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"If we continue like this, everyone will get their turn eventually"

Earlier this fall John Ruyven appealed to the greenhouse horticulture to make its voice heard. "Why is nobody doing anything?" the Dutch technician asked himself, operating in, among others, the water treatment with his company JVR Tecmar. His appeal got him some significant reactions, but since then nothing truly changed, he claims. "I got to hear great stories, but that wasn't my goal. What matters is that something changes."

Recently a grower from Canada pointed John to the development in the Middle East. There they pump (sea) water into empty gas and oil fields. After John saw the images, this raised the question of whether this might also be an option to extract gas in the Dutch province Groningen without risking earthquakes. He proposed this idea at a contact moment at a trade organization and also shared posts about it on his personal LinkedIn.

In the meantime, everyone ‘must’ get rid of gas and Russian gas is banned. Such developments hit greenhouse horticulture hard. "It's sad to see entrepreneurs who watch their life's work shatter." It's painful for the technician that also many in his industry resign. Since January there hasn't really been any protest from the industry, according to John. "While whoever is still on the right side of this line will also get their turn eventually, if the policy continues like this."

John at GreenTech Amsterdam 2022

If it's up to John, there will at least be more clarity from the Dutch government. "Without clarity around the policies, entrepreneurs don't know where they stand." If 'we' still have to get rid of gas and lower emissions, then geothermal heat might be an option. The technician is surprised at the fact that the government links the price of geothermal heat to the high gas prices. "Make sure presently that geothermal heat becomes cheaper if gas is no longer allowed, but that also isn't happening."

The technician hopes that greenhouse horticulture still takes action, preferably together with other badly affected industries, such as bakeries. "Currently, I'm missing solidarity, while very strange things take place in the market." By making his position known once again and showing his point of view, John hopes to find like-minded people. "Together with people that are on the same wavelength we should be able to bring about changes."

Would you like to respond? Mail John at:

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