Brightlands Venlo and LLTB want to become the healthiest horticultural region

"Give horticulture space, all of the region will profit"

"If horticulture is allowed to grow, all residents of Limburg will profit", according to Léon Faassen, chairman of the Limburgse Land- en Tuinbouwbond (LLTB) during the symposium 'Limburg: the healthiest horticulture region'. Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo and the LLTB held this symposium for horticulture companies, agri-business, council members, and civil servants. Saskia Goetgeluk, director Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo: "Heath is the theme which binds us. The development of the Limburg horticulture and the growing focus on healthy food go hand in hand."

There were about 125 guests present at the symposium. Bart Veldkamp, former long distance skater, and Remco Havermans, PhD at the University Maastricht Campus Venlo, stimulate the hall with their visions on healthy food and taste experience.

Concrete opportunities
Faassen said the Limburg horticulture is of great value for our economy. Faassen: “We earn our living in horticulture. With innovations and sustainability developments in the field of ornamental horticulture and agri-horticulture we are a world player. We can reinforce this position even more and have more people in Limburg benefit. Agricultural entrepreneurs have to create opportunities in the field of sustainability, energy, future proof infrastructure, staff, and housing, together with the local municipalities and the province of Limburg. Actually, the LLBT only sees opportunities.”

Saskia Goetgeluk, campus director in Venlo: “At the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo everything is about safe and healthy food, future farming and bio-economy. More and more companies want to move to the campus or close by. The companies are attracted by the R&D facilities present at the campus. They want to be close together for knowledge exchange and close to the research. The research questions at our campus are coming directly from the market. In this way there is concrete application of available knowledge, and that is exactly the goal. The companies can come to us for this.” Goetgeluk invited companies to give their innovation questions to the campus.

From future farming to sustainability
The guests spoke about six themes which are of great added value to the middle and north of Limburg. During the theme ‘Space for Glass’, greenhouse horticultural entrepreneur Marcel Dings (Brookberries) and civil servant Herm Willems (municipality Venlo) talked about a successful example between entrepreneur and local government. Alderman Paul Sanders (municipality Peel en Maas), and Paul van Lipzig, grower of cucumbers, strawberries, and blueberries, both gave their vision on ‘Labor and Housing’.

The theme ‘Energy and sustainability’ was introduced by greenhouse grower Erik Gubbels and Annemiek Canjels of the province of Limburg. Keynote speaker Remco Havermans further expounded on ‘Healthy and safe food’ in a partial session. John van Helden, from Jookr, showed during the theme ‘Future Farming’ how sensors contribute to grow techniques of the future. The theme ‘Bio-economy’ was talked about by Ton Voncken, Bio Treat Center, and Edqin Hamoen, NewFoss. All themes had a lot of room for interaction.

Source: LLTB

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