Steelmark, Siggpac en Pörtom Handelsträdgård (Finland)

Finnish growers share their experiences with Cultilene products

Young plant nursery Pörtom Handelsträdgård and cucumber grower SIGGPAC are two of the leading businesses in the Finnish greenhouse horticulture sector. They have been working with Cultilene plugs, cubes and slabs for several years. And they are delighted with the results. The key plus points for the growers are the stability of the Cultilene products and the excellent root penetration achieved with the RootmaXX cube. Their close working relationships with Cultilene and the distributor Steelmark also deliver substantial added value.

Finnish tomato and cucumber production is mostly concentrated in the western part of the country, particularly in the municipality of Närpes. The majority of greenhouse companies in this region are equipped to the very latest standards and use assimilation lighting to allow year-round production. About thirty kilometres north of Närpes is Pörtom, the home base of Pörtom Handelsträdgård. This propagator produces more than two million cucumber and 400,000 tomato plants a year. “That makes our 1.5-hectare business one of the biggest propagators in Finland,” says Stefan Åman, who runs the company together with his brother Anders. “Two-thirds of our production consists of cucumber plants; the rest are tomato plants. We mainly supply growers in Finland, but also some in Sweden.” Åman has been working with plugs and RootmaXX cubes from Cultilene since 2015. “Why do we use RootmaXX? Mainly because our customers are extremely happy with this cube. It ensures good root penetration from the cube to the slab, and the roots are very well distributed through the RootmaXX cube. RootmaXX is without doubt the best substrate cube available on the market at the moment, and in fact it’s the only product that meets our high standards.”

Stable slab structure and characteristics
SIGGPAC in Närpes has been growing on Cultilene substrate products for seven years. This high-tech cucumber farm produces cucumbers all year round on an area of 12.5 hectares. Its products are sold via wholesalers to retailers in Finland, Sweden and the Baltic states. “We switched to Cultilene’s Exact Air slabs in 2014,” says Niclas Sigg, who runs the company with his brother and sister. “The characteristics of the slabs we used before were not stable enough, especially towards the end of the crop. It was also difficult to maintain the water content in the final phase of the crop. Besides that, the slab structure deteriorated so much over time that the oxygen content was inadequate.” The grower therefore sees the stability of the Exact Air slabs as their biggest advantage. “The slab structure and characteristics stay stable and uniform from the first day of the crop to the last. Because the structure is maintained, the plants can rely on a constant supply of water, nutrients and oxygen. The EC, water content and oxygen remain at the same level throughout. That is crucial if you’re aiming for the highest possible quality products and yields. The excellent root distribution through the slab is another great advantage of Exact Air.”

Niclas Sigg and Annica Svartgrund (Siggpac)

The perfect substrate combination
Sigg is also more than happy with the combination of Exact Air and Cultilene’s RootmaXX cube. “The roots develop well throughout the whole cube and are strong and healthy at the time of planting. This guarantees that the crop will get off to the best possible start. The plant also roots quickly into the slab. As a grower, all this gives you peace of mind: you just know things will go well. Exact Air and RootmaXX are the perfect substrate combination for cucumber cultivation!”

Knowledge sharing as added value
Both customers speak very highly of their close working relationship with Cultilene and the Finnish distributor Steelmark. “The people at Steelmark are very service-oriented. And if there is a problem, they solve it promptly and efficiently,” says Stefan Åman. “Steelmark normally visits us at least twice a year together with representatives of Cultilene. It’s not only Cultilene’s products but also this opportunity to share knowledge and information that are helping us to take our business to an even higher level.”

Niclas Sigg also sees sharing knowledge with Steelmark and Cultilene as a great plus point. “The visits by Cultilene representatives and the information we receive on new product development is very valuable. And also very importantly, Steelmark always delivers on time and keeps its word. That’s a must for a tightly run company like SIGGPAC.”

Stefan Åman (Pörtom Handelsträdgård)

Teeltsoort: Vegetables

Product: Exact Air

Product: RootmaXX

“Close relationship takes business to higher level”

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