By 2050, 9 billion people on earth must be fed. This means that in the next 30 years more food will have to be produced than in the past 10,000 years. Cultilene aims to contribute to sustainable food production with its three pillars: substrate, high-quality Albarino horticultural glass and data driven services. But Cultilene's products and services not only help growers to produce more sustainably, they can also produce more and faster. Because of the sustainable applications they offer to greenhouse horticulturists worldwide and the difference they make in this respect, Cultilene has been named Impactmaker of the quarter*.
Alderman Berend de Vries (Economy) presented a miniature social sofa as a recognition during a visit to Saint-Gobain Cultilene on 13 September last. "With such an enormous demand for food, innovation is more than building on an existing process. You need disruptive technologies to be able to take a big step forward. With its Data Driven Services, such as crop forecasting based on artificial intelligence, Cultilene makes a contribution to this. Only if we use the available resources sparingly will we be able to provide people around the world with food. And the fact that a Tilburg company contributes to this, makes me extremely proud. This form of smart industry in combination with social innovation fits our city very well."
Commitment to innovation
Together with its parent company Saint-Gobain (active in 67 countries with over 170,000 employees), Cultilene translates innovations, solutions and techniques from other sectors into applications within the greenhouse horticulture sector. In Tilburg, the rockwool is processed into an end product suitable for greenhouse horticulture. Leon Kennis, production manager: "Cultilene supplies rockwool substrate solutions and high-quality Albarino diffuse glass to 50 countries worldwide. The stone wool substrate is produced at four locations: Tilburg (the Netherlands), Gliwice (Poland), Castolovice (Czech Republic) and (Paris) Canada. In Tilburg we work with a flexible team in three shifts. At the Castolovice site alone, we have produced more than 2 billion stone wool blocks over the years, enough to feed the whole world with tomatoes for a year!
Much to gain
Managing Director Bonny Heeren: "Innovation and sustainability are the key words in Cultilene's strategy and business operations. With the focus on providing innovative solutions for growers, we help to optimize business processes and save on fertilizers, water and energy. For example, in Spain, where there is still a lot of soil cultivation, the yield per m2 of tomato is about 30 kilos with a water consumption of 80 liters per kilo of tomato. With the Dutch high-tech greenhouses, we are able to grow more than 100 kilos of tomato per m2 with 6 litres of water per kilo of tomato with some varieties. In addition to the water, you also save a lot of fertiliser. So there is still so much to gain. We would like to contribute to this as well."
Bonny Heeren: "Tilburg is particularly interesting for Cultilene because of the large logistical possibilities in the area. We have a seasonal product, deliver worldwide in 50 countries and also large volumes. This means that we have to be able to rely on good logistics partners who think along with us and are flexible. We have been working with local companies for many years and are now well acquainted with each other. The Brabant mentality also fits in well with our corporate culture. It is not for nothing that many Saint-Gobain companies in the Benelux are located in Brabant, such as Isover, Weber Beamix and Raab Karcher. But also our shared service centres Finance and HR!
*Impactmaker is the successor of 'Company of the Month' by the municipality of Tilburg and Make it in Tilburg (Citymarketing Tilburg). Every quarter, the initiative focuses on a Tilburg-based company that is distinguished by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. They are the entrepreneurs in Tilburg who make an impact, both within and outside the city limits.