incineration plant in Alkmaar. This results in a reduction of Amigo’s natural gas consumption and CO2 and heat emissions from the domestic-waste incinerators.

The plants are transported from the nursery to the auction with modern trucks with the highest standards (Euro 6). Because Amigo organises its own transport, the logistics process can be organised flexibly and efficiently. Examples such as driving outside the rush hour, only driving with full trucks, and the chauffeurs follow “the new driving force” in order to bring the plants to their destination as safely and economically as possible.

For export to southern Europe, some of the plants are transported by train. (Rotterdam – Milan)

Crop Protection Agents Kg Active Ingredient: 

Provides insight into the use of plant protection products. Red stands for substances with a high environmental impact, orange for substances with a low impact on the environment, green for substances with a low impact on the environment (Source MPS-A).

Energy (GJ):

Provides insight into the use of the amount of energy. (Source MPS-A)

Fertilizers (KG) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Consumption:

Provides insight into the use of Nitrogen and Phosphorus. (Source MPS-A)

People

At Amigo Plant most of the people are already employed for a long time. Amigo provides an attractive working climate with plenty of room for own insight, ideas and developments. Little work is outsourced. Transportation, technology and sales are all organised internally. This ensures efficiency, speed and pleasure on the work floor.

At Amigo Plant, no distinction is made between people. Everyone counts. Many people with a different nationality than the Dutch work here. There are also differences in religion, people with intellectual challenges and disabilities. For the last groups special places have been set up so that they can work safely in a calm environment.

Amigo Plant wants all staff to come from the region to stimulate involvement with the neighbourhood. No Dutch people work in Portugal either, where the company is run by a Portuguese woman (Teresa). Sporting events, charities and other initiatives are also supported locally.

Health

Did you know that flowers and plants have a healthy effect on people?

  • Plants provide air purification..
    People breathe in air, take out oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In the case of plants it is the other way around. During photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it back into oxygen. The amount of oxygen in the air is increased by the presence of plants, which makes breathing easier.
    Air-purifying plants can absorb harmful substances from the air through their leaves. These harmful substances are then stored and broken down in the plant’s roots. These plants can also break down dirty odours, so they are actually natural air fresheners.
    For the sake of clarity, every (indoor) plant produces oxygen, but not every plant also purifies the air. Air-purifying plants are e.g. the Spathiphyllum, Calathea, Hedera helix (ivy), Areca palm and the Ficus. For many plants we do not yet know to what extent they have an air purifying effect since they have not yet been tested.
  • Plants ensure a better concentration and a reduction of stress.
    Plants create a relaxed and better atmosphere, also at work.. Plants make the workplace a more pleasant place to work.
    Apparently there is even a relationship between the presence of plants and the productivity of employees.
    Moreover, the presence of plants has a positive effect on the creativity and concentration of people.
  • Plants reduce the dryness of the air
    The dust content and humidity in the house are strongly related with each other. The dryer the air, the more dust. This can cause symptoms such as a tickling cough, dry skin, headaches and irritated eyes. By watering plants, it finally evaporates again through the stomata in the leaves. Plants can thus increase the humidity of the air, which therefore benefits the air quality.
  • Plants provide a pleasant and warm feeling
    Research has shown that plants are good for people in various (subtle) ways. They play an essential role in creating a pleasant, natural and quiet environment in which to move, work and/or relax.
  • Did you know that flowers too have a healthy effect on people?
    Flowers can brighten up any room in a magical way. They give meaning to our emotions such as love, joy, comfort, compassion and sorrow. Flowers provide a relaxing effect on our constitution. They provide positive energy in the home and a warm feeling. In short, everyone is just very happy about that!

Care

Innovation

The Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector is worldwide renowned for its innovative power. In order to be one step ahead of the competition from other parts of the world, people are constantly looking for better efficiency in the use of raw materials and space. This, of course, without compromising the (top) quality of the Dutch product.

The glasshouse horticulture sector in the Netherlands can cope with this rapid pace of innovation thanks to a strong relationship between research and practice. In addition, a great deal of knowledge is exchanged between the entrepreneurs in order to make progress together. The flower auctions are a good example of this as one of the largest cooperatives in the world.
Below we describe a few examples of this innovative power.

 

Biological control and integrated pest management
In order to minimise the use of pesticides and to find a better balance between parasites and their natural enemies, natural enemies of the parasites are used in the greenhouses. Thanks to the intensive exchange of knowledge between the growers and their suppliers, growers are increasingly able to produce a top quality product with organic solutions.

 

Combined heat and power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (CHP) is a large engine, originating from the shipping industry. Only it has been converted to run on natural gas. The efficiency of this motor is higher than traditional gas boilers. These engines drive a generator that generates electricity. This electricity is used in the company’s own nursery or is supplied back to the public electricity grid. The ‘residual heat’ produced by the engine is used to heat the greenhouses. After cleaning, the exhaust gases can be used to provide the plants with CO2. All in all, these motors provide an efficiency that can be up to 20% higher than the traditional method of heating (gas boilers).

 

Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is used for this type of energy. A drilling tower is used to drill a well to a depth of 2-3 km. At this depth, water of more than 80 degrees can be ‘collected’. This heat is used to heat the greenhouses and then the cooled water is returned to the soil via a second source. It is expected that these sources will be able to continue to produce sufficient heat, even longer than the life of a greenhouse.

Drilling the well is an enormously expensive investment. In addition, there is a great risk that the drilling will ‘fail’. By working together with each other and with governments, in the Netherlands we are able to gain experience with this way of heating greenhouses sustainably.

 

Water purification
Plants need water and nutrients to grow. More and more nurseries are making use of the reuse of drainage water. This is water that is collected before it disappears into the subsoil. This ‘drainage water’ still contains many nutrients that can be used by the plants.
By reusing this water and mixing it with clean water, less fertilizer is used.
However, the drainage water also contains some ‘wrong substances’. The content of these wrong substances determines how much water can be reused. The application of new techniques creates opportunities to filter these ‘wrong substances’ out of the water.

 

Diffuse glass
In new constructions, more and more growers are opting to cover their greenhouses with diffuse glass. Diffuse glass ensures that light is distributed much more evenly across the crop without any shade or light spots. This leads to a more even greenhouse climate.
Temperature and humidity can thus be controlled more accurately, which means, for example, that the opening of the air windows can be limited, which leads to lower CO2 emissions.

 

LED lighting in greenhouse horticulture
A new innovation in horticulture is the use of LED lighting. This lighting is not comparable with LED lighting used in consumer use. In the horticultural sector, the lighting is produced by ‘power LEDs’ and therefore much higher. The major advantage of these ‘power LEDs’ is related to sustainable business practices: energy savings compared to high-pressure sodium lamps (orange-coloured lighting). This saves more than half of the energy.
Another major advantage is that when using LEDs, crops can be better controlled using the different colours in the light. This is in favour of a better growth and a higher quality of the product.

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