In a relatively short amount of time, the amount of screens used in the greenhouses of cultivation companies has been scaled up. At one point, it might have been the norm to see one screen in a greenhouse. Now you might see three hanging over each other.
Johan van Erven, product specialist Screening at Ridder: "We especially see this in the ornamental industry. And vegetable cultivation is following this trend as well. Due to the rising energy prices, growers are more likely to invest in more sustainable energy usage. A screening installation with multiple layers offers a solution.”
Higher energy prices
Which will cause the demand for energy cloths to rise, which it already does every year during fall because that means the cold period is on its way. “And with the imminent higher energy prices, we definitely are expecting the same this year. We have chosen to keep a large stock. There are already many rolls of energy cloth ready to be delivered.”
Even with current energy prices, Johan doesn’t see four screens in a greenhouse happening any time soon. “But never say never. If there is a demand for it, I can imagine that the same wire bed is used. A second, third, or even fourth screening installation in the greenhouse doesn’t mean you immediately save more energy. With multiple screens, the grower has more options when it comes to regulating the climate in the greenhouse.”
The amount of knitting machines in Maasdijk has recently been expanded to four. The stomping machines knit as fast as they can to meet the demand.
Johan was involved at Ridder Climate Screens from day one. He is proud of the expansions that have already happened. “In total, there are 25 colleagues active in this part of the Ridder group in the Netherlands. There are also offices in Canada, the US, Spain, France, and China.”
Johan has been in contact with his foreign colleagues a lot, which has mainly been online at this point. He hopes that he can soon visit them in person again.
In Africa, the Stan-countries (such as Kazakhstan), and the Middle East, the changes to the climate are noticeable. To meet the food supply needed, growers have started to scale up from low-tech to mid-tech cultivation, Johan notices. “The open ground cultivations begin to be covered in foil. Our new colleague, Said El Ouakili, Sales Manager EMEA, fulfills a key role in all of this. He supplies the installers and partners in the region with the right knowledge and support.”