Bayer and BraZander Nursery extend and expand their collaboration

Bayer and BraZander Nursery announce that the De Ruiter Experience Center will continue for at least 5 years. “We are very pleased with what we have achieved with BraZander,” says Managing Director Joost van Regteren, Head of Market Development EMEA/APAC at Bayer Vegetable Seeds. “Over the next two years, we will take collaboration to the next level! »

The De Ruiter Experience Center showcases new tomato varieties and explores the latest technologies in selection, cultivation, digital, recycling and sustainable pest control. It was newly built in 2018, on the site of BraZander Nursery in Bleiswijk. In 2020, De Ruiter Experience Center became a member of Bayer ForwardFarming, an initiative that works with independent farms around the world to help advance innovative and sustainable agriculture.

Jan Kamper, Market Development Lead Glasshouse at Bayer, highlights the power of collaboration. “Bayer and BraZander have been through a lot at the De Ruiter Experience Center. A whirlwind that caused damage, the corona pandemic, high energy prices, it was certainly not always easy, but it strengthened our relationship.

From left to right: Oost van Regteren (Bayer), Rob Brabander and Paul Zantman (BraZander).

More than a product presentation
The De Ruiter Experience Center serves a clear business purpose by demonstrating the innovative power of Bayer products. “Dialogue with producers, partners, is essential for us to shape our approach and focus on the things that matter to our customers,” says Van Regteren.

But it also plays a much broader role. “Agriculture is facing a huge challenge: to produce more with less. Bayer enables farmers to produce more per square meter, but also more sustainably. At the De Ruiter Experience Center we can both test and demonstrate new varieties and innovative techniques, including new digital tools, which help us meet the challenge.

One of the owners of BraZander Nursery, Paul Zantman, explains what this means to him: “I strongly believe in the power of innovation and sharing what we do, why we do it and how we do it. Progress requires innovation and innovation in turn requires collaboration. I look forward to working at least another 5 years with Bayer on solutions. It’s informative and with all these international visitors, it really broadens my horizons.

An ultramodern center
The greenhouse occupies 8,000 square meters, of which 3,200 square meters are for light crops. Attached to the greenhouse, there is a modern meeting center. The greenhouse is equipped with the latest technology. For example, the new Advanced Precision Horticulture system uses 28 sensors to provide the grower with more information about variety performance so they can make better decisions. The water is UV treated and additional screens prevent light emission.

Knowledge is shared by all possible means: site visits, webinars, vlogs on Youtube and the HoloLens experience (virtual reality).

Construction activities in January, photo taken from Facebook BraZander.

Future extension
As we speak, a new cucumber greenhouse is being built next to the existing tomato greenhouse. The greenhouse is funded by BraZander, with Bayer using it for at least 10 years. The new greenhouse will include 3,200 square meters with artificial light for highwire and 4,000 square meters for traditional crops.

This expansion of the greenhouse testing footprint will allow Bayer to evaluate new varieties under commercial conditions.

Open for business again
The announcement comes at a time when the pandemic appears to be subsiding, allowing the De Ruiter Experience Center to accommodate increasing numbers of people. Customers keep coming back and recently, for the first time in a long time, the center hosted an international political delegation from the Eurasian Economic Committee.

Dora W. Clawson