Tholen – Meteor Systems exists 25 years. The company produces and distributes complete growing systems for (greenhouse) horticulture, as well as more growing systems, irrigation, pipe rail supports, long beams, shelf growing, fruit shelters and growing solutions for NFT, DFT, CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture). Its products are used for the cultivation of vegetables, berries, cut flowers, medicinal cannabis and leafy vegetables.
In 25 years you gain a lot of experience and knowledge. They share that with their clients. Peter Lexmond: “Strawberry farming is a good example of this. We have so much insider knowledge of this. In fact, we offer everything for this: tray fields for growing strawberry plants (sometimes with gutter plants on top), growing systems for indoor and outdoor cultivation, fruit shelters and more. In fact, we provide everything from the cuttings to the final product.”
Peter Lexmond has been involved with this business practically from the beginning of Meteor Systems’ existence. So Peter has been with us for a while. Of course a lot has changed. What hasn’t changed, according to him, are the short lines of communication. “Change can be done quickly.”
Meteor was only 2 years old and employing 15 people when Peter joined. The counter now stands at 100 in Breda, 15 in Canada and 1 in its own Chinese entity for that market. Around this permanent layer of labor a flexible layer of temporary and self-employed workers has been built.
“We have proven ourselves”
They started with drip irrigation at that time. At first it was difficult to break into the established order. “The market shook a bit when we approached the growers ourselves. We take the opportunity to prove ourselves through that direct contact with the producers. We hardly do that anymore. Now most of it goes through the installers,” confirms Peter.
The production and sale of complete growing systems took place a little later, in the late 1990s. When they started this, the expansion in the horticultural sector was just beginning. That worked fine. They rode in that flow. Tomato, rose and strawberry came first, followed by cucumber, pepper and aubergine. And geographically, first it was the Netherlands and North America. Meteor now sells its growing systems all over the world.
There are quite a few of these. Too many to name here. Following the growth of the market and with it the company, the next step was the acquisition of Worm Lathum from Duiven. In 2009, the company doubled in size in one fell swoop.
The next milestone is also about these acquisitions; the location of Duiven (former Worm Lathum) and Etten-Leur was moved to Breda. “The merger has gone well. The advantages are great, especially in the area of logistics and communication. Peter says.
The Canada/China team
The openings of the branch in Leamington, Canada (2005) for the North American market and that of Shanghai, China (2019) should not go unnoticed as important steps in the history of Meteor.
And in the field of product development, progress is being made. The latest achievement is the patent for cultivation without substrate. This addresses the problems of peat extraction and provides an answer to a technology-based approach to food production. In short, it means that the seed is cultivated and takes root in a cultivation path. This pad is then placed on a float or plant carrier to allow the plants to grow larger. The same pad can then be placed in a grow cup and shipped to the chain store.
Peter: “The big retail companies want less land left in the store. Customers find it messy and it’s not nice in terms of presentation. The cups can be made of biodegradable material. No need to use plastic anymore. Another great advantage is the long shelf life. Consumers immediately reap the benefits for themselves. By the way, we only launched this concept during the Ahold Beter Eten Festival 2022. It was good. Interest has been piqued. We can’t wait to implement this further. We will keep you informed.”
For more information:
Breda Meteor Systems
4817 ZK Breda,
+31 76 504 28 42