Maarel Orchids will work with Biosensors from the Swiss company Vivent. We can use biosensors to monitor electrical signals that, if abnormalities occur, can indicate stress in the plant.
By means of electrophysiology, we can determine changes and link them to the cultivation data. This allows us to develop models to gain more insight into the crop.
This way we get real-time feedback when the plant experiences stress. Stress can be related to climate, irrigation, screens, transition situations from high to low irradiation and when using LED lighting.
We would like to gain insight into how the plant reacts to LED lighting. Especially given our recent step in installing LED lighting in various departments. The transition from vegetative to a generative crop will also play a role in how the crop responds to light. Ultimately, we want to optimize the cultivation techniques we apply and we hope that the results of these Biosensors will provide us with answers.
Lemkes BV organized a 2-day retail trip to the UK and we were invited to come along! With a well-filled program, René, together with Lemkes and other focus growers, traveled to Southampton early on Tuesday morning.
The first day was filled by various store checks, in order to get a good picture of the current UK retail market. Tesco, Sainsbury, ASDA, Homestead and B&Q were visited. The shelves were well stocked for the English Mother’s Day on March 19. Including our own plants! Together with Lemkes we did a nice Mother’s Day promotion in Ceramics. Always nice to see how our plants end up on the shelves waiting for the consumer.
Accompanied by Tim Clapp, head of range Kingfisher and Richard Egerton, lead byer B&Q, we were welcomed at Springfield on the second day. This is a 2.5 acres test site, unique in England. Here we got an insight into the various tests they perform. They test alternative organic fertilizers and conduct various tests to gain experience with peat-free substrates. They then share the knowledge they gain with the growers who supply them with plants.
They want to anticipate the expected legislation that will restrict the use of peat. This is extremely important to B&Q because they are the largest supplier of garden soil in the UK.
Their approach is inspiring, but also reflects the enormous importance of this transition.
We can look back on two inspiring and innovative days!
Maarel Orchids stands for transparent, long-term partnerships with our customers. Due to growth in production, the demand for employees has increased sharply. In order to reduce working hours per week and to efficiently search for motivated people, we have entered into a new type of collaboration this year.
Through a payroll company from Gelderland, we came into contact with our contact person Pavel Smantana in Romania. We already have several couples under contract with us, including Julian and Juliana.
”We ended up at Maarel Orchids through Pavel’s recruitment agency. We both come from Botoşani, a city in the north of Romania, in the Moldova region. We met while playing pool with friends and have been together for almost 3 years now. We wanted to work abroad for a few years to earn money and save for our own house.” Juliana’s brother has been working in the Netherlands for a number of years and because Julian has already worked in Zaltbommel for a period of time in 2017, the choice was simple, the Netherlands. Last summer was it time for the big move. My brother has now moved to Turnhout in Belgium, fortunately it is only an hour’s drive from Maassluis.
“At the agency we could see through short films what kind of work we would be doing at different companies before we actually left. I thought the orchids were very beautiful so that immediately caught my attention. We eventually chose Maarel Orchids because of the conditions and working hours. We are home around 4 o’clock every day, so we have time to do other things in the afternoon or just relax. We don’t work on Saturday, and if we do we get a day off during the week.”
Juliana works in the packing department and Julian is part of our technical department. ”We enjoy working in the teams and get on well with the team leaders of these departments, we can go to them with our questions. And if they can’t help us any further, we can always contact René Vissers. A while ago, for example, our central heating boiler broke down, this was immediately picked up and repaired”.
Our accommodation was arranged by Maarel Orchids. We now live in a terraced house in Maassluis, together with 2 other couples from Romania. We have to share the bathroom, kitchen and living room. That’s fine for now.”