2021 is a special year for LetsGrow.com. The company from Vlaardingen, specialized in collecting, visualizing, and analyzing crop data, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year! The entire year 2021 will therefore be dedicated to this anniversary.
Has LetsGrow.com really been working with data in horticulture for twenty years? The answer to this question is: Yes. The company was founded in 2001, partly as a result of an initiative by Wageningen University & Research (WUR). The initial goal was to make the models of the WUR available to growers via the Internet, which was a very new technique at the time. Later, the company developed further in opening up various cultivation data in order to be able to compare crops. The experience, gained in two decades, has ensured that LetsGrow.com today is specialized in collecting, visualizing, and analyzing data from growers worldwide. In doing so, they combine the latest technologies with specialist knowledge.
The switch from a comparison platform to the optimization of cultivation by means of extensive data analyses arose from a higher goa namely the need for high-quality food in a growing world population. "In the coming years, many greenhouses will be built to serve this demand for food. In practice, this means that more greenhouses will be built than growers can be trained. So there is more and more need for knowledge of cultivation. In other words; how can a grower grow as efficiently and optimally as possible in a sustainable way and how do you make this scalable, repeatable and predictable?" - Ton van Dijk, Global Head of Sales & Operations at LetsGrow.com.
The plant central with plant empowerment
At LetsGrow.com, the plant is always central. The models and analyses are based on the principles of Plant Empowerment. This is an integrated approach to the sustainable cultivation of crops by supporting the balance of the plant and the greenhouse. The starting point is to stimulate and support the natural growth of plants by creating optimal growth conditions, both above ground and in the root zone. Ton: "By guiding growers with the Plant Empowerment theory and by providing visual insight into their data via our platform MyLetsGrow, they can make the step from traditional growing to Data-Driven Growing. We use technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for our models and always put plant physiology at the heart of this, we call this Expert Intelligence. We combine this with Expert Knowledge, the knowledge of our specialists and that of our customers, to achieve the best possible result for the customer."
A 40-strong diverse team
Over the past 20 years, the company has undergone considerable development in its services, but the team has also grown. Today, the team consists of almost 40 people. Ton is proud of the growth of the team and the developments they have made and are still making: "We employ many different types of people. Some with backgrounds in horticulture, but also people with knowledge of other technical branches or for example in sales and marketing. Our team is very diverse in knowledge, but also in gender and age. We combine young and university educated talents, with some very experienced colleagues. In addition, we also have a variety of male and female or cultural background. That makes us a dynamic group that is very well balanced".
Personal growth and lots of fun
LetsGrow.com also pays a lot of attention to a pleasant working atmosphere and personal development. Ton explains: "We think a healthy and pleasant company culture is very important and also encourage our people to continue to grow personally”.
"In addition, we do a lot to recruit new enthusiastic colleagues. By encouraging a good work-life balance and offering a pleasant working environment. Despite the fact that we are all working at home a lot now, we do try to maintain the connection with our colleagues. Above all, work should be fun!".
Celebrating the anniversary
To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, LetsGrow.com has various actions planned. Ton says: "Of course we are going to celebrate this milestone throughout the year. We are going to use our LinkedIn channel to share interesting articles in which we look back at the history of LetsGrow.com and look ahead to what the future will bring us. Of course, we want to include our clients in this vision of the future. That is why we are looking at the possibilities of organizing something for our clients. Offline or online, we are leaving those options open in this uncertain time".