Two years ago, a group of young horticultural entrepreneurs from Slovenia blazed a new trail and built a modern, four hectare Venlo greenhouse in Renckovich, a village in Turnišče municipality in the north-eastern region of Prekmurje. The group planned to cultivate high-quality tomatoes on substrate for the local markets. The project was a great success.
Lust tomatoes are sold as luxury goods with the trade mark ‘made in Slovenia with love’. ‘From the start, we knew that we had to come up with a good marketing strategy to distinguish us from other large mass-produced products,’ says Kristjan Magdic, director of marketing at Lust. ‘We built a greenhouse that did demand a major investment, but that was extremely advanced. Thanks to the greenhouse, we cultivate the tomatoes sustainably, using organic crop protection.’
The young entrepreneurs also use geothermal energy to heat the greenhouse. ‘We can store the heat in a buffer that has enough capacity to heat the greenhouse. Only when it is extremely cold do we need our conventional heating boiler. Also, we cultivate on a sustainable growth medium: coir rather than mineral wool.’
The tomatoes produced by Lust are sold under a premium brand in supermarkets in Slovenia and neighbouring countries. The Lust label is sold not only by Lidl, but also by dearer luxury retailers. ‘From our nursery it is an 85 km drive to Graz, 230 km to Vienna, 280 to Budapest and 180 to Ljubljana. So we occupy a strategic position, surrounded by important markets. Slovenia is our main market and particularly Ljubljana, but once a month a couple of trucks also go to Hungary and Vienna.’
Publicationdate: 26-11-2013Return to news overview