Energy consumption is a key determinant when procuring infrastructure, systems, tractors and vehicles. Efficient energy management contributes towards shrinking our carbon footprint; such as:
- Varying the speed of pumps, heat pumps
- Using wood scraps instead of geysers at homes
- Gravitational irrigation
- Pre-paid meters in homes
- The management of “Time of Use” and “Critical Peak DayPeriod” in collaboration with Eskom
Best science and technology is an integral part of Natuurboerdery®, and with “best” we not only imply most efficient, but also healthy technology. Healthy means least environmentally harmful and most sustainable.
With a highly perishable product like tomatoes, it is essential to have reliable technology and logistics. ZZ2 already decided to provide its own market transport in 1964, when 45 trucks were bought.
A mechanical workshop with trained artisans was established. This developed over time into a maintenance workshop servicing and repairing the hundreds of pick-ups, tractors, farm trucks and market trucks, probably now the largest and most competent private service station system in the country.
Soon after establishing Natuurboerdery® principles in production, a comprehensive and integrated engineering department was founded and organised. This department, with several qualified engineers, was tasked not only with the optimal maintenance of vehicles, equipment, buildings and irrigation schemes, but also with the acquisition and design of cutting edge farming technology.
With the aim of reducing our carbon footprint, VSD-drives were designed and built for water pumps, most fuel-efficient vehicles acquired, heat pumps installed in hostels and an experimental solar electricity plant installed.
Many labour and energy saving devices were built in our own workshop.
The tomato net houses, which our engineers improved from a Mexican design, and fabricated from mostly local materials, are a model for “cradle to grave” CO² and energy efficient design.
Energy (and thus CO2) savings are much boosted by an extensive network of dams and pipelines which maximise the available gravitational energy of our water resources.
Another important saving in energy-cost is achieved by installing wet walls (rather than compressors) for low level cooling, such as in nurseries.
Electronics are becoming more and more important for information flow and logistics on a large operation like ZZ2.
In the 1990s, a fully-fledged IT Department has been computerising everything possible, from cattle to pallets, salaries to tractors and security systems, to achieve optimal efficiency and reliability in all processes.