HilverdaFlorist on the importance of hygiene in breeding and propagation

"New nursery makes hygiene number one priority"

A new nursery gives you the most ideal situation to make hygiene priority number one. That is the time in the design phase to set up the nursery as hygienically and practically as possible. HilverdaFlorist started talking to hygiene specialist Dirk Timmers of Royal Brinkman at an early stage. Dirk Timmers helped with the plans by going through the routes, the movements, and the walking lines. To eliminate all hygiene risks and prevent cross-contamination."

HilverdaFlorist realized a new greenhouse on the Achterweg in 2022, a new nursery location next to the existing HilverdaFlorist location on the Dwarsweg in De Kwakel, The Netherlands. The companies are connected in terms of the logistics process, which requires supreme preparedness in terms of hygiene. Thijs van Kessel, Head of Facility Services: "We are a breeding and propagating company and supply cut flower and potplant growers with propagation material including gerbera, carnation, alstroemeria, and helleborus. This must be free of diseases and pests and not contaminated with bacteria, fungi, and viruses. That is our right to exist. We impose strict hygiene rules on ourselves, and NAKtuinbouw also carries out checks here almost every week."

Risk analysis
Dirk Timmers joined HilverdaFlorist at an early stage to look over the design drawings with Thijs van Kessel. Dirk: "We started by making a risk analysis using the five pillars of the HortiHygienz compass. With this risk analysis, concrete solutions were implemented."

Hygiene zones
The nursery design is divided into three zones colored red, yellow, and green. The growing areas with the crops are marked as green zones. This is where the toughest hygiene measures are taken. An infection has the greatest impact here. The grading and handling areas are the yellow zone. The red zones are all areas that you cannot fully control in terms of hygiene. These include the outside area and the area where new material is delivered by drivers. Hygiene measures are taken at the border of each zone before one can enter the new zone. Dirk Timmers: "We were able to offer HilverdaFlorist a total approach with hygiene solutions from the HortiHygienz program. The solutions installed at HilverdaFlorist are diverse. The disinfection of people (hands and footwear) takes place using various hygiene locks, the disinfection of wheels and shoes is done with the new 'Wheel and Sole Cleaning System,' the disinfection of cultivation tables with an advanced spray boom and the disinfection of irrigation water with silver-stabilized hydrogen peroxide. HilverdaFlorist uses Menno Florades, Enno Rapid, and Huwa-San TR-50 products for disinfection of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and viroids."

HilverdaFlorist has an innovation in horticultural hygiene. At four locations in the nursery is, the new "Wheel and Sole Cleaning System" installed here. When delivering plant material and other goods from outside to inside, the highest level of preparedness applies. All forklifts and pallet trucks drive over the new 'Wheel and Sole Cleaning System' immediately upon entry. It is a durable system that is well-suited for intensive use. This new system is located at four crucial points in the company every time a zone is changed. In a cutout of 2 by 3 meters in the concrete floor are stainless steel grids with movable brushes in a bath of the disinfectant Menno Florades. Thijs van Kessel: "Royal Brinkman advised us throughout the process from start to finish. Together we managed to achieve the optimal level of hygiene for our company! Nothing is taken for granted, and hygiene is top priority," says Thijs van Kessel. "Everything that moves is disinfected, and all risks of transmission of diseases are excluded as best as possible.

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