Our blog in 2017
With 2017 drawing to a close, now’s a good time to look back over an eventful year. Here are 12 highlights we’ve selected that we reported on in our blog.
Students launch drone project
An apprenticeship should provide sufficient scope for challenging oneself and focusing on stimulating assignments. In a study project, Niklas Albers and Lars Wortelboer, who have now completed their combined vocational and degree programme but are continuing to work for us, explored the processing of drone-obtained data on our land resources. As well as operating these aerial vehicles and using them to gather information, they also looked at legal aspects, which proved quite interesting too.
The world’s leading horticultural exhibition
At the International Plant Fair (IPM) in Essen, Germany, we presented our innovations such as the ‘Growcoon’ propagation system, our new generation of blocking substrates, specialist media for hydroponics systems, our substrate solution that reduces sciarid infestation by up to 80 percent, and container mulch for plants grown in small pots. For us, the IPM 2017 provided a good start to the coming horticultural season; we had many in-depth conversations with our partners and customers.
In our blog, Joselin Driese and Christopher Kosse gave a vocational trainee’s‑eye-view of the world’s most high-profile horticultural show. Their inside look behind the scenes from an exhibitor’s perspective was particularly fascinating.
A paradigm shift in our quality- and environmental-management system
It was way back at the start of the year that we implemented a successful changeover of our quality- and environmental-management system. Businesses are required to have adopted the latest (i.e. 2015) version of certification for these systems by September 2018. We were able to rapidly embrace the paradigm shift from quality assurance to strategic quality management, since, in terms of both our corporate structure and our engagement with the issue of sustainability, things were well in place for the switch from ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 to their respective 2015 versions.
Anniversary celebrations for Florabella
April marked the 60th birthday of our quality potting-soil label, Florabella. For amateur gardeners, it has been ensuring optimum growth of both house and garden plants since 1957. And the range has grown continually. From media for specialist uses such as roses and cacti, seedling substrate, decorative bark products and compost media for organic growers ‑ Florabella covers a broad spectrum of needs.
Driving horticultural innovation
To help young entrepreneurs nurture their ideas and to drive innovation in horticulture, we entered into a cooperative arrangement with ‘WUR StartLife’. We are collaborating on ideas with young talent in this incubator within the field of food and agricultural sciences at Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Our goal is the innovative enrichment of the horticultural sector.
Leading national environmental foundation interested in our peat moss
In conjunction with young scientists at the University of Hannover’s Institute of Environmental Planning and the Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Braunschweig, some of our employees took a good look at sphagnum farming. They investigated the possible impact of peat moss cultivation on the climate and on flora and fauna biodiversity in peatlands, as well as its commercial potential. The doctoral students’ project launch in Geeste was attended by representatives of the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU), who wished to get an idea of what the project was all about.
Lithuania’s Prime Minister pays a visit
Our employees at Lithuanian subsidiary Klasmann-Deilmann Šilutė were thrilled to bits when the country’s Prime Minister, Saulius Skvernelis, paid a visit. Our Managing Director in Šilutė, Kazimieras Kaminskas, and Technical Director Virginijus Liepis discussed our Group’s activities with the distinguished guest and showed him the production operations.
Grünstempel certification in the organic sector
Since 1999 we have, in close cooperation with Grünstempel, been ensuring that the entire value chain within our organic products segment meets the guidelines for organic substrates. As in previous years, the ecological certification organisation confirmed that we satisfied the high standards for organic products.
Combining family and work ‑ emergency childcare
Factors such as assistance with balancing family and career are becoming increasingly important in making an employer attractive to work for. Taking this into account, we are continuously enhancing our services with a view to giving our employees the best possible support. Under our emergency childcare scheme, we help fathers or mothers in our organisation to find a replacement childminder for those occasions when the best-laid plans go awry and alternative care is needed at short notice.
Commercial peatfield to become bird reserve
This year, in one of our extraction areas ‑ the last in the Dalum-Wietmarscher Moor peatland ‑ we have completed preparations for re-wetting and handed the site over to the regional peat board. It will become part of a designated EU bird protection zone (Dalum-Wietmarscher Moor and Georgsdorfer Moor) within the transnational Bourtanger Moor peatland nature reserve. A cycle path will soon provide access to the area, enabling cyclists to enjoy the bog landscape.
In our Sustainability Report, we have since 2012 been giving an account of developments in nature conservation and climate protection, while taking a critical look at our activities. To determine our carbon footprint, we commissioned a study that involves monitoring of emissions from peatland over a two-year period in accordance with scientific criteria. It emerged that raw-materials extraction results in a considerably smaller quantity of greenhouse gases being emitted than previously assumed.
Effective vocational training involves not only the dissemination of know-how; it is, to an extent, also about developing one’s personality. During an intensive drama workshop, our trainees rose to the challenge of putting on a play before an audience within a very short period of time. Displaying inventiveness, enthusiasm and a great deal of courage, they truly brought the house down.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This is our final blog posting of 2017, and we’re looking forward to keeping you updated on what’s happening at Klasmann-Deilmann in the New Year.
Wherever you are, and however you’ll be celebrating Christmas and the arrival of the New Year ‑ enjoying a good meal with family or friends, seeing 2018 in with a bang of fireworks, enjoying other local traditions or simply going about your everyday business ‑ our warmest wishes go to you for the holiday season.
The Klasmann-Deilmann editorial team
Kim Karotki, Jan Köbbing, Hermann Limbers, Dirk Röse