Belgian floriculture grappling with sustainability goals

Ten to fifteen years ago, the vast majority of Belgian growers switched from oil to gas. But they’re facing a new challenge: the sector must further improve its sustainability. How? That isn’t completely clear yet. What’s certain though, is that the introduction of a carbon tax has been a sword of Damocles over the Flemish floriculture sector for a while.

For many decades, Flemish growers used oil to heat their nurseries. This changed between 2005 and 2010, when many companies switched to gas. Because it was more sustainable, but mostly because it was cheaper. By now, the majority of the Flemish greenhouse growers use gas for their heating requirements.“

A small number of entrepreneurs without a successor, as well as companies that can’t be connected to the natural gas network, are still using oil nowadays”, says Pieter van Oost, Plant Production Adviser with the Belgian Farmers’ Association. (..)

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