Ridder

This interview details Ridder, an indoor farming technology company based in China. The interview is with Fulco Wijdooge, General Manager of Ridder.

Source: Ridder

What is the origin story of Ridder?

This year, Ridder is celebrating its 70th anniversary. The family-owned company has a rich history of innovation, growth, and dedication to customers and employees, and has grown into a global player in the field of smart greenhouse technology, with 7 subsidiaries worldwide. 

In 1953, founder Frans Nugteren connected a trench digger to a tractor to dig ditches more effectively as he was getting tired of the hard manual labor work on the farm. This marked the beginning of Ridder, originally based in Ridderkerk, The Netherlands (hence the name, Ridder means knight in Dutch). Automating agriculture to make life easier has been the goal ever since! 

In 1967, the company began building reduction motors, also known later as drive systems. 

Source: Ridder

Additionally, the company developed a post-calculation system for its own use, which is still a widely used ERP system in the steel and manufacturing industry today.

In 2011, HortiMaX from Pijnacker was added to the Ridder family. This allowed the company to offer its customers a broader range of solutions, including labor registration, water treatment, and climate control. 

In 2015, Ridder saw a new opportunity in the horticultural sector and launched Climate Screens, a successful enterprise focused on climate screens. It marked a strategic shift to better meet customer needs and to provide a complete package for the horticultural sector. This approach was welcomed by dealers, greenhouse builders, investors, and growers.

One of the most recent highlights was the introduction of the GRoW tomato harvesting robot in 2021, addressing the increasing labor shortage in the horticultural sector.

Source: Ridder

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Ridder in the future?

Not every company has the same requirements as a Dutch grower, and we should carefully listen to the voice of the customer, following the principle of “think global, act local”. As a Dutch company, we have always been successful in upgrading and innovating premium solutions for mainly high-end glass greenhouses. For a significant part of the market though, clients require a good, affordable solution instead of just the premium option, which means we should adapt our offer to fit their requirements. The development of our RPD, a motor specifically designed for poly greenhouses is one of the examples of a more customer-centric approach. 

Source: Ridder

Another challenge is the difference in the knowledge level of growers. An optimal use of climate control and irrigation requires dedicated crop management services such as the training we provide with our agronomists. Furthermore, we are working on the integration of AI and digital features so our solutions can help to optimize greenhouse operations as well as decision-making in an intuitive way.  

Source: Ridder

What is unique about Ridder compared to competitors?

Foremost, our long-term vision of a customer-centric approach to realize sustainable and profitable growth; customers are praising our long-term support and commitment, for example, the growing technology services provided by our cultivation specialists as well as sharing knowledge. 

Source: Ridder

Innovation has always been a strong point and by integrating AI and digitalization we are continuing this trend. With our broad portfolio of innovative agricultural solutions ranging from drive systems to robotics, we can implement our smart integrated solutions strategy which requires not only a superb product but also one that is integrated fully into the greenhouse and works seamlessly with a wide range of technologies to meet the customer’s requirements.

Besides, we are open-minded and focused on building strong partnerships. For example, to enable integration a climate computer capable of interacting with external parties is required. Ridder facilitates this through its API Services to read and write data, effectively opening the doors to successful collaborations and innovative solutions in the world of autonomous growing. 

Source: Ridder

What are some of your thoughts on the upcoming trends in the indoor farming and greenhouse market? What are some of your predictions about the future of the industry?

The development of controlled environment agriculture will continue as we have more mouths to feed delicious and healthy food with shrinking agricultural land, under increasingly difficult climate circumstances. So, to future of the industry seems assured. 

Source: Ridder

However, energy is a major bottleneck, as it raises the operational cost too high to stay profitable. This is especially true for vertical farms with their huge energy consumption. So, solving the energy crisis is a key concern if we want the trend for protected horticulture to continue; alternative energy sources such as geothermal energy are on the rise to overcome this problem, so circular agriculture will continue to be trending and other measures reducing energy usage or raising efficiency are to be expected. 

Other trends are the dwindling number of people working in the industry so paired with digitalization I expect a further increase in horticultural robotics and development of autonomous greenhouses.

Source: Ridder

How can people connect with you or learn more about Ridder?

For sure look on our website www.ridder.com to connect or if you are living in China, you can use WeChat. We have a large network so do call one of our local offices or send an e-mail. 

Ridder can be found in many greenhouses, so we gladly show you a project too to learn more about our solutions. 

Source: Ridder

Asia Vertical Farming Companies: The 2023 Report

Download the Free Sample Report

Mark-Horler

"For a target audience that is trying to understand the basics of vertical farming, this is a quality newsletter to subscribe to"

- James Pateras, CEO, Modular Farms Australia

North America Vertical Farming Companies: The 2023 Report

Download The Free Sample Report

Mark-Horler

"The North America Vertical Farming Companies Report 2023 aggregates many sources of public information on many different companies so that you don't have to do the research yourself, it's worth the money and saves a lot of time"

- John Ireland, CEO, NTP Technologies

Europe Vertical Farming Companies: The 2023 Report

Download the Free Sample Report

Helen Andrew Spare Harvest

"As a business development manager supporting the indoor agriculture, CEA, and food tech industries, I can say Urban Vine guides and their insider newsletter provide detailed information often difficult to find online."

- Irena Lundberg, CleanTech Invest Stockholm

Middle East Vertical Farming Companies: The 2023 Report

Download the Free Sample Report

Mark-Horler

"As a marketing professional in the indoor agriculture industry, Urban Vine's newsletters, reports and guides are an excellent resource for keeping up-to-date with news and developments in vertical farming."

- Steven Mitchell, Product Manager, Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) UK

All Indoor Farming Company Interviews

SecondBloom Auctions

February 18, 2024

This interview details SecondBloom Auctions, a company based in the United States. The interview is with Chris Lange, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at SecondBloom Auctions. To learn more about SecondBloom Auctions and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Smart Farm Oasis

February 18, 2024

This interview details Smart Oasis Farm, an indoor farming company based in the UK. The interview is with Suzanne Tate, Chief Design Officer at Smart Oasis Farm. To learn more about Smart Oasis Farm and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Tunable

February 18, 2024

This interview details Tunable, a Nanotechnology Research company based in Norway. The interview is with Roar Hernes, Business Development Manager at Tunable. To learn more about Tunable and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Rift Labs

February 18, 2024

This interview details Rift Labs, a cutting-edge light-based solutions provider based in Norway. The interview is with Halvard Aagaard, CEO of Rift Labs. To learn more about Rift Labs and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Biotalys

February 18, 2024

This interview details Biotalys, a Biotechnology Research company based in Belgium. The interview is with Toon Musschoot, Head of Investor Relations and Communications at Biotalys. To learn more about Biotalys and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

HerbaFabrica

February 18, 2024

This interview details HerbaFabrica, an indoor farming company based in the Czech Republic. The interview is with Karolína Pumprová, Founder of HerbaFabrica. To learn more about HerbaFabrica and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

VaVersa

February 18, 2024

This interview details VaVersa, an indoor farming company based in the Netherlands. The interview is with Olivier Francescangeli, Co-Founder of VaVersa. To learn more about VaVersa and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Simply Grow Ltd

February 18, 2024

This interview details Simply Grow Ltd, an indoor farming company based in the UK. The interview is with Sylwia Golebiowska, CEO of Simply Grow Ltd. To learn more about Simply Grow Ltd and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Collective Joy Farm

February 18, 2024

This interview details Collective Joy Farm, an indoor farming company based in Canada. The interview is with Tammara Maher, Founder of Collective Joy Farm. To learn more about Collective Joy Farm and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

TTA Netherlands (2024)

February 18, 2024

This interview details TTA, an indoor farming technology provider based in the Netherlands. The interview was conducted with Peter Rietveld, Business Development Director at Eurogroep, and with Renko Schuil, Sales Manager Indoor Farming at TTA.

View Full Interview