From expensive raw materials to transportation issues, René Zwinkels started his new job as Sales Manager Export at RKW Hyplast, a Belgian company that produces greenhouse films, five months ago and is immediately faced with some severe challenges.
René Zwinkels of RKW Hyplast
Customers choose different films
One of the biggest challenges Zwinkels has had to face in his new function is the lack of raw materials that are necessary for the production of the greenhouse films. “Because of that the prices are increasing severely, they have increased by about 60%. We do expect this to recover itself, but we just don’t know yet when this will happen.” Zwinkels has noticed a change in the demand for their films as a result of the higher prices. “For countries where the greenhouses are more high-tech the demand has remained similar. However, in the other countries where the greenhouses are not as modern, we have noticed that less high-tech films have become more popular, as they are less expensive and more basic. These people do not want to pay more money for extras such as anti-drip or thermic features, they just want a film that gets the job done.”
Zwinkels was born and raised in the Westland area in the Netherlands, as the son of a grower. He has his own experience as a grower as well, then worked in crop protection and spent 16 years working in potting soil. In 2013 he started his own company in South Africa, which he worked at for about eight years. As he has worked in horticulture his whole life, his background gives Zwinkels extensive knowledge which is very useful for his current function at RKW. As he explains: “Because of my background I have insight on what a grower needs and wants, and thus what could be beneficial additions to our films.”
At the Research and Development lab, Zwinkels knowledge comes in handy as they are working on quality control and innovations. Their new Polydress LP Keder Air Bubble Greenhouse film has already been received well. “Due to colder winters in Europe, there is more demand for films that maintain the warmth inside the greenhouse. We are also working on a film that keeps your light intensity optimal while also maintaining light diffusivity. Normally, light diffusivity comes at the expense of light, but we are working on innovating this.”
For more information: