Home' Grower : September 2011 Contents 20
The South Australian Grower – September 2011
◗ PCA Conference 2011
Potential for co-ops in growth
of Aust greenhouse sector
❏ By PETER BRADY
ENZA ZADEN Export BV
(Australia-New Zealand) area
manager Herman van der Gulik
believes the potential for greenhouse
development in Australia is enormous.
And he is confident that develop-
ment of large co-operatives in
European models will have a place in
the industry’s future.
In his Remaining profitable in south-
ern European greenhouses presentation
at the Bridging the Gap Protected
Cropping Conference in Adelaide, Mr
van der Gulik said growers who could
develop a common “trust” would be
able to lower costs and maximise
returns as retailers consolidated.
“Technical support, greater purchas-
ing/marketing power, specialist grow-
ers – all in diverse locations - will lead
groups of growers to work together to
maximise profits,” he said.
“We see more commitment by
growers and independent marketers
to each other and it looks likely to
Mr van der Gulik, whose company is
a major global supplier of vegetable
seed, said the development of co-ops
in Spain and Portugal – with their
own packing operations and market-
ing staff – had allowed growers to
focus on production.
The co-ops paid more for higher
quality. Packing and marketing costs
were removed before the grower was
paid – one month after delivery. Most
growers strived to increase the quality
of their produce to remain in the top-
paying, high-quality pools.
Mr van der Gulik said advantages of
co-op selling included:
• More buying and selling power as a
group – retailers deal with one or
two people who represent hundreds
of growers and diverse products.
• Growers have 12-month produc-
• Price is more stable.
• Growers receive technical support.
• Packaging, transport, capital costs
and marketing are spread over more
• Growers own and direct strategic
direction of the co-op. Profits are
reinvested or returned to growers.
Mr van der Gulik said the disadvan-
tages – including investment of grow-
er funds to establish the co-op, diffi-
culties for shareholder/growers to
make consensus decisions, growers
losing flexibility for new products and
not having individual brands – were
outweighed by the advantages.
He said in southern Europe growers
■ Greater purchasing/marketing
■ Advantages outweigh disadvan-
■ Production becoming a lot
☛ AT A GLANCE
Herman van der Gulik says the development of co-ops in
Spain and Portugal – with their own packing operations and
marketing staff – have allowed growers to focus on
▲ Henk van Tuyl says KUBO has redefined greenhouses for the horticultural sector.
wants a blue future
KUBO’ s greenhouse future is blue.
And with marketing to match its technological prowess, the Dutch
company focuses on innovative systems “that make sustainable,
cost-effective operational management possible”.
KUBO export area manager Henk van Tuyl says the company has
20 per cent of the market in Holland and has similar ambitions in
“Our evaporative systems are high-capacity, low-cost designs,”
“But we pay particular attention to the ideas of our clients.”
KUBO had recently completed construction of two 22ha green
house developments in Europe.
The company’s first Ultra-Clima greenhouse, in California, is not
dependent on fossil fuels.
There are fewer vents, allowing between 5 per cent and 15pc
more light, intelligent controls for optimising temperature,
atmospheric humidity and CO2. Harmful insects are shut out and
water recirculates through the system.
“The new greenhouse concept will be the blueprint for the future
to guarantee sustainable, food-safe cultivation,” Mr van Tuyl said.
Details: + 31 611 028 793, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.kubo.nl
were developing larger pro-
duction areas and co-ops
were becoming bigger, with
the top four having more
than 1000 hectares each, and
larger co-ops buying up
“Production is also becom-
ing a lot greener, with a huge
percentage adopting inte-
grated pest management and
more growing certified
organic produce,” Mr van
der Gulik said.
Details: +64 (0) 2185 8939 or her-
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