Koppert Cress: innovative food production
Dutch greenhouse horticulturalist Koppert Cress has received multiple awards for developing innovative and sustainable food production techniques.
Image: Source: Netherlands Enterprise Agency
New production solutions
Traditional global food production and resources are coming under increasing pressure. More sustainable and purposeful food production solutions are required in order to significantly increase global food production. Koppert Cress, based in the Westland – an area in Holland known for its greenhouse horticulture – has developed innovative techniques for growing crops with LED lights. Their cresses are being sold across the globe.
More efficient and effective
LED lamps are a more efficient and effective light source for growing crops than the high-pressure sodium lights traditionally used in horticulture. High-pressure sodium lights are also used as street lights. LED lamps produce more light using the same amount of power. And although they generate heat, they do not eradiate it.
The Koppert Cress greenhouse is built with a semi-closed system, where a large part of the heat from the lamps and the sunlight is collected and stored underground. In winter, this stored heat helps to heat the greenhouse, so less stoking is required. In summer, the reverse process takes place when the water from the cold source is used for cooling the greenhouse.
LED lamps are not only sustainable, they also facilitate multilayer cultivation. Conventional lamps emit more heat, so they have to be placed at a proper distance from crops to prevent damage.
LED lamps do not eradiate heat, and growing crops in multiple layers with LED lighting has allowed Koppert Cress to increase its production capacity by 400%.
Better growth results
Growing plants under only blue and red LED light has other advantages leading to better growth results. Crops are sensitive to these colours on the edges of the spectrum. Moreover, these specific colours are independently dimmable and can therefore be optimally matched to the need of the crop, so again, no energy is lost.
Besides innovative technology for lighting and greenhouses, Koppert Cress also develops new types of cresses, urban farming techniques, new packaging methods and ways of cooking.
For more information, see their website: www.koppertcress.com