Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, today announced that Holstein Flowers, the world’s largest and most innovative gerbera grower, is beginning a trial project using Philips GreenPower LED toplighting in a full climate compartment of 10,000 m2. LED toplighting will provide the right light spectrum to optimize cultivation and boost efficiency, while improving quality and yield.
“We are seeing a shift in yield optimization and yield quality for gerbera growers, realizing that they can use LEDs to bring the harvest of gerberas forward,” said Udo van Slooten, Business Leader Horticulture at Signify. “This gives them a head start over the competition and gives them a more predictable offer to their customers.”
Being ahead of the competition is nothing new for Holstein Flowers. Established in 1946, the family-run business grows over almost 130 gerbera varieties across 11 hectares and is currently the largest gerbera grower worldwide. Holstein Flowers is also one of the world’s cleanest gerbera growers and has a continuous focus on sustainability.
“We chose to work with Signify because they are the market leader in LED lighting in horticulture,” explained Hans van Holstein, Managing Director for crop and innovation at Holstein Flowers. “So far, they are the most knowledgeable and experienced in growing gerberas with LED lighting and developing dedicated crop light recipes. This makes Signify the best suited partner to meet this challenge. I was impressed with the commitment and flexibility of the team”.
Optimizing every stage
Holstein Flowers believes innovation can play a key role in optimizing every stage of the process, from breeding to packing. This belief led to the initial investment of 10,000 m2 for the LED project, allowing Holstein Flowers and Signify to test the LED lighting in the real circumstances of a full climate compartment and truly understand the effects of LED on gerbera. The project will help to determine the optimal light recipe* before expanding in March.
A major benefit of LED is that it enables growers to raise the light intensity without increasing the temperature in the greenhouse. “We expect it will give us a better control over our climate and crop, so we can achieve high quality produce and yield at the same time. On top of generating valuable insights into the potential of LED lighting in the cultivation of gerberas, the project will further our understanding of how we can make horticulture more efficient and sustainable,” Van Holstein said.
*A light recipe incorporates the color spectrum, the intensity and the timing of the LED lighting; when to turn the lights on and off and for how long, to optimally grow a crop