Throughout history, Limburg always had a significant high level of knowledge when it comes to breeding and growing cucumbers. The climate, mentality and entrepreneurial spirit of our growers has led to collaboration and innovation. Also, the location of Limburg to internal and external markets is key. With a reach of 170,000,000 people in a 500 km radius.
410,000,000 kgGrown in the Netherlands each year
98% WaterThe most refreshing vegetable!
300 Fruits per m2 per yearIn greenhouses with high light intensities production
200 Fruits of 350 gr per m2We grow approx. 80 kg of cucumbers per square meter in our greenhouses
Zero seedsThe cucumber fruit contains zero seeds as the cucumber fruits grow without pollination
Freshness and crispiness are the key strengths of cucumber for consumers
Most consumers eat cucumbers for their taste, health reasons, and for their versatility
Provides multiple vitamins and minerals
Source of Vitamin K
In greenhouses with high light intensities production is > 300 fruits per m2 per year (av. fruit weight 350 gr)
Limburg is on
We are on a mission. To make Limburg the most innovative, attractive and healthiest province in the Netherlands. The world is changing at a rapid pace. We are all facing huge challenges. The environmental pressure on the planet, the scarcity of natural resources and the growing influence of technology. At LIOF we are taking on these challenges to improve our lives, our health and the way we do business. Focusing on four transitions; energy, circularity, health and digitization.
Hortus Group – since 1967
Operating in a state-of-the art horticultural greenhouse up to 10 hectares under constant lightning. Hortus in Futuro, the official name of the cucumber branch only grows in an effective and sustainably manner. Besides growing, the facility is equipped with the most advanced packaging technology. “Grown by nature” is what Paul van Lipzig truly believes and realizes in the North of Limburg. Not only improving their own product but the sector as a whole. “It is our shared responsibility to grow, breed and package our vegetables in the healthiest and most sustainable way. And to share that knowledge.”
Wijnen Square Crops – since 1978
Producing and developing for tomorrow’s taste is a continuous process. Consumer behavior is always developing and shifting. By staying one step ahead we are able to stay relevant in a very competitive market. By tasting, testing and sharing ideas with retailers and end-customers. “Sustainability and thinking outside the box go hand in hand at Wijnen” says Koen Saris. All the water that we use in our greenhouses is recirculated. Which means we re-use water as much as we can when providing nutrients to our plants. Whilst temperatures are fluctuating heavily outside, inside the temperature is ‘caught’ by energy-screens that contain heat and make sure it stays where it’s needed. All small but innovative steps that produce very tasty cucumbers in an efficient and sustainable manner.
We want to make healthy eating enjoyable and sustainable
Marketing & Business Development
High Tech at BASF ‘s vegetable seeds business
“BASF’s vegetable seeds business, headquartered in Nunhem, is the first company to combine crop, customer and consumer expertise to create customized vegetable solutions with partners in the entire value chain.”
A valuable contribution for our future
“We want to make healthy eating enjoyable and sustainable. Therefore, we strongly believe in the development towards a connected, data-driven, automated and sustainable production system with consumers’ needs in mind,” says Anne Jancic, Marketing & Business Development High Tech at BASF ‘s vegetable seeds business.
Cucumbers will move out of the commodity. They will be more diverse, more convenient, healthy and tasty. When people will eat cucumbers in the future, it will be an experience. The shopping itself will most likely become more of an experience, being an inspiration by itself, becoming more digital and informative – a (virtual) place where consumers and growers meet directly.
Also, the cultivation of cucumbers will develop further. Machine learning, AI, and autonomous technologies are already being incorporated into every aspect of our daily lives. They will increasingly have a place in greenhouse crop production. Powerful genetics are a part of that environment and the reason why BASF is exploring the capabilities of artificial intelligence and data driven growing.
Creating together is key
“Getting the best out of our genetics and offering vegetables people love, is always a joint effort with the growers, greenhouse technology suppliers, universities and the whole industry. We believe that collaboration and synergies are key and contribute to developing even smarter innovations – data driven growing and the movement towards a real smart greenhouse are two of those examples”.
Creating a new cucumber variety takes less than a decade.
Creating a new breed of cucumber with unique attributes is a very detailed process. There are several phases that add up to 8.5 years of R&D. From early development to market introduction the amount of variations quickly rises. It’s a tedious but rewarding process.
Innovation combined with a deep understanding of customer and consumer needs drives our business at BASF
Head of R&D, BASF’s vegetable seeds business
BASF’s vegetable seeds business, headquartered in Nunhem, is a global player with varieties meeting the demands of growers, value chain and consumers.
“Our ambition is to make healthy eating enjoyable and sustainable - for people, our partners and our planet. Through the 500 billion vegetable seeds we sell per year, we reach more than 500,000,000 consumers every day. We want to contribute to the healthy diet of these consumers and be good to the environment. To pursue our ambition we combine crop, customer and consumer expertise to create customized vegetable solutions with our partners in the entire value chain.”
And it all starts with breeding.
Dedicated facilities for cucumber breeding
A 2.5 acre breeding greenhouse facilitates BASF’s capabilities to meet the needs of consumers and the global food value chain with novel varieties. The facility incorporates the latest technology to optimize breeding operations including plant hygiene locks, equipment and protocols to minimize infection risk, diffused glazing for optimal use of natural light, high roofs and high-pressure moistening for better plant climate and energy saving. In combination with marker technology (using genetic markers / PCR test = well-known nowadays) in the laboratory and indoor farming techniques (seed to seed cycles regardless the outside season), our breeding center reduced the development time of cucumber varieties by up to 25 percent.
“Innovation combined with a deep understanding of customer and consumer needs drives our business at BASF. We aim to develop vegetable varieties that create value and exceed the expectations of tomorrow’s consumer.”
Reduced environmental footprint
Our greenhouses are also at the forefront of modern environmental standards. Energy saving technologies and translucent screens inside the greenhouses ensure an even climate and reduce gas consumption by up to 48 percent. Repeated recycling, disinfection and cleaning of the cultivation water reduce crop protection residues in sewer and surface water by 99.5 percent which is above the current Dutch legal requirement of 95 percent.
Keep knowledge growing
The Botany Group is a global knowledge- and development partner in plant physiology, plant health and cultivation techniques.
Indoor- outdoor- and
Our own research facilities are highly flexible and reliable for the conduction of trials. The facilities can be adapted to facilitate any cultivation system. Our standard facilities are suitable for cultivation of fruits, vegetables, ornamental crops and post-harvest research. The availability of divers cultivation systems at one location makes our company suitable for tackling any research questions formulated by your R&D team. Our facilities are suitable for all phases of product development and can be rented by clients for their own R&D.
Energy effective lighting techniques
The Botany Group was one of the thirteen partners that participated in the cross-border GLITCH-project in the past 3 years. With the GLITCH-project, we focused on the development of innovative energy-efficient and climate-neutral cultivation techniques and systems in greenhouse horticulture. The Botany Group was specifically involved in energy-efficient lighting techniques in high-wire cucumber.