Houweling's Tomatoes: World leader in growing vegetables
Agriculture is the largest sector in Canada with a strong focus on horticulture. To get an impression of Dutch agricultural innovations in British Columbia, the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Vancouver and the Agricultural Team of the Dutch Embassy spoke with several entrepreneurs.
In this 10-part blog series we will be highlighting one advanced innovative agtech company in B.C. every week, focussing on its strong connections to the Netherlands.
Part 8 (8/10): Houweling's Tomatoes
As a second generation tomato grower, proprietor Casey Houweling from Houweling’s Tomatoes has spent the last three decades expanding the family business and he is now considered a leader among growers and farmers worldwide. He deserves this role not only because of his expertise as a grower, but also because of his early adoption and testing of (green) technologies.
Testing tomato picking robots
With three locations in North America including one in Delta, British Columbia, Houweling’s greenhouses are testing tomato picking robots and using North America’s first CHP Generator in Camarillo, California; and reusing waste heat and carbon dioxide from a nearby power plant in Mona, Utah. “We can produce tomatoes in the harsh climate of Utah year round because of the energy generated from the power plant” explains Houweling about the latter. “And the thermal energy we capture from the plant is used for heating the greenhouse and melting snow from the roof, that we collect and store for irrigation.”
In collaboration with Dutch engineering firm Kubo, Houweling has worked on the design of their patented Ultra Clima greenhouse. This semi closed greenhouse enables to grow profitably in hot dry circumstances in an energy efficient way, minimizes the need for pesticides and use of fresh water and improves the productivity. “I am an early adopter of modern technology solutions because they help me take better care of my tomatoes and the earth. It’s the least I can do for my children.”
Link with the Netherlands
- Dutch suppliers and partnerships
A lot of the equipment, technology, IT and software, but also the vegetable seeds Houweling’s uses comes from Dutch suppliers. With regards to innovation, Houweling’s works closely together with Dutch companies like Kubo Greenhouse Projects and Meteor Systems.
- Growing expertise
Growing expertise and crop procedures were learned by adapting Dutch ways and hiring Dutch growers!
- Dutch heritage
Houweling’s Group is a family owned, world-renowned vegetablowing greenhouse with facilities in Camarillo (CA), Mona (UT) and Delta (BC). It was founded by Cornelius Houweling and is now led by his son Casey Houweling.
More on Dutch-Canadian collaboration in B.C.?
In the brochure that you can download below, you will find a number of examples of innovative companies in British Columbia, with strong connections to the Netherlands. We hope to see many more of these strong collaborations and are keen to support more innovators.
If you are interested to learn more, please connect with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vancouver at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Economic Affairs teams in Ottawa and Toronto.