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Staying Ahead: French Greenhouse Maintains Business Continuity after 2 Storms

Les Serres Du Val recovers quickly after a tornado and hailstorm

In partnership with Hagelunie, the firm Les Serres Du Val – French greenhouse grower – explains how it recovered quickly after suffering two violent storms in one year.

Client: Les Serres Du Val
Region: Saint-Denis-En-Val, Orléans, France
Industry: Cucumber and Eggplant/Aubergine for the Kultive French cooperative
Client Challenge: Two storms in one year - Tornado and hailstorm in April and June
Solution: Immediate on-site meeting following the call and fast up interim payment and final settlement thanks to insurance coverage and expertise of Hagelunie. The rapid settlement and advice allowed the company to carry out its activities in complete safety and to facilitate continuity of the business.
The business and production was back up and running in record time.
The loss was minimized, thanks to rapid coordination with repair teams: Cucumbers were replanted on 40% of the total area in the center of the greenhouse.
Guarantee of business continuity: continuation of production while maintaining contact with employees. Minimal disruption to crop marketing and retention of customers.
Coverage of operating losses and repair of installations.

The company Les Serres Du Val is a producer of cucumbers and eggplants

Les Serres du Val is part of the French well known cooperative Kultive, ,one of the most important/predominant cucumber cooperatives in France. Kultive works hard to respond to the French consumer demands in producing fresh and sustainable vegetables for a fair price. Yann Jacques is well known for his involvement in the growing vegetable business in France. He worked for many years as a technician and ultimately became a grower himself. With a keen interest in  anticipating and pioneering new techniques and new economic issues for his business. 

The seasons follow one another, spring then summer, always at the mercy of Mother Nature
Tornadoes and hailstorms are always something to be on the lookout for. Les Serres Du Val came across severe weather conditions in 2022 – a huge tornado in April and a severe hail storm in June 2022. “You can see how weird the climate has become and how it has capitalized our work,” said Yann Jacques. At any time, the weather can wreak havoc on life and greenhouse property, no matter where a greenhouse is located. A tornado or hailstorm can wipe out a business in a matter of minutes. So to be prepared and properly insured can make all the difference in the way a business recovers from a partial or catastrophic loss.

Partnering with Hagelunie
To overcome these challenges, Les Serres Du Val chose to partner with an insurance company that is specialized in greenhouse horticulture. Hagelunie became their first choice, which offered strong greenhouse risk management expertise and quick claims handling skills, as demonstrated by its various partnerships with several greenhouse businesses across Europe. 


A tornado in April left a trail of destruction behind in the greenhouse 
During spring, the company Les Serres Du Val suffered a huge tornado. Yann contacted Hagelunie immediately. “The Hagelunie experts immediately texted me and scheduled a first on-site meeting the next day to explain the planned repair plan to me. They started quickly so that the greenhouse could be operational again. A first demolition team came from the Netherlands to secure the greenhouse. In a few days, the glazing which threatened to collapse or end up on the ground was removed, and security perimeters were delimited below the broken windows. Since cucumber is a fast-growing plant, it was essential to preserve the crop, while ensuring staff safety and food security. Subsequently, a second team repaired the broken windows, using in priority the glazing in stock. The greenhouse was therefore quickly repaired."

Mitigating hail-related losses in June
In the summer of 2022, the greenhouse was again damaged by hail and the damage turned out to be even greater. "However, they did not seem to be a problem for the experts at Hagelunie, who have extensive experience in managing this type of cases," says Yann. “More than 15,000 sheets of glass, or nearly 25% of the total area, as well as all the crops inside the greenhouse. The demolition crews again arrived very quickly to secure the greenhouse.” A week after the storm, the Serres du Val employees returned to the site to help clean the ground and uproot the crops. "Thanks to the intervention of Hagelunie, new windows were also delivered in a very short time and many repair teams were mobilized. This allowed us to establish an ambitious planting schedule for new cucumber crops."

Johan with grower

Image 1 : Johan van den Ouwehand (Expert Hagelunie) and Yann Jacques checking crops after storms

Quick recovery and back in business in no time
Yann is especially impressed by the continuous support from Hagelunie. "With about 3 teams of 4 persons they repaired 1000 pieces of windows each week!" In order to be back in business as soon as possible, new young cucumber plants were directly ordered in the first week after the date of hail. They were planted when the first section with a surface of 1.0 hectare was repaired; exactly 4 weeks after the hail. In total, 40% of the surface was replanted with cucumber.

“Hagelunie knows builders and repair teams very well and coordinated with them quickly. Their work is really special. For me as a greenhouse grower, being coached from the first hour until the last after bad calamities is very comforting.” - Yann Jacques, producer at Les Serres du Val

Yann Jacques was impressed by Hagelunie’ s professionalism. “If I may give advice to other greenhouse growers who’re facing the same challenges or damages as I did – speak to professionals!”

A stronger future, together 
Natural disasters caused by Mother Nature are a part of life. The preparatory steps you take and prompt response and effective communication will, however, help you recover quickly and successfully after an unanticipated loss. Hagelunie and Les Serres Du Val continue to collaborate and mitigate potential risks to ensure the business continuity.

Learn more
Although modern greenhouses are designed to withstand severe storms, they are still relatively vulnerable. Read our previous article «February storms in Western Europe» to find out what preventive measures you can take to avoid claims during a storm. If you want to find the matching horticultural insurance for your business, contact us here

About Hagelunie 
Hagelunie is an international insurer for greenhouse horticulture companies. Originally founded by growers and active for almost a century, our mission is to insure and ensure the business continuity of the worldwide greenhouse horticultural sector. Hagelunie is part of the Achmea Group, a leading international insurance company.

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