Slovenian Minister of Agriculture met with Dutch horticultural experts

After 22 years, the Dutch Council of agriculture in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, is closing. The Agricultural Counsellor Martijn Homan will start working from 1 September at his new location in Warsaw. In his new four year term, he will be responsible for Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary; Slovenia will thus no longer be part of his responsibilities. Within the framework of this farewell, a horticultural roundtable was held in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana in the presence of the Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, Dejan Zidan. Guest speakers representing Dutch horticulture included Chris Groot (Enza Seeds), Jacco Vooijs (Fruitmasters) and Jochem Wolthuis (GroentenFruit Huis). They talked about the importance of marketing, good cooperation, producer organisations and the joint promotion of fruit and vegetables.

From left to right: Jochem Wolthuis (Duitsland Desk GroentenFruit Huis), Jacco Vooijs (Fruitmasters), Martijn Homan (Council of Agriculture in Budapest), Dejan Zidan (Slovenian Minister of Agriculture), Chris Groot (Enza Zaden), Pieter Langenberg (Dutch Ambassador in Ljubljana).

Minister Zidan thanked Counsellor Homan for the good cooperation between Slovenia and the Netherlands in the field of agriculture, especially his commitment and enthusiasm in the fields of integration of Slovenian growers, technological innovation in fruit production and market knowledge for a better marketing of vegetables. (Source: Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture).

Although Homan resided in Budapest, he was, since taking office in 2010, often to be found in Slovenia. Together with the Dutch Embassy in Ljubljana, he positioned the Netherlands in Slovenia, facilitated the entry of Dutch entrepreneurs into the market, supported Slovenian authorities with knowledge and experience and reported about Slovenian agricultural policies and developments. 

In his speech, Homan looked back on a great experience, with plenty of knowledge exchanged between both countries at various levels. As flagship names in Slovenian horticulture, he mentioned the vegetable company Paradise ( and the orchid grower Ocean Orchids (, companies which were inspired by Dutch horticulture, naturally resulting in close cooperation. 

Homan also organised together with his colleagues in Ljubljana a "Holland Village", where more than 70,000 visitors were inspired by Dutch-Slovenian cooperation. Furthermore, the department has organised various events and trips in order to stimulate the Dutch-Slovenian knowledge exchange. Henceforth, these activities of the Dutch Embassy in Ljubljana, without the Council of Agriculture, will be implemented under the directions of Ambassador Pieter Langenberg.

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