5 questions to grower and product group member Dion ten Have

28 junE 2018

As a member of the product group Horticulture, the Dutch grower Dion ten Have has been involved since 2003 in the standard development of the RHP quality mark for substrates. 5 questions to Dion about the past and the next 15 years.

1. Involved in RHP for 15 years. How did that involvement arise?

“In 1993 I started together with my cousins Rob and Vincent ten Have in our pot plant nursery in campanulas and cyclamen: Ten Have Plant in Honselersdijk (The Netherlands), which will celebrate its 100 year anniversary in two years. At that time we became a member of growers organization LTO Glaskracht. From LTO I was asked to join RHP as a representative from practice at the table. At that time in the so-called standards committee Potting soil Professional, nowadays this is called the product group End products Horticulture.”

“Previously the substrate sector was a black box to me.”

2. How did you contribute to the RHP quality mark during your 15 years in the product group Horticulture? 

“The product group Horticulture meets 2 to 3 times a year. For me, as a member of that product group, this gives me an insight into an entirely different branch. That’s what makes it fun. You step out of your own world as a grower. Before that time, the substrate sector was kind of a black box to me. You just order it... And now I have gained much more insight into this world. And I can share what is going on in the land of the growers, such as currently sustainability and decreasing usage of chemical crop protection.”

3. What did you think were the most valuable developments from RHP in those 15 years?

“For me the most valuable one was the potting reference developed by RHP. That’s really useful for growers. The knowledge that RHP shares concerning, for example, raw material types is also very useful. What should I pay attention to in practice? For me that is the added value of attending the meetings of the product group Horticulture.”

“I don’t think we can do completely without peat.”

4. What do you think are the biggest challenges for the substrate sector for the next 15 years?

“The fungus problem is a challenge. And for example the pressure coming from organizations like Greenpeace to work 'peat free' in horticulture. But that is also a challenge for growers, in fact our joint responsibility. I don’t think we can do completely without peat, but I think it is important that it is extracted responsibly. And other raw materials aren’t always exactly sustainable either.”

5. And what do you expect of RHP in the coming years?

“I think that RHP picks up well on signals from the sector and takes action. Research into fungi in substrates is being started up. And research is being done into substrate mixtures with less peat and with several other raw materials. And what the future will bring, who can tell...”

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