Signify, Fragaria Innova partner for strawberry production research
Strawberries being grown in a greenhouse
Photo: © Ruud Morijn, Adobe Stock

Signify, Fragaria Innova partner for strawberry production research

The companies aim to discover cultivation methods to enable year-round strawberry production.

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November 25, 2019

Signify and Fragaria Innova are joining forces. According to a press release, both parties will be working on the creation of a new cultivation concept for the lit production of strawberries in which the latest technologies in the field of LED to go hand in hand with production, taste, quality, and health. The partnership was established within Innoveins, the business ecosystem which focuses on innovation and co-creation where agrifood and high-tech meet. The two parties have just signed an extensive two-year research program.

Cultivation concept for a lit strawberry cultivation

The strategic partnership is driven by the shared ambition to enable year-round strawberry cultivation in Western Europe with the help of the latest LED solutions. The joint, multi-annual research program will result in a new, innovative cultivation concept for lit strawberry cultivation.

We are constantly researching year-round light recipes for various crops. We prefer to do this as closely as possible to reality,” said Udo van Slooten, Business Leader for Horticulture at Signify, said per the release. “Strawberry growers are looking for a flat year-round production with as few crop changes as possible and taste improvement plays a major role. LED lighting can be useful in both areas. Talking to the members of Fragaria Innova it soon became clear that our research questions were identical. That is when we decided to join forces.

With this strategic partnership, Signify also increases its visibility within the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo area in The Netherlands. For several years Signify and Botany, among others, have been active within BrightBox, the expertise center for multilayer cultivation without daylight, which is also located in Venlo.

"Healthy all year round" as key challenge

"The wish to extend the harvest season for strawberries under glass is not new, but the idea of using the latest LED solutions to achieve a 'flat' production in a practical situation, between Nov. 1 and April 1, is new,” Erik van de Vin, Cluster Manager at Fragaria Innova, said per the release. “However, we see healthy all year round as more than just healthy production. After all, the consumer is not just looking for kilos, but for a tasty, Dutch product with the right ingredients and an attractive appearance. LED makes that possible for us."