Nature is our treasure trove; our growers are our capital. Performing at the peak of excellence, they succeed every day in growing and handling Prestige products with the greatest possible care, attention and expertise.
Horticulturists grow different varieties of crops in order to extend the season during which they can supply Prestige-quality fruit. This gives food professionals the peace of mind to retain their menus and recipes unchanged for a longer period of time. If soft fruit were only grown in the open field, outdoors, the Prestige soft fruit season would last only two months. The different cultivation methods available all share one common goal: to produce crops with a superlative flavour, keeping quality and presentation.
Growing soft fruit in glasshouses allows growers to control certain conditions which will determine whether their fruit will be ripe very early, or very late. In this case, very early means from March through June, and very late from October through December.
A plastic or foil tunnel is a synthetic greenhouse for the cultivation of soft fruit like strawberries and raspberries. Thanks to the covering, warmth is better retained than if the fruit were grown in the open field. The plastic also protects the fruit from moisture and dirt.
Table tops are used exclusively in the cultivation of strawberries. Poles are driven into the ground, on top of which gutters are installed. The strawberry plants are grown in bags or containers in these gutters. These bags and containers are placed on the table tops, which makes the strawberries easier to pick and is also beneficial to their appearance. As they grow suspended downwards, they get more sunlight and remain cleaner. Table top cultivation takes place outdoors.
Strawberries can also be grown in the open field, in nature. There is, however, one disadvantage to this method: the weather. Without any protection, like a tunnel or a greenhouse, the chance of damage by rain and hail is substantial.
The best in people and nature
Prestige stands for the best in people and nature. FruitMasters and its affiliates strive for ecologically-conscious cultivation, based on the principle of sustainability. With this in mind, we are engaged in the following.
- To guarantee traceability in the chain, FruitMasters uses a custom-made system for its members: a Grower Registration System. This system ensures a transparent working method, both with respect to the grower and the customer.
- Growers invest in new, energy-saving warehouses, cooling systems and tractors that use less fuel.
- Growers stimulate natural pollination by bees through such practices as creating flower borders near the plots of land where they grow their produce, and by collaborating with local bee-keepers.
- Growers focus on biodiversity by making use of wind hedges, nesting boxes and insect hotels.
- FruitMasters has its own trial facility for research in extension of its key values of innovation and quality improvement.
- All our growers are Global GAP and GRASP certified.