“The needs of entrepreneurs in our society are central.”

Produce food anywhere, anytime. This is the prospect of vertical farming. A promise that is now more important than ever because of rapidly growing cities, climate change, but invasion of Ukraine. This home farm also applies to the Nederland community mission.

“In order to take advantage of direct agricultural development and business opportunities, we need to increase our popularity abroad, do research, connect with consumers and educate them. The needs of entrepreneurs are a major concern of our community. We have been working on this for years. – Claire van Alvorworth Innovation Quote.

It all started with a meeting in 2016. The purpose of this highly attended meeting was to raise awareness of the agricultural opportunities of the Dutch business community. “At this meeting we would like to meet companies such as growers, suppliers or new players in the direct agricultural sector. With the help of all stakeholders, including DGD, we will assist where needed.

The power of communication
When asked by the community how to do this, Van Altwort replied that the main focus was on creating relationships between initiatives. “In this way, these initiatives strengthen and accelerate each other. For example, we are working with Greentech for programming with the international interest group Farm Tech Society. In addition, community-based companies, in collaboration with the Dutch Greenhouse Delta and Innovation Quarter, have put domestic agriculture on the agenda at the World Expo in Dubai.

Indigenous farming in the Netherlands is run by a well-coordinated team. Judith is involved in community building as a permanent agricultural theme. Ges is the project manager for the Field Lab project. Van Altwort: “We are reviewing each other and therefore providing a wider and more supportive region.”

The community has a private group on LinkedIn with more than two hundred members – Homelander Netherlands -. “We provide a place for everyone in the community to share their insights, questions, or activities. In this community, the interests of entrepreneurs are central to this.”

A fresh start
During Kovid, it was even more challenging to fulfill this mission, but in the meantime the community has made a fresh start. “In the meantime, our mission is becoming more important and another reason why it’s time to rehearse. Not only for Dutch companies, but also for food production anywhere, anytime.”

International Promotion
In the community, the interests of the companies are central. That is why, after the first meeting, Anne Claire made a list of what companies really needed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by vertical farming. The answers to this question depend on the community and the activities.

“Those interests are different. A good example of this is the need to promote Dutch products internationally and to acquire knowledge in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. These countries want to be self-sufficient.

That is why Anne-Claire, in partnership with the Dutch Greenhouse Delta (DGD), is a public-private partnership project for Dutch companies abroad for PIB program partners in the Gulf region.

“The coalition includes 18 companies in greenhouse construction, plant engineering, seed breeding and vertical farming. There we want to know how to grow safe and healthy food with investors and government delegations. It will be in Singapore.

∑ – Raise the tent
Another way to make it more globally visible is the Grow-Grow Pavilion at the World Horti Center at Naaldwick.

“That’s why we took the initiative to apply for this subsidy. The tent tells the story of high-tech Dutch fruits and vegetables, a story of sustainable, healthy, safe and nutritious food in both greenhouses and indoor gardens without daylight.”

The tent has been realized in collaboration with a group of participants who have made significant contributions both in terms of content and finances. The program attracts investors, but governments attract retailers, for example. Meanwhile, the participants meet regularly to exchange knowledge and experience.

There is a great deal that is known about vertical agriculture but is still unknown. After all, domestic farming is still a relatively new phenomenon. In particular, the relationship between plants and technology requires new knowledge.

“That’s why we set up Fieldlab Vertical Farm. We’ve done that with companies like Logics, Future Crops, My Own Greens, Marking and Certification. Research will be done to control the content. “

Communication and education
Communicating with consumers about domestic farming is also an important topic for the community. Van Altvorst: “A group of students from England are studying this with Dutch home farmers. What appeals to consumers, and where are the concerns? Respond to the need for more professionals who can work in home farming.”

Are you interested?
Want to know what our community can do for you?

  • Visit our events at Greentech 2022, June 14-16, 2022, Amsterdam.
  • Sign up for our next community meeting. This will take place on July 7, 2022.
  • Join our LinkedIn team where more than two hundred members exchange knowledge and experience every day https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13917547/.

Want to know more first? Then talk to Anne-Claire, Judith, or Gus.

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