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Grow with…
Andris Stuks

 

 

 

Grow with…Andris Stuks

 

 

Philips Horti’s plant specialists are the best partners a grower can have when it comes to using LED lighting in business operations. In every newsletter one of them talks about developments and experiences in the field. This time it is Andris Stuks’ turn, and he tells us about the challenges that arise in his field and in ‘his’ area, Northern and Eastern Europe.

Andris-Stuks-Teaser

"A plant specialist’s work in itself is special to start with. Together with our partners and growers we do pioneering work in order to make progress using the latest knowledge and technologies. What makes the work extra special for me is that I operate in such a large area: from Latvia to Georgia and from Russia to Scandinavia.

 

I am a child of different worlds and cultures. I was born in the Soviet Union, but that native soil is now the Baltic state of Latvia. And I graduated from the Bulduri horticulture school at a time when the country was moving from one political system to another. This meant there was no work and I moved abroad.

 

After travelling around England, the Netherlands and other countries, and after even trying out completely different specialist fields, I eventually returned to the old nest and to my old love: working as a plant specialist in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. I did however expressly take with me the experiences I had gained during my time in the Netherlands, which is where I first came across LEDs in horticulture. The potential that these solutions have has continued to fascinate me.

Working as a plant specialist suits me. I grew up with a mother who was a horticulture specialist and I always used to really enjoy helping her in the fields – although I was also often envious if a friend cycled past on his way to play somewhere. Now my main feeling is one of gratitude for the experiences I had during my youth. The result was that I got into a field in which I feel happy. Working with plants and growers is not work, it is passion and an obsession. The nice thing is that everybody in our team thinks the same. No one does this work purely for the money. The search for greater knowledge about plants and a better understanding of how they grow is our common driving force. And it is fascinating to work in different cultures. From the dour Russians, who show limited emotions, to the Scandinavians, who always actively share knowledge, every country has its own culture and every project its own challenges.
Andris-Stuks-Teaser-3

At the moment we are busy working on commercial projects relating to cucumbers and tomatoes. We are examining whether we can make inroads into the Russian market with our light recipe for cucumbers and in Poland we are getting excellent practical results with 100% LED, a combination of interlighting and toplighting, so I’m certain that there are opportunities for us there. Trading with Russia is tricky at the moment because you never know what sanction or import bans might pop up, but knowledge that can be used to feed the population is not subject to political decision-making. And in an area like Scandinavia there is great thirst for knowledge that will make it possible to provide healthy home-grown products even during the long winters: I firmly believe in the role that LEDs can play in this.

 

As far as that is concerned my arrival at Philips proves my motivation: I first came into contact with them because I wanted to buy LEDs for the company where I was working at the time! As a result of studies and practical tests I had already discovered that LEDs were the future, and the fact that I hit it off with the people and the product at Philips meant that as a plant specialist I am now able to contribute to the LED revolution. So I’m looking forward to all the projects on which I can work in practice, with and for our growers, anywhere in the world.”


Andris Stuks
Plant Specialist
Philips Horticulture LED Solutions

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