Report Harvesting techniques and logistic chain

BioBoost published a report on the harvesting techniques and logistic chain in horticulture. During different phases in the food chain, by-products are produced. Part of these by-products can possibly be valorised. The report focusses on the by-products created during harvesting.


For the following six crops, cultivation method, rest streams and innovations are detailed: Brussel sprouts, Belgian endive, tomato, cauliflower, beans and peas. The aim of the report is to ease logistic chains by exploring challenges and opportunities towards harvesting and valorisation of produced by-products.

Main challenges not new

The main challenges who arose from this study are not new. These challenges are the following and some solutions are proposed in the report, based on the mentioned innovations.

  • Seasonality and small scale production. Most of the by-products are released within a short period, making it challenging to assure a continuous valorisation process, unless residues are stored in an appropriate way.
  • The quality and composition of the by-products vary strongly based on varieties, harvesting period and soil conditions.
  • Harvesting of residues. Adapted harvesting machines should be developed.
  • Extra costs for harvesting or other innovations. Innovation asks for investments. For the primary sector, these investments costs add additional costs to the total business budget, unless valorisation is seen as beneficial to the primary sector, also financially.


Two opportunities were found to act towards cash proceeds instead of costs on the long term:

  • Biorefining results in potential products with new by-products. In the scope of a zero waste approach, it is advisable to look at those new by-products. E.g. waste can often be separated in a liquid and a fibre part. Both have different valorisation potentials.
  • Supply chain. To realise successful valorisations, it is crucial to set up supply chains and collaborations.

Harvesting techniques

The full report can be found in the on the BioBoost website in the publications section.