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The European Union is the largest cannabis market in the world, and a new law is set to change how it’s grown. The law, which is set to be voted upon by the European Parliament by the end of June, will greatly alter cultivation in the region, opening up new possibilities for the cannabis industry across the continent.Timo Bongartz, CEO of Fluence EMEA, explains how the company is transforming medical cannabis cultivation in Europe with its innovative LED lighting solutions.
In recent years cannabis has been legalized for medical purposes in most European countries. However, the European market is still in its infancy. It is therefore important that operators in the sector have a high degree of reliability, in-depth knowledge, cultivation experience and scientific guidance in order to produce products of the highest quality.
Current and future direction of European cannabis markets
Currently, most cannabis growers in Europe are relatively new to the use of LED lighting and therefore may have a limited understanding of strategies to optimise the yield and quality of their operations. However, as a newcomer to the European market it also has advantages, such as existing experience that can be used in other sectors of horticulture. As the European medical cannabis market expands, producers of other crops are expected to turn to cannabis cultivation. Chrysanthemums, for example, are short-day plants that resemble cannabis. Therefore, proven ornamental growers can use their experience and knowledge to successfully switch to cannabis cultivation. Our Fluence experts can help you facilitate this transition at the local level by providing sound advice based on extensive research. With the combination of domestic horticultural expertise and long-established North American cannabis cultivation techniques, European growers are well positioned for success.
Fluence is currently focusing on controlled environments in countries like Switzerland, Portugal, Israel, the Netherlands and Denmark, which are becoming hotbeds for medicinal cannabis production. Since the markets are still relatively new, the demand for know-how and best practices is high, and that’s where we come in. We have an extensive base of over 325,000 square feet of cannabis under our LED lights, giving us a wealth of knowledge and experience that growers can benefit from.
Our team of qualified horticultural experts in Europe, as well as in the US and Canada, can provide advice on cannabis production, speak the language of growers, understand the nuances of local markets and support growers on a daily basis at their sites. No two installations are the same, which is why it is important to provide a customized service that meets each client’s unique operational needs. That’s why we focus on working personally with growers to develop the right lighting strategy for each environment, whether it’s a greenhouse in a warm climate with a high percentage of daylight or a warehouse in a cold climate with 100% task lighting. We appreciate producers who need data and analysis to understand inherent tactical and operational requirements such as B. Photoacclimatization, seasonal production, and compressed growth cycles.
Photo courtesy of Fluence by OSRAM
To achieve the highest possible standards, producers must take the time to understand their own business model and products. Will they compete in the premium flower market or will they focus on extracts and supplements? Do they want to tap into the growing CBD market or create well-designed cannabis products that meet the needs of doctors and their patients? By identifying customers’ needs in advance, farmers can offer customized services that meet customers’ demands.
Support for research
It is also critical that agricultural producers use credible research to inform their business decisions and strategies. For example, in collaboration with Wageningen University and Research Centre, we conducted a study which showed that growers dedicated to growing top-quality flowers should apply high levels of PPFD to improve plant growth. With space being limited and expensive in Europe, it is all the more important to make the best use of capacity. Growing with a high PPFD and broad spectrum light can help growers achieve consistent, high quality yields with a balanced cannabinoid and terpene profile.
Fluence’s extensive cannabis research program in North America continues to provide the market with new information that contributes to a collective understanding of how light affects the production of cannabis plants. This data is submitted to the global network of cannabis producers and is available at https://fluence-led.com/case-studies/.
Clients and patients
Another important thing to watch out for is consistency. As the popularity of medicinal cannabis continues to grow, it is important that growers maintain consistently high standards, regardless of seasonal fluctuations. In particular, greenhouse growers must ensure that the same environmental conditions prevail in winter and summer. If they do not, they will get different results and the final product will be inconsistent and unreliable for the customers.
Photo courtesy of Fluence by OSRAM
About Timo Bongarz
For over a decade, Timo Bongartz has been helping companies transform their legacy processes into digital network strategies. His passion for accelerating business transformation, combined with his childhood passion for growing plants, eventually led him to the horticulture industry. Bongartz is now Managing Director of Fluence by OSRAM EMEA, which enables food, ornamental and pharmaceutical growers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to achieve their growth goals with advanced horticultural lighting technology.
Fluence from OSRAM
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