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BelOrta launches 100% recycled & recyclable strawberry punnet

Starting this week, the first Belgian strawberries from BelOrta will be packed in new packaging. These are Tray2Tray punnets made from recycled raw materials that are still 100% recyclable. Consumers can recognize these punnets by a special logo.

Starting this week, the first Belgian strawberries from BelOrta will be packed in new packaging. These are Tray2Tray punnets made from recycled raw materials that are still 100% recyclable. Consumers can recognize these punnets by a special logo.
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Together with Fost Plus and Infia, BelOrta says it is taking ‘the next step in increasingly sustainable production and distribution’. “This step contributes to a circular economy. Not unimportant, because recent figures show that we are eating more and more home-grown strawberries,” according to the cooperative. 

Closed cycle

With the strawberry punnets, no empty strawberry tray has to end up on the waste mountain from now on, because every packaging can be processed and reused as raw material for new packaging.

Jo Lambrecht, Sales & Marketing Manager at BelOrta: “With this Tray2Tray concept, in which new punnets are made from used packaging, we contribute to a circular economy. We have been working with so-called ‘r-PET’ as a raw material for 4 years, recycled from water and soft drinks bottles and other PET packaging that consumers collect. The New Blue Bag has recently been introduced to us for the collection of all plastic packaging waste. 

By the way, Belgians are champions in sorting and collecting waste, which makes a difference to a healthier and more pleasant living environment. Thanks to new techniques, developed under the impulse of Fost Plus, we can now also sort these r-PET punnets (cf. the new blue bag) and recycle them into flakes, after which they are used again as raw material for the production of new packaging, such as for our strawberries and berries. This completes the cycle.”

450 tons less CO2 emissions per year

But what about ‘the most sustainable packaging is no packaging’? Lambrecht: “That is indeed true for many products, often including food. We try to avoid or reduce the use of packaging wherever possible. But for sensitive and perishable products, well-chosen packaging is crucial in the fight against food waste. Various tests, including with strawberries and berries, have taught us that well thought-out packaging makes all the difference. Wasting less food reduces our ecological footprint. Moreover, r-PET as a raw material has a low ecological footprint compared to many other materials.”

For BelOrta, the replacement of PET by r-PET means a reduction of 450 tons of CO2 emissions per year. 

Belgians eat an average of 1.94 kg of strawberries per year

More than 9,000 tons of strawberries were sold in 2020 via BelOrta. With over 100 different growers, the acreage of strawberries at BelOrta is about 300 hectares, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.

Recent figures from market research agency GfK also show that the average Belgian ate 1.94 kg of strawberries in 2020. That is a growth of more than 12% compared to the previous year. Elsanta, Portola, Elegance, Malling Centenary, Sonata and Sonsation are the main varieties at BelOrta.

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Tebarex – Horti Technology

We greatly appreciate your attention and interest in our company and our products.
In the rapidly changing world of modern horticulture, where quality and cost control are key concepts,
choosing the right supplier in the area of technology and automation is of vital importance.
Tebarex is formed by a team of experienced engineers who has been working for many years
in the companies Tebarint, Van der Arend Tuinbouwtechniek and Arend-Sosef.

The wide-ranging experience we have gained in all conceivable climatic conditions,
including the cold in Russia and the heat in the Middle East, has taught us that only the highest level of quality is good enough!
The correct design, proper choice of materials, optimal guidance and support in execution,
and a well-organized after-sales service are therefore in the most capable hands with us.
For the design we use the latest design tools.

Tebarex, established in the Netherlands, combines this “global experience” with the innovations which regularly occur in Dutch horticulture.
So, you may rest assured that, for your project as well, the applicability of the very latest technologies in the area of horticulture,
is carefully studied for feasibility and efficiency.
As a matter of course, we are working with clear, well-defined offers, designs and drawings,
leaving no questions you may have unanswered and affording a clear choice.
Tebarex is equipped with advanced ERP software that all projects can be optimally managed.

Our motto therefore is “your succes is our succes”

Our dedication to helping you realize your “goals” has made us one of the world’s leading companies in the area of horticultural technology.

Let us be your partner in technology, we’re looking forward to meet you.

Tebarex B.V.
Jogchem van der Houtweg 4
2678 AG de Lier
The Netherlands

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+31 (85) 483 2170
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Bell pepper growers celebrate new name variety

The new yellow pepper variety E20B.0375 from Enza Zaden is now called Solaste. In honor of this name change, various growers received a cake and a plate with the new name of the variety. 

Representative Luc Trines visited John de Groot of Kwekerij Concordia in Harmelen. Grower John had already tested Solaste last year and immediately shared his positive experiences: “Solaste colors very easily and evenly, especially in the beginning, does not need a deep pre-midnight and sets quite easily. The plant is more compact and Solaste does not put much on the side branches. This keeps the fruit weight higher, which is a big advantage.” 


Nursery Tas and nursery Motreahof have also opted for E20B.0375 Solaste peppers. They also received cake and a plate. 

For more information: 
Enza Zaden Netherlands


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Aramco invests in “Red Sea farm” $10 million for saltwater cultivation

Growing on water with mainly salt water offers great opportunities for greenhouse horticulture. That’s why Red Sea Farms, a Saudi Arabian farm, recently raised $10 million from a group of investors from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
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The investment in Red Sea Farms, located at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), a hundred kilometers north of Jeddah, is one of the largest AgTech investments in the region to date. The consortium reflects the growing interest of investors in the Gulf region in sustainable horticultural solutions that can respond to global supply chain disruptions due to, for example, a pandemic.

he funding is led by a group of investors from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, including Aramco’s Wa’ed venture capital fund, the non-profit Future Investment Initiative Institute foundation, KAUST and Global Ventures, a UAE venture capital group. For many of the participants, this adventure is one of the first AgTech investments.

Salt instead of fresh
Red Sea Farms was founded in 2018 with the aim of reducing food insecurity, carbon footprint and freshwater use in the food sector worldwide and in the Gulf region in particular. The company’s unique all-encompassing growing system uses primarily saltwater, reducing freshwater consumption by 85 to 90 percent.

A patented system of more efficient technologies for generating and applying solar energy and monitoring crop growth now allows use of salt water instead of fresh water typically used to cool greenhouses and water crops .

Pilot greenhouse
“Red Sea Farms’ cultivation systems can be scaled up quickly and easily in warm climates such as the Middle East, where conventional cultivation methods are not possible or cost-effective. We will initially use the technology to grow and market tomatoes in Saudi Arabia, but eventually we plan to bring complete turnkey growing systems to market for interested parties all over the world,” explains the Red Sea Farms team. “The funding will be used to set up more than six hectares of commercial cultivation activities in Central and Western Saudi Arabia through new construction or modernization of existing facilities.”

The company currently operates a saltwater test greenhouse in the KAUST Research & Technology Park.

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This investment is the first from the non-profit Future Investment Initiative Institute in high-tech horticulture. “Our investment in Red Sea Farms fits well with our mission to support initiatives and projects that can have a positive impact on humanity,” said Richard Attias, CEO of the FII Institute. “Our triple strategy ‘Think-Xchange-Act’ enables us to play a decisive role in the new impact economy. We are excited to partner with King Abdullah University for Science and Technology and other key investment groups to bring this revolutionary technology to market.”

Red Sea Farms, a KAUS spin-out and advised by the Kirchner Group, was originally founded by Tester, a plant scientist, and Lefers, an expert in horticultural engineering. Both also recently acquired Iyris Advanced Desert Greenhouses, a smart glass manufacturer developed by Derya Baran based on solar technologies and optical tuning. For example, Baran, who is also affiliated with the university, became a co-founder of Red Sea Farms.

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Red Sea Farms received a $1.9 million investment in 2019 from the KAUST Innovation Fund and the Saudi Arabia-based Research Products Development Company. KAUST, a leading research university, is a major innovator of sustainable growing solutions for the Middle East and other water-scarce regions.

RSF is tackling the food and water nexus in the region, but also in geographies where the climate limits the possibilities of agriculture. To us, what stands out most about the company is the unmatched trifecta of the solution. Co-founders, Dr. Mark Tester and Dr. Ryan Lefers, married their individual scientific specialties to create a solution at the intricate intersection of engineering, plant sciences and innovation.


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