The Dutch region of Westland, a powerhouse in terms of European horticultural production especially when it comes to fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers, welcomed members of the European Union’s Permanent Representatives Committee earlier this week as part of a two-day programme linked to the Netherlands’ current presidency of the EU Council.
Delegates taking part in the tour – which was designed to promote sharing of knowledge and experience, with a focus on sustainability and innovation – were able to visit sites including Koppert Cress, where owner and founder Rob Baan reportedly delivered an inspiring message about the role that horticulture can play in the welfare and well-being of European consumers, and the fact that the Netherlands remains at the centre of a global drive to improve people’s health.
Westland councillor Arne Weverling said having the eyes of the EU on what was happening in the region was a good thing.
“We have a lot to offer the world when it comes to our innovations, developments and products in the areas of food, energy and technology,” he commented. “Today, all of these aspects have come together and we were able to see where it can all happen in Westland’s horticulture hub.”
Other local industry champions, including chef Yuri Verbeek and floral designer Pim van de Akker, offered the visitors their own interpretation of the ‘Health and Happiness’ theme.
The Permanent Representatives Committee, also known as Coreper, is responsible for preparing the work of the EU Council and consists of representatives from each EU member state.