Dirk Vlaemynck

We strive on our farm to minimise our business waste. For example, when we grow our tomatoes we use an organic substrate and biodegradable cover. The planting process and fertigation are different from when a rock wool substrate is used, but the production is the same. The substrate is easy to compost. To make the plant waste easier to use, our farm no longer uses any plastic clips to support the tomato plants; instead, the plants are wound round the strings by hand.

We are also taking measures in social terms. Because growing tomatoes takes so much manual work, we try to make the work as pleasant and ergonomic as possible for our workers. The processes are automated as far as possible, including with self-driving harvesters. The vehicles used for crop maintenance are fitted with ergonomic rubber mats for extra comfort, and their height can also be adjusted. A proximity switch instead of a foot pedal puts less strain on the workers.

Our farm also boasts a unique example of cooperation between greenhouse crops and fish farming. We supply electricity, heat and the necessary water to the fish farm and we receive the (waste) water from the fishes, which is full of nutrients. We use this for our tomatoes. This saves us fertilizers, which is better for our farm and for the environment.

 

Dirk Vlaemynck

Tomato