Van der Avoird Trayplant
How Van der Avoird Trayplant achieved a very high yield using just 1ha of land instead of 240ha?
Van der Avoird Trayplant, a leading company in the soft fruit sector founded in 2002 made an impressive step towards innovation and sustainability in modern agriculture, introducing their innovative technique of propagating raspberry plants in a tray. An unseen step that many industry peers gratefully followed.
Specialized in growing strawberry and raspberry propagating material, the company managed to win in 2018 the Agrarian Entrepreneur of the Year (Agrarisch Ondernemer van het Jaar) award.
As years went by, other locations were opened and in 2019 the first sorting robot became a reality and Trayplant achieved a milestone of 25 million plants.
Trayplant wants to make an impact. A positive impact on our world. That is why, over the past 10 years, they have invested heavily in the areas of labor, water, energy, environment, nature, biodiversity and education.
But how did Trayplant achieve that? First of all, by always being future-oriented. Their journey of innovation started from the beginning and didn’t stop there. Their greenhouse uses a 100% closed water system without wasting raw materials or energy, they have no emission of plant protection agents and they drive electric cars and store residual heat to keep the greenhouse and offices cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The challenges they faced with growing millions of raspberry cuttings per year and all the heavy and complex process for the harvesting brought them to the decision to invest in a Vertical Farm system with high logistical performance. Also, this type of system is “suitable for low-growing cultivation of raspberries and strawberries, and it is also much better for our planet in the long term” , said the team from Van der Avoird Trayplant.
That is why, In 2022 Van der Avoird Trayplant commissioned a large-scale automated multilayer cultivation system from Logiqs.
When they took the decision to invest in a multilayer cultivation system, Trayplant didn’t look just at the economic opportunities but also if it’s genuinely sustainable, and does it contribute to the whole in the long term.
The smart multilayer cultivation system that we designed and implemented for Van der Avoird Trayplant was the decisional factor for choosing Logiqs.
With more than eight hundred mobile growing benches, which slide slowly under energy-efficient LED lights in an endless chain of rails, Trayplant managed to achieve a very high yield, using just 1Ha of land, instead of 240H required for traditional cultivation.
The harvesting work has moved from outside to inside and from floor level to table level. Instead of people going to the crops, the crops pass the people in a nice controlled way. Working conditions have increased very much, leading to improved product quality and reduced labor costs.
But the efficiency of the design that Logiqs implemented for Trayplant, doesn’t stop here : only half of the vertical farm uses artificial lighting to be efficient and the crop gets circulated each day. By using this intelligent setup, considerably less LED lighting fixtures and climate control installations are needed to simulate the day-night cycle of the plants.
During this circulation of the crop, the benches also go through the fixed irrigation spot.
Also, the top level uses natural light, opening up the possibility to also experiment with mixes of natural and artificial light.
The Vertical Farm is completely controlled by computers, which can coordinate the optimal living and growing conditions of their plants, thanks to numerous measurements.
At Van der Avoird Trayplant, the R & D department also searches for innovations, new techniques are being optimized on an ongoing basis and they also test the potential of new crops.
When we asked them about their biggest advantage in regards to the system they have, the answer was simple and right at point : saving labor and improving ergonomics and cultivation technique.
By investing in an automated multilayer growing system in combination with a sustainable energy supply and water management, Van der Avoird Trayplant achieves efficient sustainable operations with a return per hectare that is substantially higher than traditional cultivation.
For Van der Avoird, “sustainability in the broadest sense of the word” is the main competitive advantage that the Vertical Farming System brought to their business.
What is amazing is that Van der Avoird gives the remaining land available back to nature and society and uses it for visual greenery and biodiversity.
Because now they need much less land thanks to our innovative cultivation system, Trayplant has laid out a footpath on their land and developed nature with native plants and trees. The so-called Wouwervallei area.
The collaboration between Logiqs And Van der Avoird Trayplant was a true success thank to the “people who want to offer solutions” and we are happy to have helped them to produce climate – independently and healthier crops while at the same time taking less from the planet and giving more to the people, without compromising their productivity.