Feb 22, 2023
Hort Americas and Agrifast Partner to Tackle Industry Issues

In a move to address agriculture’s mounting labor problems, while also providing a more environmentally sustainable solution, Hort Americas announced it’s now the exclusive distributor of Agrifast’s Tomsystem in the U.S. and Canada.

Between limited availability and the rising costs of employing qualified ag labor, farms and greenhouses continue to face significant workforce challenges. At the same time, increasing numbers of business owners and investors are turning to greenhouse technology to explore more eco-friendly methods for growing fresh produce.

Hort Americas and Agrifast see the Tomsystem as a piece of agtech that addresses two major issues vine crop greenhouse growers are facing today.

“I am always looking for simplicity,” said Chris Higgins, Hort Americas president and co-founder. “To me, simplicity almost always represents the best solution. With the Tomsystem, we have a product that has been used and perfected by growers around the world. By simply converting to a galvanized steel clip, we have addressed a major issue on how we deal with and manage crop waste at the end of the season.”

The Tomsystem replaces traditional crop-supporting methods. Besides the sustainability benefits, the process also lowers the labor cost per hectare, providing the grower a significant net economic gain. 

“We are very enthusiastic to start this new project in North America with Hort Americas,” said Alberto Lizarraga, Tomsystem product manager. “We think it is the perfect partner for this product. Together, we can contribute to increasing the efficiency of many companies involved in the greenhouse sector.”

Clipping speed with the Tomsystem averages around 2,000 plants per hour, two times faster than with conventional methods. Additionally, the clipping tool closes in five positions, allowing for adjustments based on crop thickness and weight.

“As a rule of thumb, the Tomsystem can reduce staff for clipping greenhouse crops on a basis of one person per hectare for crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and eggplants,” Lizarraga added.

The Tomsystem is currently used in 40 countries and has thousands of tools in the market.