New Research Centre
During the yearly event for our Dutch growers in 2018, Anthura announced that the DNA of Anthurium and Phalaenopsis had been sequenced and mapped. For the application of molecular techniques, having the DNA information alone is not enough. This information must be linked to plant properties. This allows breeders to speed up the breeding process by applying selections at a DNA level. This makes the search for new varieties more efficient and allows for more targeted breeding of sustainable varieties. This is one of the reasons why the Research Centre has been built: the layout and setup have been chosen in such a way that it can be optimally implemented. The location is where the company was built in 1979 on the Anthuriumweg, Bleiswijk. The demolished greenhouse was mainly 40 years old.
Setup of the Research Centre
An important characteristic for the future is resistance. We are going to increase the resistance of our varieties and reduce their susceptibility to disease. For resistance breeding, it is necessary to conduct research and trials with pathogens. For this purpose, a separate section has been set up with closed examination rooms that meet all the requirements for this work to be carried out safely.
The staff are working more and more on better varieties at a molecular level. A good molecular laboratory is a prerequisite for molecular research and breeding. Up to now, the activities have been accommodated in the Plant Pathogen Laboratory.
A new, larger laboratory has been built in the Research Centre to test for diseases and pests. The molecular laboratory also has the potential to expand in the future.
The new location is also equipped for the breeding of smaller crops such as exclusive orchids and garden orchids. For this purpose, small greenhouse sections have been built with all the necessary facilities such as cooling and darkening areas, so that these smaller crops can also be bred under the specific growing conditions required.
The combination of research and breeding
The research centre has integrated the smaller product groups in one location. In an area of 13,500 square metres, a combination of research and breeding of exclusive orchids takes place. There are also cold orchids and a botanical greenhouse with a collection of Anthuriums. The main Anthurium and Phalaenopsis breeding activities will continue to take place at existing locations.
This location used to be the where the cultivation research department was, which was therefore also given a place in the new facility. For the research work, small greenhouse departments as well as closed research cells with artificial light have been built.
The location is surrounded by three of Anthura’s other greenhouses. In order to make this a connected location, the new site has been built with the same layout against these other greenhouses. This has resulted in a connected greenhouse complex.
The construction also led to the centralization of a number of other installations. For example, the heating system is centralized so that all the greenhouses can make use of all the available heat sources. The electricity supply is also centralized and connected to the 10 kV network which has a grid connection to the Cyclamenweg in Bleiswijk.
The complex is not yet finished, as this is a multi-year plan. In the future, the front line will be extended with an office building and the entire complex will be upgraded.
The heat generation of the entire location will be provided by three heat sources. There are two heat pumps that also meet the need for cold. The second source is connected to the RoCa residual heat project. As for the third source, it is connected to the Geothermal project of Wayland Bergschenhoek.
Solar panels (approx. 1,900 panels) have been installed on all the sandwich roofs in this project for sustainable electricity generation. Together with the 4,000 panels that Anthura will be installing at the Cyclamenweg location, they produce 7% of the total electricity consumption.
With this research center we are primed for whatever the future may hold.