Investing in storage is still necessary, also after Brexit CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY difficult to find extra land to lease around here. Over the years, a sort of evolution in storage technique has occurred here too, Marsh shows us. The first stores were laid out in a typical British fashion with a few home-grown techniques. As the storehouses are getting newer, an increasing number of techniques from the European continent are used, in this case from Tolsma. In the middle of the land, on the outside of the sheds, you can already see a clear difference, the stores with ‘European’ techniques have ventilation hatches and the ‘British’ have ventilation strips. During our tour, we noticed that the oldest storehouses are still divided into two units with a pressure duct in between. The ventilators are placed at the beginning. The ventilators, two per unit of 500 tons, have been horizontally positioned here at a height of 3 metres, inside the duct, and there is also a humidification unit. The ventilation air is divided again in the unit via narrow, underground channels. Marsh then proudly takes us to the latest sheds via a high gangway and a few dividing doors, and we notice a striking detail: the ‘British’ storehouses are half empty by mid-March, while the ‘European’ storehouses are still full. The layout in those stores is completely different and is clearly recognisable. At the top end of the storehouse is a pressure duct with ventilators positioned low down. These blow ventilation air through the familiar, spacious, above-ground, semi-circular ducts with a ribbed profile and air holes. Everything is controlled by a Tolsma Vision Control computer. Marsh tells us that the crisp potatoes of the Hermes variety will remain stored in this storehouse until the end of June. ‘It’s our best storage. The potatoes remain dry right up to the end of the storage period, mainly because the air distribution is so optimal. Condense ventilators have also been placed high up in the new storehouses in order to keep the crisps potatoes in the top of the store dry as well. Marsh is also very happy with how the storage computer works. He has now also connected some of the older storehouses onto the system and, in the long term, he wants to have all the storehouses connected. Meanwhile, there are already plans for another new storehouse, because they still need storage space for another 2,000 tons of potatoes. And this storehouse will also get a full layout with European techniques, Brexit or no Brexit, Marsh assures us. ● Leo Hanse GRADUALLY TAKING OVER FARM ELECTRONICS Last year, the Tolsma-Grisnich Group in Emmeloord took over 60% of the Farm Electronics company in Grantham from the current owners, among whom Director Tim Dudfield (l). The remainder of the shares will follow later, says Kees Wijngaarden (r). The reason for a tour around the British potato farms is to become acquainted with Farm Electronics in Grantham, a company specialised in storage techniques, which was taken over by the Tolsma-Grisnich Group in Emmeloord last year. A logical, but also a necessary step, if you want to gain a foothold in the UK, also after the Brexit decision, as appears from the explanation which Kees Wijngaarden from Tolsma gives here. ‘Tolsma has been active in Great Britain since the early eighties. After having regained our independence as Tolsma in 2004, following the Netagco era, at a certain point we came into contact with Tim Dudfield of Farm Electronics in Grantham. Step-by-step, we’ve built up a relationship with that company. We did this by also selling some of our own products, in addition to their range of monitoring and control equipment and other relevant storage techniques, in British construction projects. And we were both very satisfied with the outcome. We’d been working together for so long that we started to investigate whether it was possible to combine more of our activities. Meanwhile, joint-owners Tim Dudfield and Paul Jackson have almost reached retirement age and co-owner Charlie Taylor is already retired. What is missing are successors. In consultation, we therefore decided to gradually take over the company. We currently have 60 percent of the shares and the takeover of the remainder will follow in a few years’ time. Meanwhile, the still active shareholders will carry on the business until their retirement and, together, we’re looking for successors in managerial positions and exploring future sales activities’, Wijngaarden explains. Potato World 2017 • number 4 39 Pagina 38

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