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Sustainable solutions for climate control and process management

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    “A climate computer is like a marriage; you need to work together to make it a success”

Climate management

Bunnik Plants and Priva deploy smart and sustainable solutions to achieve the ideal greenhouse climate.

Would you like to know more about climate management? 

Peter Könemann
  • "Next Generation Greenhouse Cultivation is a relatively new term for a process that has been underway for a long time, and is something that we at Bunnik Plants are constantly working on," says Frans Bunnik about climate management in his company. "The beaker of water from the past has been replaced by specific sensors, but the mindset has not changed." The company is actively adopting new technologies that can improve the greenhouse climate. "We have already flown the first drone through our greenhouse to see whether this might offer us any opportunities in the near future."

    Monitoring by people is still necessary, but the human influence on the climate processes in the greenhouse is becoming smaller all the time. That is the view of Frans Bunnik, who expects the development of electronics to continue even further. "Companies such as Priva play an important role in this, certainly for the growing compartments at Bunnik Plants."

    Anyone today in the Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector who is thinking about improving the greenhouse climate cannot ignore the developments of Next Generation Greenhouse Cultivation. "But we have actually been working on that for a long time. It's an ongoing process; it constantly helps and forces you to think about how you can better control the climate in the greenhouse with your current measuring systems. Now that we've sampled the new possibilities, in my view things need to go even faster. We invented the wheel together long ago, now the focus is more on the details. With Next Generation Greenhouse Cultivation, that process has now been given a name."

    Rising energy costs are a significant motivation for Bunnik Plants. "In these times, you need to think about alternatives or about adjusting your growing methods." The Priva climate computer is the control room for the optimum growing climate in the various compartments of the business. "The selection of a climate computer is a long-term decision. You might compare it to a marriage; you choose to work together in the long term in order to achieve optimum results. Thanks to the service we get from our dealer and from Priva, we have managed to do that extremely well."

    The wide range of potted plants grown in Bleiswijk requires the various species to be divided among different growing compartments.




    "Each compartment has its own climate regime, tailored to the crops and the time of the year," explains Frans Bunnik. The company grows at seven locations, with different climatic conditions. "Plants with similar ideal crop conditions are placed together, with a rain pipe where necessary and lighting if desired. Each greenhouse also has its own crop specialist."

    The diversity of plants requires specialization in more areas. For instance, almost every plant has its own potting soil composition and specific water dosage and EC. "That's a big contrast with the past, when we used a container full of soil for all the plants. The wishes of our customers, but also the pursuit of the best possible quality at the lowest possible cost, mean that custom solutions are increasingly required."

    Watch the video featuring Frans Bunnik talking about climate management:

    Videobeeld _Bunnik _klimaat _youtube

Bunnik Plants

Frans Bunnik is co-owner of the potted plant company Bunnik Plants in Bleiswijk. In addition to Frans, two other brothers are active in the family business. The five-person management team also includes two enthusiastic representatives of the young Bunnik generation, each with their own specialty. Keeping customers enthusiastic via the intermediate trade and encouraging them to buy plants on a regular basis, that is the company's motto. "Whenever we come across an opportunity, we make the most of it," says Frans Bunnik. "Added value is a must, because consumers are primarily buying emotion." 

Bunnik chooses Priva

One company, 25 hectares, seven crop locations and more than fifty different species, that is what Bunnik Plants is all about. Achieving the desired growing climate for each location and for each group of potted plants ensures optimum quality of the end product. Growing automation is therefore essential for the business and for the cultivation managers. "Of course, human control is still important, but the added value of computers and sensors in the greenhouse is increasing all the time. Priva is an important partner for us in that process."

The Grower Files

Under the intriguing title 'The Grower Files', Priva has launched a video section in which notable national and international growers will outline their vision of relevant issues in the (greenhouse) horticulture industry. In these video messages 'by growers for growers', the entrepreneurs will also give an interesting insight into their business philosophy.

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