08/07/2022 | On Thursday, the Desmartis Nurseries, established since 1874 in Bergerac, inaugurated a photovoltaic greenhouse, which will provide electricity to 750 homes each year.
Established since 1874 in Bergerac, on a 300-hectare site bordering the Dordogne, the Desmartis Nurseries produce a wide variety of plants, trees and shrubs for a professional clientele (horticulturists, nurserymen, landscapers, DIY stores). Taken over in 2014 by Patrick Chassagne and Dominique Audy, the company employs a hundred employees with a turnover of 15 million euros. One of its peculiarities is that the company carries out numerous projects in favor of the environment. The greenhouse of 3 has inaugurated this Thursday is a good example.
A new 3-hectare greenhouse covered with photovoltaic panels that will supply around 1,700 people with electricity is the latest project in favor of the environment by the Desmartis company in Bergerac. It was inaugurated this Thursday morning, in the presence of many project partners. The city of Bergerac and this territory bordering the Dordogne are inseparable from this company created in 1874, in the heart of the city of the sub-prefecture.
Pépinières Desmartis was acquired in 2014 by Patrick Chassagne, responsible for the greenhouse project, and Dominique Audy, commercial director. “Our main activity is the production of plants, shrubs, conifers, with a recognition of more than 70 years, of varietal creation on Lagerstroemia (called Indian Lilac). We are one of the first five French producers in volume with 1.7 million planted each year.Our clientele is made up solely of professionals, nurseries, farmers, landscapers, DIY stores.We employ a hundred people, of which 90 have an indefinite contract, for a turnover of 15 million euros. export, mainly in Europe”, explains Dominique Audy. “Our range refers to 4,500 varieties and species and follows new trends, plants from the South are popular with the public. »
The creation of the 3 ha greenhouse equipped with photovoltaic panels corresponds to an old conscience. Environmental protection is part of the company’s DNA. “This project took almost five years to complete, thanks to a partnership with the Conte family, owners of the land, the city of Bergerac and the Reden Solar company, located in Lot-et-Garonne. We have been filming for about twenty years. towards an eco-responsible production. This means that we are committed day by day to the reduction of phytosanitary inputs, the reduction of herbicides, the limitation of chemical fertilizers. The inauguration of this greenhouse is fully in line with this approach”.says Patrick Chassagne, who led the project.
The first crops were made in the spring of 2021. This year a hectare of plants was added, mainly lavender plants and summer crops. Drip irrigation has reduced water consumption by six and the water cart system offers maximum efficiency. The installation of double-walled inflatable tunnels limits heat loss and saves 20% energy compared to a glass greenhouse.
For example, Viveros Desmartis has reduced the use of herbicides by 50% and the use of fungicides and pesticides by 80% in the last ten years, which has earned the Bergerac company the HVE label (High Environmental Quality) at the beginning of the year.
This new greenhouse of more than 3 hectares produces 3,567 MVh/year, the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 750 houses in Bergerac.
By Claude-Hélene Yvard
Photo credit: Claude-Hélène Yvard