Growrite substrates in the Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo.– “Due to changing circumstances in the production and shipping of coco substrates, we have paid a lot of attention last year to one of Van der Knaap Group’s own production locations: Growrite Substrates in the Dominican Republic,” said Jelte Veenstra, director of Coco Substrates at Van der Knaap Group.
This included looking at increasing the production capacity and the implementation of new production methods. “These will allow us to produce finer coco substrates which will better meet our customers’ wishes. We are also looking at reducing the ecological footprint of the coco substrates.”
This new production line, which will enable us to produce a finer coco substrate, will be operational at the end of the first quarter of 2022. A new BigBale press will also be installed during this period to guarantee an optimal load factor.
Van der Knaap is focusing on local sales of the coco substrates that are produced in the Caribbean. This development has accelerated due to high container rates and uncertainty in the raw materials market. For example, there is an increasing demand for coco substrates and raw materials in Central and North America. These can be delivered/shipped easier and faster from the factory in the Dominican Republic than, for example, from India and Sri Lanka.
“Due to these short distribution lines, we lower our ecological footprint and delivery times for our customers are reduced,” Jelte adds.
Van der Knaap’s Quality and R&D departments are continuously working on optimizing and making the production process more sustainable. In the near future, the washing and buffering of coco material will be improved at the Growrite factories so that only organic fertilizers will be used.
Jelte continues: “We are constantly looking for new methods and techniques to improve the quality of our products, optimize the production process, and further minimize the impact on the environment. With the investments that will take place at the end of 2021 and early 2022, we are making great progress in all these areas.”