Hygiene specialists Jasper Verhoeven and Dirk Timmers share their knowledge about the importance of hygiene in greenhouse companies, also presenting practical tips. They are part of Royal Brinkman and HortiHygienz, which launched three years ago to take a broader look at horticultural hygiene and exchange worldwide knowledge. They recently recorded a webinar focusing on their experience with African companies, yet the information can be applied globally.
Importance of hygiene
Jasper begins by explaining the importance of hygiene in the greenhouse: "In recent years the disease pressure is getting bigger and bigger. The size of the companies is getting bigger, so the hygiene risks for the horticultural companies are getting bigger as well. In addition, customers are getting more critical about the agents we use as well. Therefore, it is increasingly important to keep the levels of hygiene as high as possible."
According to HortiHygienz, there are five pillars that are important to consider when attempting to achieve optimal hygiene: "Crop rotation is an important moment to make a clean start, it is the perfect time to fully clean and disinfect the greenhouse, by using a powerful disinfectant that kills bacteria, fungi and viruses. People can also unknowingly carry pathogens with them, proper disinfection is thus important. Additionally, supplies and equipment that come into the greenhouse can carry bacteria, so make sure that everything is properly cleaned. Pathogens can also spread through the water, so optimal water quality is important when preventing diseases. Responsibility and sustainability is important as well, as the greenhouse should be a safe environment for everyone."
Personal hygiene plan
For African cutting companies, HortiHygienz starts with a risk inventory in order to better understand their current situation. Based on this and the five pillars, they come up with a personal hygiene plan to improve the company's hygiene.
Watch the full webinar above for more information and practical tips.
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