We grow our sweet peppers in the most sustainable and honest way possible. For us, it means reducing the environmental impact of growing and packing our vegetables. But it also means improving the health and wellbeing of our consumers and our staff.
Solar panels to improve sustainability
SweetPoint Middenmeer produces 3,000 tons of red pointed peppers annually. The company installed 1,308 solar panels on its roof two years ago, generating 420 megawatt of energy per year. In addition to providing green energy for our company, the panels also power 120 households per year. “In summer, we produce enough energy for our business, but in winter we come up short. In addition to geothermal heat, we then use CHPs (combined heat and power units). Although these mini power plants run on gas, they save energy and are efficient because they not only produce heat, but also generate electricity and the CO² we need for growing our plants.”
Biological balance, thanks to natural crop protection
Crop protection is strictly regulated, particularly for the markets where Personal Vision sells red and green blocky peppers: Europe and Japan. “We see these strict rules as a challenge. We use organic crop protection, which is curative but, most importantly, preventive. We use organic fertilisers with beneficial bacteria and fungi that strengthen the root zone, which means vigorous plants can develop.”
Sustainable energy mix
Heating 43 hectares of greenhouses is no easy task. VD Holland does this in the cleanest way possible, which results in an 80% saving on fossil fuels and consequently an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions. ”We pump water with a temperature of 75°C from underground, which is used to heat the greenhouses. When the outdoor conditions are cold, we also switch on the heat pumps. During autumn and winter, the company gets its heat from a biomass plant. This plant processes shredded prunings from a radius of no more than 150 km around Andijk. And that is not all, as our greenhouses are also so-called Groen Label Kassen (green label greenhouses). These greenhouses are built with numerous environmentally friendly modifications incorporated into them.”
“We believe it is important to invest in long-term contracts with our employees and want to give them the opportunity to live in neat, affordable accommodation.” In the summer of 2022, an apartment complex on VD Holland’s property was completed, providing accommodation for 60 employees. There are spacious rooms for two or three people, and some apartments that are available to couples. In addition to the apartment complex, VD Holland owns some houses (with agricultural zoning) around its nurseries where employees live.