Environmental Controls Go Gold
Celebrating its 50th year in greenhouse climate control, Priva's innovative prowess shows no signs of slowing down.
May 12, 2009
A party is certainly in order for the team at Priva. The kind of party that only comes around every 50 years. "We're still in the planning process," says Priva communications specialist Pam Cicci.
Priva, a company that specializes in climate control for greenhouse horticulture, got its start back in 1959 under the name Valk & Prins, in De Lier, Netherlands. Back then, this family-owned business began as an importer of heaters for greenhouses.
Swift, successful years followed its inception. With innovation in the forefront, Valk and Prins changed its name to Priva in 1965. In the mid-1970s, Priva took a huge technological step and developed the first process computer for horticulture.
Now celebrating its 50th year in the industry, the independent Priva is a global market leader in process control for the protected horticulture industry. It devotes 35 percent of its personnel to product development and now has six branch offices: in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Canada and China.
Businesswoman Of The Year
This past March, Priva garnered some well-deserved attention and it wasn't for a product or service. Priva's general manager, Meiny Prins, can now be called Businesswoman of the Year (Prix Veuve Clicquot) for 2009. This prestigious prize is awarded in 17 countries and presented as a means to motivate female entrepreneurship and management.
During her acceptance speech, Prins touched on themes that have helped her and Priva stand out in a global market: entrepreneurship, sustainability, innovation, technology and family-run businesses. Meiny is the second generation to run the business.
Near the end of 2008 at Horti Fair in Amsterdam, Priva introduced a new and updated line of products for greenhouses with a focus on water efficiency, user friendliness and energy savings, Cicci says.
"Priva Office Direct is much more user friendly. Working with the Priva Intégro process computer, these two systems ensure optimum climate control for crop," Cicci says. Some updates include instant insight in water management, remote control, alarms by SMS and new product dashboards. The Priva Intégro 727 was officially launched during its Horti Fair exhibition.
A new version of PrivAssist also debuted. The updated PrivAssist can compare the quality and efficiency of labor and production processes. It can detect diseases, pests and defects in installations.
Lastly, the revised NutriJet is Priva's answer to excellent water management during a time when nutrient prices continue to increase. The NutriJet is a standardized dosing system that works in open fields and hydroponics.
Along with innovation, Priva places a premium on precision and making it a goal to shrink heating and cooling costs for growers. "We offer energy consultations," Cicci says. "Within the first visit, a greenhouse can reduce 5 percent of its energy costs."
Mihalek is a former Meister Media Worldwide editor.