On April 24, Greenport Aalsmeer brought a number of interested growers, specialists, and researchers together around the theme 'Algae and Horticulture.' The goal of the meeting at Waterdrinker was making an inventory about the state of affairs of algae cultivation in the Netherlands: which initiatives are being displayed? What are the opportunities and threats for the cultivation? And do production and sales of algae offer opportunities at all for horticulture companies at the moment?
Legislation and permits are obstacles
The most important conclusion of the practical research in 2018, performed by Wageninigen UR in conjunction with Lans Tomaten, is that the extensive knowledge of Dutch growers seems to be a good match with algae cultivation, but there are a lot of obstacles on the road to a successful entry on the high-quality food market. The biggest obstacles are the legislation and required permits in Europe. It is possible there are opportunities elsewhere in the world market, and in the much smaller market for green crop protection.
Opportunities with substances
For the future, the opportunities are there, such as a growing international demand and a broader application of algae, which will increase the demand for cultivation locations. One of the conclusions for the Dutch horticulture sector: do not become a supplier of resources. It will become interesting once you have the right substances, knowledge of the market, and a large marketing budget to actually access the market. Such a business case can only become a success by thinking in end products and organizing a transparent chain around it. Greenport Aalsmeer will study these opportunities in the coming months, and undertake additional steps with the right parties.
Source: Greenport Aalsmeer