To meet the growing demand for healthy and sustainable vegetables, we already started in 2014 with drilling for geothermal heat.
Together with our neighbour grower A. De Bruijn & Zn. We have drilled a geothermal well 2,500 metres deep. The water at this depth is 87 degrees. The hot water is pumped up where it goes through heat exchangers. The extracted heat goes to the buffer tanks that allow us to heat the greenhouses with clean fossil-free energy whenever the plants need it. The cooled water is pumped back into the earth, which will reheat over time.
Around 90% of our heat demand is provided by geothermal energy. In this way, we save 10 million m3 of gas every year, saving up to 18,000,000 kg of CO2 .
Tomato plants need high levels of CO2 to grow optimally. To reach the optimal level, we use the CO2 released by the industry in the port of Rotterdam. This is captured and transported to our greenhouses by pipeline. This allows us to reuse the CO2 sustainably.
Every year, we make a crop protection plan in collaboration with Koppert Biological Systems. We deploy parasitic wasps and predatory bugs preventively to control pests. We then inspect the plants weekly. If no pest are present, we feed the predatory bugs to maintain the biological control population. If we do find such pests, we react quickly by deploying extra parasitic wasps on the affected plants. In this way, we grow organically as much as possible. If there is no other solution, we may occasionally use an authorised pesticide to control an infestation. For us, crop protection is all about finding the perfect balance between prey (pest) and predator (biological control agent). This allows us to offer a healthy and sustainable product.
For tomato pollination, we work with so-called NATUPOL colonies. Each colony contains between fifty and sixty bumblebees that live in a hive about one metre above the ground. This natural form of pollination is very efficient and extremely environmentally friendly.
Harting Holland applies strict hygiene rules throughout the company. Harting Holland is therefore certified according to On the way to Planet Proof, GlobalG.A.P, BRC Higherlevel and GRASP. We are also willing to obtain certain certifies according to specific customer requirements. Audits for this certification are conducted annually by objective auditors. Harting Holland also has certificates in the field of sustainable energy management, such as the Green Label Greenhouse certificate. Green Label Greenhouses meet strict environmental requirements which include energy consumption, nutrients (phosphate and nitrogen), crop protection and water consumption.