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In a tent filled to the brim at the Brightlands Greenport Campus in Venlo, the kickoff for Dutch Agrifood Week 2018 was given this morning. The fifth edition nationwide, but it was the first for Greenport campus. Throughout the country, companies, institutions and other initiatives will be showing what food will look like in 2050. Something they know what to do in Venlo.

With well-filled stomachs, over 300 visitors after having breakfast shuffle towards the Bright tent near Villa Flora on the campus grounds where campus director Saskia Goetgeluk officially opens the week. According to Goetgeluk, the focus in the future will increasingly be on sustainable and healthy food. Because we face considerable challenges; growing world population, environmental problems and changing consumer needs. “Here on this campus, healthy food is central, not just this week. This requires a great deal of knowledge, and by working together with science, educational institutions and the business community, we are creating an ecosystem that benefits from this broad knowledge in every area of the chain. It is no longer just about producing food, consumers also want to see where their food comes from and what impact it will have on the environment”. Goetgeluk cordially invites everyone to experience this for themselves during Dutch Agrifood, because: “a personal meeting brings so much more!”

Goetgeluk sees that Dutch agriculture and horticulture are doing well and the region is making a significant contribution to this. Hubert Mackus, Commissioner for Agriculture for the province of Limburg emphasises this: “25% of the vegetables of the Netherlands are from this region, but also our favourable location in relation to Germany makes us the second greenport of the Netherlands. The beauty of this area is that we do not stand still, because figures from the CBS show that R&D expenditure is 10% higher than in the rest of the Netherlands. And here at Brightlands Greenport, this comes together, we think about the future from soil to plate.” He also sees it as an important fact that the sector is not only busy with efficient production but is also busy inventing more sustainable forms as well.

In this he points to the vision of Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten, for example, to abandon artificial fertilizer. “That direction is being given to this is extremely important, but at the same time growers are still bound by all kinds of rules regarding the use of artificial fertilizer. In this, I would like to call on the Ministry to give more room for experimentation. Not only financially, that’ s much more up to the entrepreneur himself. But give growers the freedom to come up with sustainable alternatives, because they really exist.”


Then there’s toast, the DAF-week is open, and after the juice, visitors stream to the Innovation Square to taste the cultivated meat, seaweed burgers and mushroom brownies. They will also see and hear everything about the sustainable solutions that can be found in the region – and beyond.

Here the complete program of the Dutch Agri Food Week 2018