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Mike Knowles



Dutch smarten up for urban future

Dutch fruit and vegetable sector aiming to position itself as sustainable supplier for growing global population

Dutch smarten up for urban future

The Dutch stand at Fruit Logistica 2016 will invite visitors to 'Meet the Smart Dutch'

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Dutch fresh produce companies including Staay Food Group, Eosta, Arava Holland and Holland Strawberry House expect to play a central role in feeding a larger and increasingly urban global population through the development of sustainable and technologically advanced production.

What’s more, they’re teaming up at next month’s Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin on 3-5 February to deliver their vision of a future where new opportunities will emerge for a range of imaginative and innovative products.

Drawing on a new national marketing push that brands the Netherlands as a Sustainable Urban Delta, the country will use Fruit Logistica to bolster its reputation as an important international supplier, promoting itself as the smart choice for a world market expected to comprise 9bn people by 2050, with 80 per cent of that population living in cities.

Backed by the City of Rotterdam, the Dutch embassy in Berlin and a number of major organisations in the Dutch fruit and vegetables business – including GroentenFruit Huis and Holland Fresh Group – the Holland pavilion at this year’s show will be a single stand instead of a collection of smaller ones.

There, visitors will be invited to ‘Meet the Smart Dutch’, underlining the Dutch belief that only intelligent concepts and technology, like metropolitan farming, smart buildings, personalised food and 3D food-printing will provide answers to the question how the world can continue to feed its burgeoning population without draining the planet’s finite resources.

What are the future opportunities for the fresh produce sector? And how will those living in the mega-cities of the future be looked after? According to the stand organisers, Ad Berends and Jochem Wolthuis, smart solutions will be necessary.

They describe the design of the new stand as “very surprising”, combining as it does typical Dutch tradition with futuristic imagery. A giant video screen will show beautiful images as well as a video about the metropolis and port city of Rotterdam.

Offering real solutions

Between 5pm and 6:30pm on Wednesday 3 February, a seminar on the stand entitled ’Smart Fresh Food Solutions' will see noted speakers including Meiny Prins of Priva and Fred van Heyningen of Rabobank share their visions of the future, followed by a ‘Happy Smart Hour’ networking event.

The following day, Rob Baan of Koppert Cress will be joined by Prins to discuss the urban farming phenomenon at Fruit Logistica’s Future Lab in Hall 21.

The same day, on the Holland pavilion at 4:45pm, a 'Feed the city experts meeting' will take place involving Baan, Kees Struijk of Grodan and Peter Ravensbergen, food safety programme director at Wageningen University.

Meanwhile, two of the Netherlands’ top TV chefs, Gary Leon and Stan Broere, will be on the stand preparing Dutch-inspired dishes, featuring fresh mushrooms involved in a new B2B campaign, Delizzimo strawberries promoted by Holland Strawberry House, seaweed and bell peppers from Arava Holland, corn on the cob from Hermans Suikermaïs, apples and conference pears from Jan Oskam, a variety of fresh vegetables from Staay Food Group, freshly cut onions from Smit's Uien and various organic products from Eosta.

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