At the beginning of 2016, it became increasingly clear that there was a growing demand for neonicotinoid-free products in the large supermarket chains. The growers under Fleur Market have started to grow neonicotinoid-freel products as a result of this increasing demand.
The fact that more and more supermarkets are imposing requirements that go beyond the statutory requirements with regard to the use of active ingredients poses major challenges on a daily basis.
The incoming plant material from certified companies in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, is tested for residues of crop protection agents by means of leaf samples. Leaf samples are also taken from the cultivated product. The results of these samples are compared with the list of applied substances.
The company has opted for integrated cultivation. This means that if there are harmful insects in the plants and flowers, we choose to control them in a biological way in the first place. Other alternatives will only be considered if that is not possible. In that case “green chemistry” is often applied. Very specific chemistry is then used in the places where it is needed. The harmful insects present are then killed, but the biological pest controls remain alive.
Structurally, 5 biological pest control agents are released, which are continuously supplemented with feed mites, so that the biological pest control agents reproduce faster and therefore increase in number more quickly. This results in an army of biological pest control agents that attack the harmful insects.
When bugs end up in a shop, it is very difficult for shop owners to see whether they are good biological pest controls or harmful insects. Therefore, 14 days before the harvest of the flowers, all animals in the flowers are destroyed.
Rainwater collected in water basins is being utilized. In addition, surface water is used. The water is cleaned and purified of fungi and bacteria and then sprayed over the crop via sprinklers. What the plant does not absorb immediately is collected by drainage hoses and then purified and reused.
No water is discharged back into the surface water. The remaining excess water is purified and discharged into the sewer.
The water consumption of Fleur Market has no influence on the drinking water supplies in the region.
Fleur Market aims for continuous reduction of energy consumption. The use of combined heat and power (CHP) converts fuel very efficiently into heat and electricity. In the winter months the power is used for lighting flowers and in the summer the power is sold to the grid. The exhaust fumes from the CHPs are used to produce CO2. The CO2 is then used to feed the plants.
In the winter months the company OCAP supplies extremely pure CO2. This CO2 is purer than the CO2 that can be produced from the CHP. The Shell Pernis refinery, among others, turns their emissions into this pure CO2 and sells it to OCAP. OCAP then supplies it via a pipeline network to growers who need pure CO2 for their cultivation.
In mid-2019, the next step in further sustainability will take place, namely geothermal energy. By means of a borehole, hot water of approx. 90 degrees is pumped up from a depth of 2.3 km. This hot water is used to heat the greenhouses.
All waste is separated. The waste is collected by specialised companies. The green waste is then processed into compost, which ultimately leads to a reduction in gas emissions.