GreenTech Summit 2018

What will greenhouse horticulture look like in a decade?

Exhibitors have taken their place in the stands, visitors are coming in and the GreenTech innovation awards have been handed out. But the party already started yesterday with the GreenTech Summit. The theme: 'What will the greenhouse horticulture industry look like in 10 years?' The day started with various speakers who, each from their own professional point of view, looked forward to the next decade.

In the afternoon, there were three break-out sessions, featuring brainstorms on leadership in the next generation, new crops (read: cannabis) and solutions for cultivation in the future. Finally, keynote speaker Christian Kromme, author of the book "Humanifaction. Go Digital, stay human", took the stage.

Dick Veerman of Foodlog once again explained that the Netherlands is number 2 on the list of food exporting countries. The megacities of the future, however, don't need vegetables from the Netherlands - they require the know-how and technology to be self-sufficient. Integrated growing, as Dick calls it.

The second speaker was Ernst van den Ende, Director Plant Sciences at Wageningen University.

Ernst was followed by Mike Vermeij, CEO Bom Group, who emphasized: Education, education, education. We have the technology, now we need the people who can work with it.

On behalf of IBM, Anna van Wassenaer gave a presentation on two hot issues: big data and block chain.

Koppert Cress and Koppert Biological Systems shared the stage, featuring Stijn Baan and Martin Koppert.

After the general program, the audience split up for the various sessions. At 'The Next Growing Solutions', people brainstormed on the role technology will play in the future. An awful lot is being developed, but being future proof depends on daring to share knowledge and data.

The panel from left to right: Andreas Hofland (HortiKey), Steven Newell (Windset Farms), Edward Verbakel (VB Group), Vincent Deenen (Grodan), Mark Durno (Rockstart).

The next leadership
At the session on future leadership, there was plenty of discussion on the future in the hands of the next generation. It became clear that there's no single solution that can be deployed across the world. "You can take all the Dutch techniques and try to transplant them to Portugal, but that's not going to work." The industry also expects the leaders of the future to have a long-term vision.

The panel from left to right: Stijn Baan (Koppert Cress), Charlotte Langerak (Viscon), Hajo van Beijma (Singularity University), Martin Koppert (Koppert Biological Systems), and Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt (The Fork)

Dick Veerman polled the opinion of the audience.

The session on 'Next Crops' was mainly about the rise of cannabis cultivation. According to the experts, it's a market with a lot of potential, but it also faces various obstacles. The financial aspect is the main challenge, but there are also challenges in knowledge and technique.

The panel from left to right: Olivier Dufourmantelle (Canopy Growth), Mads Pedersen (Alfred Pedersen & Son), Henk Verbakel (Havecon), Pieter Verhagen (TNO) and Chris Walsh (Marijuana Business Daily).

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© 2018