The company J. C. J. Ruiter-Wever was founded in 1944 by Jan Ruiter at the end of World War II. In 1963 the company was continued by his 2 sons who then went apart in 1988. From that moment on, son Jan Ruiter and his wife Carla Wever continued together as J. C. J. Ruiter-Wever in Andijk. The company is currently run by their 2 sons Niels and Stef. Both parents withdrew from the board of management in 2012 in order not to hinder the entrepreneurial drive of their sons. With the 3rd generation at the helm, the company now grows about 90 ha of tulips in France, Noord-Holland and Drenthe. Besides the cultivation they also export tulip bulbs to America, Canada, Poland and Russia. For this purpose, bulbs are also purchased and about 50 to 60 million bulbs are traded annually.In the winter months, the company produces some 13 million tulip flowers from December to May. These are all packaged according to the wishes of the customer and traded off. In total, the company trades approximately 20 million flowers.
95% of the rainwater from yard and roofs and 100% of the water from processes within the company is collected in a water storage facility under own control. So nothing ends up in the surface water. The collected water is used for various applications within the company, such as casting water for growing the product, flushing sanitary facilities, process water and rinsing bulbs after harvesting. Rainwater is actually used for everything, except for human consumption. For the cultivation in the greenhouse, computer-controlled water is given according to the product’s requirements, in order to use a minimal amount of rainwater and fertilizer. The water and the tank are disinfected with chlorine and hydrogen peroxide as these agents are biodegradable. Climate cells are cooled using the cold from ground water instead of energy, that is often used in conventional cooling.
Thanks to condensing boilers the residual heat from waste gases can be utilized. All tractors in the company are equipped with clean engines with ad-blue technology.
All packaging waste is cleaned and pressed if necessary. The pressed material is offered separately for sustainable recycling.
In order to prevent breeding meadow birds from being disturbed, employees working on the field pay attention to the various “natural movements” of the birds in the field. This way, employees can work around their nests.
When tulips are grown on the field, a crop-free zone of at least 0.5 metres is maintained along water edges in order to prevent plant protection products from entering the surface water.
For bulp production in the fields, only a few crop protection products are used, but during the production from bulb to flower no plant protection product is used at all. Ruiter-Wevers sustainable way of growing is therefore appreciated as particularly good by the accredited organisations issueing certificates.
The greenhouses are equipped with the most modern climate systems and energy screens. By mixing outside air with air from the greenhouse, a good climate for the tulip bulbs is created in a sustainable way. The fully automated container system on which the tulips are grown ensures optimal greenhouse utilisation and minimal energy requirements per tulip.
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).
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)
Ruiter-Wever permanently employs 7 people. In peak times at least 30 temporary agency workers will be added. All staff are at least remunerated and paid according to the standards of the Collective Labour Agreement for glasshouse horticulture or for wholesale trade flowers and plants. Within the company, everyone (if deemed eligible) is given the opportunity to grow to a different position.
It is currently being examined whether it is possible to accommodate labour migrants at a suitable location on the company itself. This is to ensure that the staff is housed in proper living conditions without disrupting the housing supply in the area.
Within the company, various attempts are made to involve the employees in the company and in the product. A good social relationship between the employees is highly appreciated.
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.