Limgroup B.V.
Pioneers of F1 Hybrid Strawberries: Gipmans Young Plants

Pioneers of F1 Hybrid Strawberries: Gipmans Young Plants

How Gipmans Young Plants drastically reduces crop protection with F1 Hybrid Strawberries

In our series 'Pioneers of F1 Hybrid Strawberries', we will highlight the partners over time who have played a crucial role in the development and launch of F1 Hybrid Strawberries. This innovation is thanks to the collaboration and shared expertise of partners from the entire strawberry chain. By working together and leveraging the unique knowledge and skills of our partners, we were able to launch F1 Hybrid Strawberries in January 2024. In this first edition, Jos Gipmans from Gipmans Young Plants shares his insights about the collaboration.

In this article, you will read:

  • The key role Gipmans Young Plants plays in this transition;
  • How F1 Hybrid Strawberries enable more efficient planning and optimal space usage.
  • The importance of collaboration for an innovative and sustainable strawberry sector

Gipmans Young Plants, from its headquarters in Venlo, has been nurturing about 135 different types of plants for over 50 years, from open field to glasshouse vegetables. The innovative family business supplies high-quality plant material to gardeners and procurement organizations all over Europe. The company also has considerable experience in strawberries.

11.01 (23).png

Experience in strawberries

"We have long gained experience with strawberries from runners," says Jos Gipmans, one of the three directors of the family business. "Initially, this seemed to fit perfectly into our planning and space occupation. Our space occupation for open-ground plants decreases in July, allowing us to set up the runners in pots from July and harvest and pack in December. This way, we could use the space optimally." Yet, working with runnings immediately presented challenges: "this led us to deal with significant labor peaks, coinciding with peaks in our greenhouse horticulture sector. This was not feasible for us to combine."

Innovation through collaboration
Gipmans decided to stop cultivating strawberries from runners. There were already contacts with Limgroup, from the asparagus world. "When we heard from Limgroup that they were working on strawberry varieties from seed, we were immediately very interested. This seamlessly matched our core business: the germination of seeds, in which we have years of knowledge and experience," Jos explains. "We're at the foundation of about 750 million seedlings every year, so we can safely say we've got it down. We immediately saw interesting opportunities to contribute to the company with our knowledge.

Limgroup set up a consortium of a number of leading propagators, with the main goal of sharing knowledge and making use of each other's expertise. Within the consortium, Gipmans Plants plays a key role, especially focused on the early stage of cultivating young plants from seed. "We have about 50 years of experience and expertise in sowing, germinating, and cultivating. With our expertise, we can contribute significantly, and we also learn a lot from the other propagators. That's what it's all about, joining forces to move forward as a sector.”


"We immediately saw interesting opportunities to contribute to the company with our knowledge."

11.01 (25).png

A sustainable future
Besides that strawberries from cuttings did not fit into the planning in a workable manner, the amount of crop protection required was also notable. "That really surprised me, there's no escaping it with strawberries from runners. I also think that we really need to address this as a sector. It began to bother us that on one hand, we wanted to make sustainable choices, but on the other hand, we were cultivating strawberries from runners and applying a whole lot of chemical protection agents."

Here, Jos sees a clear advantage of F1 Hybrid Strawberries. "Because you always start clean and the plants are in the ground for a much shorter time than with runners, the risk of contamination is just much smaller, so you don’t need as much crop protection. I even think we can quickly move towards organic cultivation. In our herb branch, we have been using organic crop protection from the start, and for the last two years, we have been focusing on cultivating organic vegetable plants year-round. We have set ourselves the goal of using as little chemistry as possible in the long term. We prefer to look for ways to make the plant itself more resilient to external negative influences. Here we see beautiful opportunities for strawberry plants from seed.”

“It began to bother us that on one hand, we wanted to make sustainable choices, but on the other hand, we were cultivating strawberries from runners and applying a whole lot of chemical protection agents.”

The flexibility and predictability of F1 Hybrid Strawberries also offer new possibilities for space occupation, an essential aspect for Gipmans Young Plants. "The space we have is incredibly valuable to us. The predictability of F1 Hybrid Strawberries offers us the opportunity to optimally occupy the limited space we have, all year round," says Jos.

The start of a transition
The introduction of F1 Hybrid Strawberries marks the beginning of a new era in strawberry cultivation. "It's true that this transition has now been launched, but it's only just beginning. The broad acceptance among propagators and growers will be gradual. Limgroup will certainly not remain the only party with strawberry varieties from seed, it will be interesting to see how the market develops. So far, the reactions have been positive, there's definitely a need. We've also noticed among our clients lately that growers are switching to strawberries or other soft fruits, and with the new possibilities that strawberries from seed offer, this will only increase. The strawberry market is huge in the Netherlands, everyone gets happy from eating a strawberry, it's an emotional product that people will always continue to eat. Ultimately, it's about the varieties from seed producing quality good and tasty strawberries and that there's enough seed available to meet the market demand. But it strongly appears that Limgroup with its breeding is on the right track, then it can go very fast.”

Jos emphasizes the importance of collaboration: “We like to work together with innovative and reputable partners, like Limgroup. You have to do it together, by making use of each other's knowledge and expertise and thus complementing each other. Only in this way can you really innovate and pave the way for a more sustainable future.”


“By sowing strawberries, we can plan much more efficiently and optimize our space usage. It fits seamlessly with our company.”