Jasper den Besten and Maren Schoormans have joined Honest AgTech as members of the senior leadership team. Honest is building autonomous robots that can execute various activities in high-tech greenhouses - such as deleafing and harvesting - currently being done by human labor. In the role of Head of Applied Plant Research, Jasper will ensure that the needs of the target vine crops & their physiological traits are addressed in the development of technological solutions. Jasper recently retired from his honorable 41-year career as a senior lecturer at HAS Den Bosch University of Applied Sciences to leverage his expertise at Honest while also dedicating his time to supporting Planet Farms, as previously announced in the media. Maren joins as the Chief Commercial Officer and formerly worked as Chief Business Development at Viscon Group, a leading manufacturer of software, machinery, and integrated solutions for the agri & food sector and a partner of Honest.
Honest's founder & CEO Renji John: "It gives me great pleasure to welcome Jasper & Maren to Honest. They bring deep industry expertise, network & know-how to our company. I look forward to scaling our company faster with them as we work on our mission to tackle the labor bottleneck in greenhouses using advanced robotics & AI. Jasper has been instrumental in numerous applied research initiatives in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and has also helped set up & operate a vertical farm in Singapore remotely from the Netherlands. Maren has worked across the high-tech horticulture sector at leading companies in areas ranging from seeds to biologicals to climate control and automation. His network in the industry is an important accelerant for us as we partner with industry leaders on our mission."
Jasper den Besten and Maren Schoormans
Jasper den Besten: "I met Renji a few years ago at a conference on vertical farming. I was fascinated by the way Renji talked about the challenges, potential solutions, and opportunities within high-tech horticulture. I started in horticulture by deleafing and harvesting tomatoes in Vleuten more than 50 years ago. In my conversations with him, I realized that nothing had really changed in 50 years while the whole world had changed around it. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to use my horticulture knowledge and experience to overcome the sector's production labor challenges."
Maren Schoormans: "When I met Renji in my days as Chief Business Development Officer at the Viscon Group, I got inspired by his vision on the industry, technology, and his solution approach. I am excited about building the future of greenhouse AI and robotics. And that future is near. I am committed to the success of our customers with regard to our robots and to execute our business model. I will be able to leverage my passion and knowledge of the CEA industry and build a new business. It is also special to me that I am now working alongside Jasper on this mission. Jasper was one of my teachers back in the day at HAS Den Bosch. He sparked the passion for the industry in me and thousands of other students."
Honest AgTech is a Dutch startup on a mission to tackle the biggest bottleneck to food production within commercial greenhouses - labor - using robotics & AI. To this end, they are building autonomous robots that execute various activities currently being done by humans. The ambition Honest AgTech is working towards is the enablement of fully autonomous, highly productive greenhouses which are not reliant on humans for operation. This will disconnect reliance on labor from horticulture and improve the scalability of food production in protected environments.