BERKEL EN RODENRIJS, The Netherlands: This year, Koppert Biological Systems will be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. On Thursday, directors Henri Oosthoek and Paul Koppert announced the start of the anniversary year at the headquarters in Berkel en Rodenrijs during a celebratory gathering with employees.
The anniversary will be celebrated with various activities over the year. For instance, the family company is organising an open day at its headquarters and will be hosting a symposium in September that will be attended by top speakers.
Over the past fifty years, Koppert has grown to become the global market leader in biological crop protection for protected crops. Since founder Jan Koppert first began using the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis back in 1967, the company has grown to become a multinational with an annual turnover of 190 million euros and 1,200 employees in 26 countries, including markets such as China, Brazil, the United States, and Russia. The company also exports to over 90 countries.
Koppert’s natural solutions to pests and diseases in the horticulture sector are used across the globe. Recently, the company started producing microbiological organisms such as fungi and bacteria for outdoor cultivation. These organisms enhance the resilience of crops and enrich the biodiversity and nutrient content of the soil. The company sees this as a huge growth market. ‘Artificial fertilizers and chemical crop protection have played too dominant a role in recent years, which has had a negative impact on soil life. This needs to change, and fungi and bacteria can really help to drive this,’ says Paul Koppert. ‘Microorganisms have been underestimated for a long time now. Not only do they offer protection against diseases and pests, they also improve the health and nutrient levels of the soil, allowing growers to drastically reduce their use of artificial fertilizer. This is an important factor in tomorrow’s agriculture and horticulture.’
The company says the use of chemical crop protection can be reduced considerably in outdoor cultivation. ‘There is an increasing demand for quality and safe food worldwide,’ says Executive Board Member, Henri Oosthoek. ‘We need to move towards agriculture and horticulture that does not work against nature but in harmony with nature. Resulting in more, better and safer food with less pressure on the environment. This is what we try to contribute towards each day.’