Gourmet Mokai, a New Zealand producer of tomatoes and capsicums, keeps a keen eye on what its customers want. The company is part of New Zealand Gourmet, which sells premium fruit and vegetables to local markets in Australia and South-East Asia.
North Island, New Zealand
During summer months, Gourmet Mokai had little problem meeting customer demand for its popular Campari tomatoes. Though the company could produce some tomatoes using natural light in winter, it was not able to keep up when customer demand rose. Artificial lighting seemed the obvious way forward, but Gourmet Mokai wanted to make sure that it could provide the same – and even improved – crops with a new lighting system. At the same time, the company wanted to reduce its operating costs and gain more control over the growing climate, even when using artificial light.
The right lighting
Because of its complex needs, Gourmet Mokai sought a lighting provider with a lot of experience. 'We saw Philips as the main company installing LED systems,' says Roelf Schreuder. 'We saw how well they had done on projects in Europe. It was clear that they had the most knowledge and the most advanced techniques.' The company provided Gourmet Mokai LED light recipes that would allow them to achieve an optimal spectrum for its plant growth and crop management.
Although Gourmet Mokai has only had the lights in place for a few months, Schreuder is optimistic. 'We expect to improve the predictability of our Campari tomatoes in the wintertime,' he says. 'We will have a more stable supply throughout the year, which will improve our relationship with buyers.'
Schreuder: 'The lighting gives us a more consistent volume of work throughout the year. We expect this to reduce employee turnover and cut our training costs.'
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