OVATA, Niels Kreuk BV and Zentoo have in common that they are members of MPS and that they were nominated for the ‘Tuinbouw Ondernemersprijs’ (Horticultural Entrepreneur Award). A great achievement by all three companies, where sustainability is an important part of business operations. It is therefore time for a closer acquaintance.
At succulent nursery OVATA, the main focus is on what the plant needs and specific heat is given. Cultivation is done in harmony with nature and resources are minimised. “The knowledge and range of more targeted biology is increasing, which is why we can use it better and better,” says Demi Ammerlaan, responsible for marketing at OVATA.
Tulip grower Niels Kreuk BV deliberately remains small and uses sustainable technology in the form of a three-layer system. “Where possible, I will always be sustainable, that’s in our DNA,” says Niels Kreuk, owner of Niels Kreuk BV.
Zentoo, the collective of fifteen chrysanthemum growers, is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year. Arjan van der Voort, Operational Director at Zentoo, is very proud of this collective and indicates that the entrepreneurs of Zentoo have already achieved a lot in the past 15 years in the field of greening in cultivation and sustainability in the coming fifteen years will also be high on the agenda.
The three companies have been MPS-ABC and MPS-GAP certified for years. OVATA is also MPS-SQ and MPS-ProductProof certified. For them, being able to show environmental certification is not a goal in itself, but it is supportive on several levels. For example, they show the data behind the certificate to their conversation partners, making the whole tangible. Ammerlaan: “Working with sustainability comes from intrinsic motivation for us. In this way we optimise and minimise the use of resources.”
Showing their sustainability efforts on paper is also of added value for Niels Kreuk. This way they can show exactly what efforts they are making. “It’s also nice that I can measure our usage against the yardstick,” says Kreuk.
Zentoo has the advantage that it is a collective and the entrepreneurs can therefore take a look behind the scenes at each other’s companies. They can also share experiences in the field of sustainability and in this way learn from each other. All chrysanthemum growers of the collective are affiliated with the MPS-Group label. This means that if a grower in the group does not have his affairs in order, this has consequences for the others. “We take this very seriously; within Zentoo we employ one person who is tasked with monitoring the quality and the certificates,” explains Van der Voort.
The goal of Zentoo is to become chemical-free and to grow climate neutral with the group of entrepreneurs in the coming years. Van der Voort indicates that they want to support growers to be as sustainable as possible and to offer tools for this. “We will have to accelerate our actions in this area, but also continue to tell our story well to ensure that our activities continue to be socially accepted. The HortiFootprint Calculator, developed by MPS and LetsGrow.com, is a good development for this.”
Niels Kreuk notices that sustainability is certainly alive in society, especially among young people. It is also a very hot topic in the sector. Kreuk does think that things could be a little more positive in the media. “There are so many beautiful and good developments going on and many sustainable projects are being realised. It would be nice if attention was also paid to that: showing what we have already achieved and not just what has not yet been achieved.”
Ammerlaan agrees. “We also notice that sustainable cultivation also means that our succulents shine. This makes both OVATA and the consumer very happy.”