On Wednesday, September 13, Bejo's new Plant Nursery at Trambaan 8 in Warmenhuizen was officially opened. A beautiful modern location that is fully equipped for the propagation and manual pollination of vegetable plants. It offers plenty of room for the growth and further development of the company.
"With the team that will be working at this location, we have officially inaugurated the building and greenhouses. From now on, they can take steps in further expansion and professionalization of the activities," said John-Pieter Schipper, CEO of Bejo.
The team of the Plant Nursery Department will sow and raise an estimated 15 million plants per year. These are mainly plants of test crosses that are later evaluated for desirable traits by breeders on trial fields. In addition, plant raising is necessary for seed production and for planting of the demonstration fields. During the flowering period in spring, a team of specialized seasonal workers will work on crop pollination for the development of new trial crosses and parental lines.
Moving forward with technology
The complex has been built for the future and equipped with new technologies that ensure an optimal working environment for employees and the best conditions for plants. For example, irrigation booms for watering are equipped with CleanLight UV light that biologically protects plants against fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Crop growth is supported by tailor-made LED light "recipes", which are adaptable for different times of the year and extend the season. High-pressure misting helps to control the optimal indoor climate. The 39 compartmentalized cells each have their own climate control system that can be set to the needs of the crop in that cell.
Naturally, this facility more than meets current standards of sustainability, such as good insulation, use of heat pumps, and solar panels. Much attention has been paid to the efficient use and reuse of water. An ingenious example is that condensation from the greenhouse is collected to wash plant crates. In addition, the facility has been designed in a way where the Bejo team can implement further sustainability, for example, adding more heat pumps. Bejo plans to set up a climate street that connects the various buildings on the Trambaan in Warmenhuizen between which hot and cold needs can be exchanged. The facilities at Trambaan 8 are already fully prepared for this.
Interesting job for a team leader
The building fits well into its rural surroundings but still stands out in a subtle way. The triangular shapes were inspired by the Schoorl Dunes and the meandering West Frisian Zeedijk, well thought out by Studio Red from Tuitjenhorn. The overall complex has become impressive: in addition to the 2,500-square-meter building, the adjacent greenhouses cover 28,000 square meters. At the moment, it is still very calm in the complex. The location will be put into use in phases, taking over the main activities of an outdated location in Warmenhuizen (Oudevaart).
During the official opening, there was of course special attention paid to thank colleagues and all partners, mostly from the Warmenhuizen area, who cooperated in the architecture, construction, and furnishing of the complex.
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