FoodVentures has built a state of the art, high-tech greenhouse in Samtredia, Georgia, for cultivating hydroponically grown lettuce. Using LED lighting and Svensson screens the operation is able to produce top quality lettuce year round.
Georgia depends heavily on neighbouring countries Turkey and Iran for its Food Supply. This lack of local production caught the concern of FoodVentures who, together with Georgian business partners, invested in a greenhouse for local lettuce production.
Local production brings fresher, higher quality lettuce to Georgian consumers. The lower production costs, thanks to shortened logistic chains allowing the lettuce to be delivered more quickly, may even bring savings to consumers pockets.
"In a region where greenhouses are often still made of plastic and lack modern technology, our 4,000 m2 greenhouse is an exception", says Dirk Aleven, partner and co-owner of FoodVentures. "It’s a high-tech greenhouse, fitted with the most modern technologies found in todays field of greenhouse horticulture. We have installed Philips LED lighting in our six metre high greenhouse, so that we can grow in darker months, thanks to the extra light created. To meet our heating requirements, we use geothermal energy, which ensures low energy costs. And the lettuce production is done on the basis of a hydroponic system. With these technologies we’re now able to produce nearly one million heads of lettuce a year.”
The climate in Georgia is very warm and sunny, especially in the summer.
"Screens were essential to protect the crops from radiation. But optimal ventilation also had to be maintained. To suit our growing conditions we opted for Svensson’s Harmony screens, providing high quality diffused light. The Harmony screen is open to reflect sunlight, but also to allow a maximum airflow through, creating the optimal ventilation desired. Even in the summer, when outside temperatures rise significantly, we’re still able to continuously produce high quality lettuce."
Aleven is extremely satisfied with his Svensson climate screens and has ordered Harmony screens for his greenhouses which are to be newly built for the cultivation of cucumbers.