Introducing greenhouse tomatoes from Hauts-de-France
Breaking new ground
Belgium’s Vandevelde family is building a major greenhouse tomato center in Northern France at Arques, near Saint-Omer, in tandem with Belgian fruit and vegetable cooperative Reo Veiling. The venture will cost €15 million and create 9 hectares—22 acres—of greenhouses, along with 45 jobs. With annual output estimated at 5,500 metric tons, this crop represents a new departure for local agriculture.
An electrifying venture
And it gets better: thanks to cogeneration—the simultaneous production of electricity and heat—the constant temperature required inside the greenhouses will also generate 4.5 MW of electricity per hour, or enough to light up a town of 15,000. Surplus power will be sold to France’s national grid through power utility EDF.