“Nowadays, there’s very little growing space. Many growers have to grow in several places at the same time, moving their products around,” says Floris Berghout, International business development manager at KG Systems. “Therefore, when taking this problem into account, vertical farming is a valuable addition to horticulture. However, I do not think that vertical farming will replace traditional greenhouse growers.”
Over 15 years ago, KG Systems became involved with vertical farming. In 2006, the company constructed its first vertical farm inside a greenhouse, used for lilly production, soon after that, a propagation cell followed for orchids. KG Systems has about any solution to vertical farming that can be thought of. This thanks to the experience they gained because of their involvement in many diverse projects over the years.
(F.l.t.r.) Matthias Haakman and Floris Berghout
“Many growers are involved with researching the propagation process in vertical farms as this cultivation process delivers stronger plants and better performance in the greenhouse,” Matthias Haakman, Account manager at KG Systems. “We always sit down with the client to analyze what the most appropriate solution would be for them. Here, we’re looking at the plants and what they need. We’re basically building a product around the plant the grower aims to grow. In terms of seeds, the system, etc.”
Floris says that the great thing about KG Systems’ technique is that they’re able adjust any system to the plants. The team is working closely with flora, tomato, etc. growers. These systems are one big puzzle, but the company can deliver either one piece of it or more. “We’re working with many customers that are either upgrading their systems or wanting to install a complete new farm inside a warehouse, or elsewhere. In all these cases the same knowledge is implemented,” he says.
“The more projects we have done, the more we have been taught about the market. It has enabled us to see what techniques are available and that’s in our benefit. Therefore we can offer the best tailored solutions to our customers nowadays,” says Matthias.
KG Systems' installation at a tulip grower
According to Floris, it’s the trick to outline the situation. Meaning, what does the customer have in mind and then reason back to the plant. The client has its eye on a certain market where the product will be sold at a certain price. Therefore we need to know the following things in order to create the best solution for them. Such as, what does the plant need in order to grow and how do we fit this into a multiple layer system, using what technique? Then we’ll draw up a balance in terms of budget.
KG’s technology is scalable in complexity. In other words, the company can deliver any system at any price, depending on the growers’ end goal. “We are there to help out with their market, potential buyers, you name it. If clients lack of market-, product- or customer knowledge etc., the company directs them to a consultancy agency,” says Floris. This agency will educate them in every area needed and guide them into the right direction.