Ambassadors from over 20 countries have visited three innovative and sustainable companies in Greenport West-Holland: Koppert Biological Systems, De Ruiter Seeds Experience and Anthura. The tour was initiated by the province of Zuid-Holland. Participants were guided by King’s Commissioner Jaap Smit. In this tour, the province showed these pearls in horticultural to an international audience.
The ambassadors and their deputies were first welcomed at Koppert Biological Systems in Berkel and Rodenrijs by CEO Paul Koppert. Peter Maes, Director of Corporate Marketing, explained how the company, together with growers and in collaboration with nature (biological resources), is committed to get agricultural and horticultural products more healthty, safe, productive and resilient. At De Ruiter Experience Center, participants were given a presentation by Nico van Vliet, Borg Exelmans and John van der Knaap about the power of Dutch vegetable seed breeding. In the demo greenhouse they watched the performance of the varieties of De Ruiter and of fellow seed houses that are grown under high-tech conditions. They also visited the “market” where they could see and taste different tomato varieties.
The group then went to Anthura in Bleiswijk, winner of the Horticultural Entrepreneur Award 2019, where they had a look in the production greenhouse with Anthuriums. Anthura is a specialist in the breeding of innovative and sustainable Orchids and Anthuriums for growers and consumers. King’s Commissioner Jaap Smit: “In Greenport West-Holland there are many horticultural companies that are world leaders, and I am proud to be able to show a few of these companies to an international audience.”
During the tour, participants also received information about the activities of the Greenport West-Holland. Member of the executive council Adri Bom-Lemstra, also chairman Greenport West-Holland, was present as well. Program manager Jolanda Heistek spoke about the importance of cooperation between governments, entrepreneurs, educational institutions and research organizations. They work together on a healthy, vital and sustainable future for the regional horticultural cluster and national and (inter)national cooperation.
King’s Commissioner Jaap Smit: “With this visit, we want to show the international power of the Greenport. The Netherlands is worldwide in second place in the export of flowers and agri-food products, and our horticulture sector is the world leader in its own production, product innovation and development of new technologies. The Greenport is a sector in which the economies of many countries are connected.”