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ROCKWOOL GROUP INNOVATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWING


The GRODAN Group is successfully delivering high-tech innovations and systems for food manufacturing.

The horticultural arm of the ROCKWOOL Group is reaping the benefits of its long term focus on optimal and sustainable growing solutions that encourage customer loyalty by meeting their high level professional needs.

As a good example, one of the GRODAN Group’s customers, Eric Wall Ltd, based just outside Chichester UK, has been launched as a LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) Demonstration Farm – the first such tomato glasshouse business. The GRODAN Group is successfully delivering high-tech innovations and systems for food manufacturing. As a LEAF Demonstration Farm, it joins a group of 40 other farms in the UK showcasing the very best of sustainable practices.

“That is a great success story for Eric Wall Ltd, as well as for us, and highlights what the GRODAN Group and sustainable horticulture is all about,” explains Hub Janssen, Managing Director of the GRODAN Group.

Strong performance

Since 2012 there has been steady improvement in the financial performance of the GRODAN Group.

“We are very pleased with the results of 2014 which proved even better than we expected. They reflect our strong rate of development and robust profitability. It is our ambition and expectation to expand significantly over the coming years and maximise the vast potential for our growing substrates to meet the needs of customers,” enthuses Hub Janssen.

Look differently– think differently

To access both established and new markets, the GRODAN Group has been working hard on its business model and market strategy over the last few years. The main initiatives currently focus on operational excellence, innovation, system thinking and top line growth.

Hub Janssen comments: “We firmly believe that sustainable food production is crucial as the world faces some major food-related challenges. We will continue to develop our high-tech solutions based on the principle of ‘doing more with less’, and having due concern for people and the environment. Look differently, think differently, develop differently and dare to be different.”

Doing more with less

Hub Janssen explains that by focusing on the global challenges of water, resource scarcity and healthy food, the GRODAN Group can seize the tremendous opportunity to have an impact. The predicted growth in global populations means that by 2050, twice as much food will be needed to feed the world, but with only half the available resources – such as water and nutrients – that are used today.

“The GRODAN substrate solutions are based on the model of Precision Growing. Climate change will mean that foods may have to be grown in areas where soils are unsuitable for production or possibly closer to large centres of population where land is at a premium. There may also be an increasing need for highly nutritious foods, for which our solutions offer an excellent medium,” Hub Janssen concludes.

Thinking Systems Solutions


Bundling the traditional substrate blocks with expert advice on optimal growing methods and advanced equipment has been a successful path to create loyal customers. As an example, the GRODAN Group has recently introduced the GroSens® Multisensor System which makes it easy to gain up-to-date guidance on the development of the irrigation strategy when put into practice.

The GroSens® Multisensor System shows the water content (WC), the electrical conductivity (EC) and the temperature of the stone wool substrate. It quickly provides valuable information for optimising the irrigation strategy, allowing growers to improve the yield and quality of their crops.

With this innovative GroSens® tool in combination with our stone wool substrates, plus advice from the GRODAN team, our system solution enables our customers to maximise production and save on costs.

New market in North America

Besides the existing professional horticultural growers, the GRODAN DIY-service-oriented philosophy also encompasses both North American consumers and retail store owners. From educators who want to make a vegetable garden at school to home greenhouse
gardening enthusiast, the GRODAN Group has received a warm welcome in the US with double digit growth in 2014:

“North American is one of the world’s largest markets for growing media. Currently the use of stone wool products is not nearly as widespread as it is in Europe, so there’s huge potential for us here. Although competition is tough, we’re offering a wide range of substrate solutions so our position in the market is becoming much stronger,” explains Hub Janssen and he continues: “Now we’re working hard to roll out the DIY business globally. It’s a new venture for us and a great opportunity.”

The European and Asian markets

The GRODAN Group already has a strong position in European markets, where it has experienced growth in 2014 and continuing. Of particular note, Russia turned in a good result, which is considered a great achievement.

Hub Janssen comments: “We anticipate that the European countries with the highest growth potential over the coming years will be France, the UK, Spain and Russia. In the longer term, growth is expected in Asia, where the use of stone wool substrates is currently limited but there is huge potential as population numbers in this region are the highest in the world. Clearly the GRODAN Group has plenty of opportunities to continue its expansion worldwide.”

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