One of our main activities is the handling of Parisian carrots, intended for the canning industry. The crop is mainly under contract for farmers in Flevoland, Drenthe and Friesland. The processing of the product is at our company in Creil. Below is a chronological overview of seed to finished product.
By the beginning of April we check if the soil is sufficiently dry to start sowing. Our agricultural service contractor moves from one field to the next and sows the carrots across the entire field.
Emergence is one of the key crop stages of Parisian carrots. If it is too dry for many seeds to germinate, there will be too few plants in the field. If there are not enough plants per square metre they will soon grow too large. Any carrots with a diameter over 30 millimetres can only be used for cattle feed. Consequently, these carrots are of no value to the farmer. Emergence may be stimulated by timely crop irrigation. Seeds which emerge over a longer period of time result in a double-stage crop. This is also an undesired effect because the individual plants will be in different crop stages. The older plants will overgrow the younger plants.
Parisian carrots grow for approximately 100 days. It is therefore a crop that needs to be harvested in summer. At the time of sowing we continuously take our processing capacity
into account. We will adjust the acreage we sow to the amount we can process weekly some 100 days later.
When harvest time comes up our field managers start taking crop samples in the fields. Those samples are assessed for size, shape and quality. A fine crop has a nice round shape and is unaffected by diseases.
At harvest time we contact our agricultural service contractor. He uses a single machine to cut down the leaves, pull up the carrots and sieve out the soil. This machine collects the carrots in a hopper and unloads them into tippers which take the product to our plant in Creil for processing. In Drenthe we clean the carrots on the field before we load them into trucks and transport them to Creil.
Once they arrive at our plant in Creil we start washing and grading the carrots according to size. Usually, the graded carrots are immediately supplied to preserving factories. We can also put them in our cold stores for delivery a few days.