SchermNed has expanded its product range with screen installations and insect netting for foil greenhouses. With this step, SchermNed wants to respond to the higher demands made worldwide on cultivation in plastic greenhouses. “In this market, too, you can see a movement towards year-round production and better climate control,” says Jack van der Voort, Director of SchermNed. To serve the new market, the company has recruited a well-known name in the sector, Gerrit Drankier, who brings with him more than 40 years of technical and commercial experience in screening. Gerrit will operate from Spain, in the horticultural regions of Almeria and Murcia.
Jack and Gerrit
At present, SchermNed focuses primarily on domestic and foreign greenhouse horticulture, garden centres and occasional utility projects such as screening in zoos. Jack van der Voort of the Naaldwijk-based family business: “When we think of horticulture in Westland, we tend to think of glass greenhouses. However, 90% of covered cultivation worldwide consists of foil greenhouses. Not only is the foil market much bigger, it is also a market that is professionalising. The low-tech foil greenhouse is turning into mid-tech, the mid-tech greenhouse is turning into high-tech. Entrepreneurs who initially opted for a foil greenhouse based on price alone are now becoming serious growers. More and more foil greenhouses are being fitted with screens and insect nets.”
In cooperation with Van der Valk Systemen - SchermNed's regular supplier since 1990 - SchermNed applies new screen systems in foil greenhouses. Given that foil greenhouses do not have lattice trusses, an alternative suspension system was devised. The system also takes into account the lower load capacity of the side walls in a foil greenhouse. Jack van der Voort: It is more than just a functional solution; the system is also interesting in terms of price for the foil market. Sheets come from the usual suppliers, but here too, growers in other countries do not set such high standards.
Southern Europe and Africa
SchermNed expects growers of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in particular to be interested in screen installations in their greenhouses. Horticultural regions on which SchermNed concentrates are mainly southern European countries such Spain, Italy, the south of France and Turkey as well as horticultural countries in Africa. Gerrit Drankier, who has held technical and commercial positions in the screening sector for forty years, was recruited for this purpose. In view of the large southern European market, he will operate from Spain, in the middle of the horticultural regions of Almeria and Murcia. Gerrit Drankier: “If you look around you can see a sea of foil greenhouses. In Spain, too, growers are investing in a better climate. Screening makes the climate more stable and creates more calm around the crop. It allows more kilos to be produced without a ton of money going up the chimney.”
Gerrit Drankier will be the point of contact for the operational management of international projects. He will also contribute to the calculations and work preparation. The actual installation of screening and insect netting will mostly be in the hands of local contractors under Dutch supervision, SchermNed expects. Drankier: “By keeping a helicopter view of the project, we can do business efficiently and enjoyably, in which personal contact is our preference. It goes without saying that we can always make adjustments remotely if speed is required in a project. Using floor plans, drawings, photos and a conference call, I can then give you advice and a tailor-made quote.”