Organic Shapes BV is a new producer of stabilized substrates for seed, cuttings, and tissue culture applications for professional horticulture. The company already has well over 25 years of experience in substrates and their stabilization, as well as the propagation of young plants. Organic Shapes was created from a fusion of knowledge and passion for young plants and technical substrates. It focuses primarily on the professional market for vegetables, ornamentals, and perennials. Production manager Patrick van Bergenhenegouw and R&D manager Erik de Ruiter see the new Bio-based platform as an inevitable development.
"Our mission is to be at the forefront of technical stabilized substrates in terms of sustainability and quality," says Erik. With our unique and patented Bio-based binder, we are able to create stabilized substrate plugs from fully renewable raw materials. An absolute novelty in this worldwide growing market.
Patrick: "We are the first who have succeeded in processing a Bio-based binder into stabilized plugs. We can also produce an infinite number of different shapes and incorporate customer-specific requirements into our product, hence our name Organic Shapes." Erik confirms, "The world is changing drastically when it comes to sustainability. The segment of stabilized plugs can't stay behind, and despite the higher price for Bio-based binders, we manage to bring price-competitive products on the market in this high-end segment.”
With an extensive background and experience in building substrate production lines, Patrick is very enthusiastic about the ultramodern line in Wateringen, which he himself considers to be the most modern and innovative line in the world. All extensions of current stabilization techniques have been researched and further developed and combined with innovations from adjacent industries, leading to a new, greatly improved technology for this substrate line. "Patrick: “Additionally, we had to develop a completely new dosing and mixing system because the processing of a Bio-based binder has to meet different and more precise specifications. However, they also make a world of difference in uniformity and consistency of the product. Not to mention, the amount of opportunities it creates to respond even more specifically to customer needs." Last but not least, the company also invested in its own mould factory, offering the customer more technical support for engineering new products, more flexibility, and fast turnaround times.
When it comes to plugs, you frequently hear that they are Peat Free, although that is rarely, if ever, the case. To date, there has always been the necessity of a certain percentage of Peat to refine the characteristics of the plugs. At this moment, Organic Shapes does make stabilized substrate plugs that are demonstrably 100% Peat Free, again a unique feature worldwide.
"Quite an achievement"
Rick Kolster of FNK Youngplants in Kudelstaart is the first customer in the perennial/ bedding plant segment. After extensive testing with Lavender, he swiftly decided to put this year's last orders for his Lavender cuttings in plugs from Organic Shapes. Rick: "The plugs perform better and are comparable in terms of cost. I also get a sustainable Bio-based and Peat Free plug. Quite an achievement because a sustainable development with these types of products often costs more or the quality lags behind the regular product."