Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ambassadors Visit International Greenhouse Horticulture Cluster Westland

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Diplomat Magazine
Diplomat Magazinehttp://www.diplomatmagazine.eu
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

By Roy Lie Atjam

The municipality of Westland and Diplomat Magazine extended an invitation to Ambassadors accredited in the Netherlands  to visit the International Greenhouse Horticulture Cluster of Westland. A large number of Ambassadors, including the Dean of the Corps Diplomatic and diplomats, responded positively to the invitation and visited the World Horti Center on Friday, March 1, 2024.

In his welcome remarks, the Mayor, Mr Bouke R. Arends, extended a warm welcome to his guests and spoke about the municipality of Westland.

01032024 – naaldwijk, world horti Centre; delegatie van ambassadeurs op bezoek in westland. Gemeente Westland © Thierry Schut

As the largest concentrated greenhouse horticultural area in the world, Westland boasts of a unique economic strength. It is the capital of Greenport in West Holland, and the municipality strives towards local and sustainable food production worldwide.

Mayor Arends believes that the horticulture industry can be a vital solution to worldwide food security. In Westland and Greenport West-Holland, all the key players in the entire chain of greenhouse horticulture are concentrated in a region of less than 100 square kilometres. This includes seeds, packaging, transport and trade, supported by the government, as well as knowledge, technology and research institutes. The concentration of these key players in such a small region has led to many innovations in the sector. Ultimately, these innovations can even be implemented in other sectors or people’s homes.

01032024 – naaldwijk, world horti Centre; delegatie van ambassadeurs op bezoek in westland. Gemeente Westland © Thierry Schut

The greenhouse industry in Westland generates more than 6 billion Euros annually, and the added value of the entire horticultural cluster in the Netherlands is 24 billion Euros. Westland companies work daily on the newest innovations to improve horticulture, such as different types of (semi)-closed greenhouses, sustainable water use and almost autonomous greenhouses. By doing so, Westland contributes to a number of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

The Mayor believes that “engaging in economic relations, working together, and learning from each other with an open mind is the key to finding answers to some of these global challenges.

01032024 -naaldwijk, World Horti Centre; Mayor Bouke R. Arends, with delegation of ambassadors visiting Westland. Municipality of Westland © Thierry Schut

Other speakers included Mrs Puck van Holsteijn, the director of the World Horti Center, Dutch Greenhouse Delta Mrs Daria van der Heijden, Diplomat Magazine, Mr. Roy Lie Atjam, and Ambassador Sahar Ghanem, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

H.E. Mrs Sahar Ghanem stressed the importance of international coordinating food security efforts since no country can achieve it alone. She also mentioned the impact of the current situation in the Middle East.

The guests were introduced to the power of the sustainable and innovative Westland greenhouse horticulture cluster through various presentations and guided tours. The collaboration between companies, education, and government was central.

01032024 – naaldwijk, world horti Centre; delegatie van ambassadeurs op bezoek in westland. Gemeente Westland © Thierry Schut

The visitors were given insights into the sustainable and innovative Westland greenhouse horticulture cluster through various presentations and guided tours. The central aspect of this cluster was the collaboration between companies, education, and government.

Afterwards, a networking lunch was arranged for the ambassadors and local businesses. The group then visited Ter Laak Orchids, where the focus was on sustainability in the sector. The visit is expected to generate more international interest in the local greenhouse horticulture cluster, benefiting the Municipality of Westland.

World Horti Center is the global knowledge and innovation centre for international greenhouse horticulture. It’s a place where businesses, education, research and public authorities innovate, connect, inspire and share knowledge together. Their work focuses on finding solutions to relevant social issues such as water, the supply of food, food safety, well-being and sustainability. Every year World Horti Center welcomes around 30,000 visitors from all over the world who come to gather inspiration and ideas from the knowledge and innovation on offer here.

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