Sandra Huysman (Westlandse Aardbei) nominated for European award

With the 'Women's Innovation Award', European umbrella organisation COPA-COGECA and the EU institutions want to ensure that women get the recognition they deserve. Women are the cornerstone of European agriculture and horticulture, but their role often remains underexposed, reports Glastuinbouw Nederland. On behalf of the Dutch horticulture sector, Sandra Huysman of Westlandse Aardbei was nominated for the award.

In particular, Europe wants to highlight enterprising women who contribute to a viable countryside and sector. Without them, we cannot make the transition to food systems in Europe that balance economy, environment and social.

Social importance
As a leader in sustainable and social horticulture, LTO Netherlands and Glastuinbouw Nederland nominated Sandra Huysman for this European award. The consumer, and the sector's contribution to health and happiness, is central to this innovative strawberry grower from 's-Gravenzande. With local sales, fixed prices, exclusivity, recognisable products and organising events in the greenhouse, Sandra Huysman is committed to a sustainable relationship between grower and consumer.

The community within the greenhouse is also important to her. An international team, supplemented by colleagues from a care nursery, forms the heart of the company for her. In her cultivation, too, she pushes for sustainable strawberry production with biocontrol, water recycling, low-temperature cultivation and circular systems. Through this nomination, Sandra Huysman hopes to draw more attention at EU level to the social importance of innovative greenhouse horticulture.

Valuable addition
Sandra Huysman on her nomination: "We believe it is our holistic approach, which goes beyond operational efficiency, that makes us who we are. Only by looking at the local community and employees, by improving sustainability and concept, can a company truly be a valuable addition to society. This goal is never fully achieved, but that is also what makes it fun. It means there is always room to grow and my work is far from finished."

Source: Glastuinbouw Nederland  

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