Ilimitado is a Dutch company existing since 1993. Ilimitado started as a sales organisation for rose bushes and standard roses from South Africa. These rose varieties were and will be produced exclusively by Roeloff’s Nurseries. Roeloff’s Nurseries is a Dutch family business of the Roeloff’s family, based in Hekpoort, Gauteng, South Africa. This company started in 1950 and since 1993 Ilimitado has been their exclusive partner. Ilimitado mainly supplies pre-finished products for growers, who then grow it into end products.
Plants are grown very sustainably in the open air and corporate social responsibility is certainly part of the process. Many local people find work around the year. Good land management is necessary in South Africa. That is why crops rotate regularly. There is always a different crop on a plot, so that there is no over-exploitation or soil depletion. Possible threats from the soil do not get a chance and a balance is created above ground, which means that only a minimum of crop protection is required.
The best thing about working in South Africa is that we make a very good, beautiful and strong product.
Two water sources are used:
2 Water from natural underground storage as a back-up
Here we work with a system for drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is a water-saving system and therefore ensures that water does not evaporate unnecessarily. So no water is wasted. The water consumption for the plants has no influence on the drinking water supplies in the region.
Elements have been added to the landscape that stimulate natural biodiversity, such as hedges, flower borders and trees. There are so many different animals in South Africa. Flying, walking and crawling insects and many birds and small game such as hares, goats, pheasants etc. These animals can come and go as they like and are not obstructed, chased or controlled in any way.
Because Ilimitado manages the land well thanks to the many crop rotations, there is a good and healthy balance in the soil. Harmful insects are driven out or destroyed by natural enemies. So it is not necessary to use plant protection products.
The plants come to Europe by sea transport.
We work with local people. Partly because of this, the local economy is positively influenced by our infrastructure. Almost all employees have a permanent employment contracts establishing the number of working hours, holidays, etc. Employees are able to provide themselves with good housing. If there are any problems, Ilimitado will do everything possible to support its employees.
Employees get the opportunity to develop themselves and to grow to another job.
Male and female employees are treated equally. This is also laid down by law and is also part of our own policy.
During the the work, the safety and health of the employees is guaranteed as much as possible. In addition, each employee gets the freedom to express his/her own religion.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.