Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting, announced a new contract with French premium tomato grower, Le Jardin de Rabelais. In conjunction with horticulture partner, Certhon, Philips Lighting will supply LED horticultural lighting and services to the French grower to help it to increase the yield and taste of its speciality tomato crop for supermarkets in France.
Le Jardin de Rabelais differentiates its premium tomato growing business in Avoine in the Loire region of France on taste and quality. However, it faces the natural environmental constraint of insufficient natural light - especially in winter - which is a vital factor impacting both growth and taste.
After a successful initial 1.6 ha installation using specialist LED lighting to overcome this challenge, Philips Lighting and its partner, Certhon, will implement an advanced horticultural lighting system comprising 14,000 LED lights in a new 3.4 ha greenhouse. The lighting system uses specially formulated ‘light recipes’ tuned especially to the needs for growing tasty tomatoes.
Pascal Delahaye, founder and co-owner of Le Jardin de Rabelais said, “Our challenge is to grow more tomatoes in the winter. So we’re excited by the use of Philips Lighting’s horticultural LED lighting which is fundamental for our plans to increase the crop yield of fine vine tomatoes and cherry tomatoes by 10% within a year whilst upholding the taste and overall quality. This is what will put us one step ahead of the competition.”
Le Jardin de Rabelais will use Philips GreenPower LED toplighting from the roof of the 3.4 ha greenhouse – equivalent in size to six football pitches. Also, Philips Lighting plant specialists will advise on light growth recipes to optimize growth. This includes the recommended light spectrum to use in conjunction with daylight available for crop growth, as well as how to achieve crop yield projections.
“85% of Le Jardin de Rabelais’ high-quality tomatoes are sold locally to customers in France. By being able to use LED light recipes for all year round tomato growth, Le Jardin de Rabelais will provide a consistent quality crop all year round and avoid customers having to buy from overseas competitors during the winter, said Udo van Slooten, business leader for Philips Lighting’s Horticulture business. “In addition, the company will benefit by reducing electricity consumption by 30% compared to the previous HPS lighting system while simultaneously enhancing crop taste and yield which is a win-win situation.”