C&M Kester

C&M Kester was founded in 1998 by Cornee Kester and Marino Kester.
The new green label greenhouse 2 in Honselersdijk has been operational since 2010.
The new building consists of a complete company with an area of 37,150m² of greenhouses.

 

The greenhouse is intended for the cultivation of pot plants on concrete floors. A planting robot has been installed for the planting process. The plants are transported to the greenhouse via an internal transport system. The plants are placed in the greenhouse using a robot.

C&M Kester has the proper certifications for sustainable cultivation and employee relations. Plants grown on this facility are: Fuchsia, Portulaca, Cyclamen, Poinsettia and Potted Sunflowers.

Sustainability

Water
C&M Kester has a large (rain) water collection capacity, to be able to cope with the large differences between wet and dry periods as much as possible.
The rainwater is collected in 3 basins, so that there is enough water available year round. No spring water is used. The cultivation floors are connected to a closed system so water and fertilizer can be recirculated. An ebb and flow system is used linked to a closed system. Here 100% of the casting water is recirculated. This way, there is no run-off to the soil. The duration that the water is on floors in the ebb and flow system is optimally set, depending on the need (according to the seasons), plants and pot size.

The water used for cleaning floors, windows and pathways is also collected, filtered and recirculated. Even condensation water from the nursery is collected and reused. C&M Kester does not discharge any water.

 

Nature Conservation
C&M Kester strives to preserve nature and improve biodiversity around the company
In order to preserve nature, the grass and weeds along the ditch sides are regularly cut and checked (pncr every month). When mowing the ditch edges, bird breeding sites are spared. Where ditch edges are collapsing, they are repaired as much as possible. The local municipal guidelines for the removal of trees are complied with. (felling permit, replanting etc.)
Any disturbance of game and birds shall be reported to the competent authorities.
Planting on the yard is well maintained in order to keep the company’s appearance as natural as possible.

Waste materials such as plastic, paper and cardboard are collected separately within the company and disposed of as soon as possible. Everything is kept as clean and natural as possible. All this to preserve the environment.

Employees are particularly alert to the presence of diseases and pests in the plants. Samples are taken weekly to test the plants. If any pest is discovered, first, efforts are made to deal with the problem in a ecological way. If this is not possible, only a limited amount of plant protection products will be used.

 

Energy
C&M Kester strives to raise awareness of energy consumption. Targets have been formulated to minimise energy consumption with methods to obtain this.
In 2009/2010, a completely new building (green label) has been erected in which a conscious effort was made to minimize energy consumption by equipping the entire greenhouse with a double movable screen cloth, sun permeable and blackout cloth, which should save a lot of energy.
The transport pipes and the manifold in the boiler house are insulated so that there is as little temperature loss as possible.
If cultivation permits, the use of the boiler is kept as low as possible and switched off as far as possible. The heating grid at the top of the greenhouse has been lowered further, thus minimising energy loss. A heat storage tank has been built for the new building, in which sufficient heat is stored for 24 hours.

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

C&M Kester has 5 permanent employees paid according to the agreements made in the Collective Labour Agreement for greenhouse horticulture. Temporary agency workers in the company are also remunerated via the temporary employment agency in accordance with the agreements stated in the Collective Labour Agreement. This is also checked annually by means of a declaration of registration from Stichting Normering Arbeid (Foundation Labour Standards).

In order to demonstrate that the plants are grown under good working conditions, certificates are issued by an accredited company. Among other things, there is a hygiene protocol and a plan in which all occupational risks are described, which employees are also reminded of on a daily basis. Employees also receive annual health and safety training.

The company pays close attention to the “attitude and behaviour” of employees. If there are any problems, the employees have the opportunity to call in a counselor.

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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