Innovating is growing
Innovation is important to horticulture as a whole, certainly when it comes to large-scale cultivation such as that of sweet peppers. The intelligent use of new techniques and other systems enables us to grow our products with increasing efficiency.
Many aspects of our business are automated. Fully automatic harvesting trolleys navigate the concrete path to the processing hall. Once they arrive at the sorting room the trolleys are stored in a buffer, one above the other, after which the sweet peppers are sorted and prepared for the customer. There is hardly any manual work involved throughout the entire process.
We also possess our own packing station. By keeping the packing process in-house we can respond to customer demand with a high degree of flexibility!
Mindful of energy consumption
We are also innovative in terms of energy management. We optimise the balance between our energy needs and costs by using CHP (combined heat and power) and heat pumps.
The ‘waste product’ resulting from burning gas in the CHPs, the heat and CO2, is used in the greenhouses to heat them and promote plant growth. The electricity generated is supplied to the power grid. With our 13 engines we can supply the Noordoostpolder with electricity. Thus generating sustainable energy.
But our ambitions are even greater. Therefore we are focusing on the possibility of geothermal energy to continue to be able to cultivate sustainably in the future.
Geothermal and durability
When using peppers, the latest modern techniques are already widely used. These technologies, such as CHP and heat pumps, cause less energy consumption. But we want to grow more sustainable.
This can be done by using Geothermie (Earthwarmth). We bring warm water from the ground upwards and with this heat we heat the greenhouse.
Through this project Hoogweg can fill in about 70% of its heat demand with green energy, which corresponds to the heat demand of about 15,000 households.
We started drilling in May 2018 and the Geothermal Energy went into production in November 2018.