“In China too, energy and energy resources are major challenges”

The Chinese adventure for Certhon started in 2011 with a cooperation with Rijk Zwaan and a Venly greenhouse project. After that, the turnkey greenhouse solution provider won the tender procedures for a project on ChongMing Island in Shanghai. Since then, the company has actively begun to explore the market and invest more in promotion in China. Michael Shen joined Certhon China in 2020. He is the Chinese representative of Certhon in China.

20 hectare project in ChongMing
It shows Certhon’s project on ChongMing Island, which started in 2019, ended a year later and started operations in 2020. Crops selected for production include cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper and lettuce. It is a 20 hectare semi-closed greenhouse and is designed to supply the urban market of Shanghai. It supplies local foodservice businesses, including hotels and restaurants, as well as high-end retail stores.

Indoor farming solutions and greenhouses
Michael explains Certhon’s go-to-market approach in China: “Certhon specializes in traditional Venlo-style and semi-enclosed greenhouses. Additionally, we focus on indoor farming solutions. promote indoor farming and AI.”

“We are evaluating different regions of China. We believe that the best solution is to explore high-tech facilities with suitable crops in different regions of China. Some crops prefer more light and some do not. The use of facilities technology aims to create a better growing environment for crops combined with appropriate energy resources. Fortunately, local and regional governments are increasingly supporting our industry in these regions. We are looking for new possibilities, better results and better yields.

Energy and energy resources
“Looking to the future, energy and energy resources are key challenges. Before starting new projects, we share our ROI calculations and documents with potential owners. It is important to understand and show how, after the initial investments, after how long will these projects begin to generate income.At the same time, it is important to consult and cooperate with potential owners to select the crops that would be best suited for cultivation in different regions. For example, cherry tomatoes and cocktail tomatoes are relatively new products on the market.When grown in an appropriate external and internal environment, due to sufficient light resources and diurnal temperature variations, the flavor will be more intense with a brix higher. We can take this information to inform and seduce the consumer. We must tr open the right crops from the right growing areas and with the right technology, then make sure we bring that knowledge to the consumer. »

“The key point is that we need to communicate with our customers. Other trends in energy use that we see in China are that the biggest developments are near power plants or other industries, so residue heating can be used, or lower prices for energy can be negotiated.Horticulture is also a sector of interest to local governments.That is why we are building our network, connecting with the local government officials, regional agricultural enterprises and greenhouse enterprises.

For more information:
Michael Shen