How does the greenhouse horticulture sector manage to continuously reduce its use of fossil fuel?

Greenhouses have a huge energy demand and, certainly in Westland, are at the forefront of innovative and sustainable solutions. Marco van Soerland, director of the geothermal energy project Trias Westland explains.

'Growers want to work more sustainably, while also managing their energy costs. You will see all kinds of measures being taken in the greenhouses to reduce the energy and heat demand and to make use of renewable energy. It is certainly possible in and around Westland to use renewable heat as a widespread alternative to natural gas. One example is geothermal energy, but other options include heat from biomass and waste. The project Trias Westland has researched whether enough warm water can be recovered from a depth of four kilometres to meet a significant part of the heat demand in Westland. It was the first time that we have drilled to such depths in the Netherlands. Warm water is pumped up and sent to the greenhouses through a warm water network, then the cooled water is pumped back into the ground to be warmed again by the earth’s core. Many more greenhouse growers in Westland are coming together to research, and switch over to, renewable heat.’

The Dutch horticulture sector reflects a dynamic and pioneering entrepreneurship

‘The Dutch horticulture sector reflects a dynamic and pioneering entrepreneurship. This is absolutely evident in the agricultural export figures of our country in 2017. Together, we have achieved a record sum of nearly 92 billion euro! The Dutch horticulture sector plays a prominent role in this. More and more horticulture businesses work according to the principle of Het Nieuwe Telen (literally: a new way of cultivating). This is a principle that focuses on sustainable use of energy, water and crop protection. This can result in saving energy of 35 to 50%. In Westland, all the links in the chain collaborate in order to become the first climate-neutral region in the Netherlands by 2030. This is a goal that we look forward to realising.’

Why do plants grow better in purple light?

The light from more and more greenhouses is turning the sky purple at night – why is that? Professor Leo Marcelis of Wageningen University explains.
‘Lighting has been used in greenhouses for a long time; it increases production and improves the quality of the crop. Traditionally, the lamps used in green-houses emit a yellow or orange glow, but growers are slowly turning to LED lighting. It is possible to adjust the colour of LED lighting, and it also has the benefit of being much more energy-efficient. Red light is very good for plant growth, and our research shows that mixing this with five to ten percent blue light gives the best result at the moment. In terms of energy consumption, red/ blue is also the most efficient colour. Of course, this could change again in five years’ time, because the use of LED lighting is still developing.’

Queen Máxima opens world’s first knowledge & innovation horticulture centre in Westland

7 March 2018

World Horti Center is the worldwide knowledge & innovation centre in the heart of horticulture

This morning, Her Majesty Queen Máxima has officially opened the World Horti Center in Naaldwijk. The worldwide knowledge & innovation centre in the heart of Dutch greenhouse horticulture is the first of its kind in the world as a result of the cooperation between education, research, government and the business community. Minister of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, Carola Schouten, was also present at the official opening and spoke about how this underlines the leading international position of the horticulture sector.

All the links within the horticulture chain – around 100 companies – exhibit the latest innovations and development all year round in the World Horti Center. Practical education on MBO (secondary professional education), HBO (higher professional education) and university levels are offered in the heart of the sector. Students at all levels come in contact with a multidimensional career in horticulture. Schools and business carry out research in sustainable applications in order to respond to worldwide issues such as food security, food safety, water management, sustainability and health. As a showcase of the horticultural sector, the centre expects around 25,000 professional local and international visitors annually and it serves as a breeding ground for new initiatives, such as HortiHeroes, an incubator and talent programme for the sector.

More information: World Horti Center 

Meet the Westland Team at Fruit Logistica

30 January 2018
From 7-9 february 2018 the Westland Team will be present at Fruit Logistica (hall 3.2, stand D-22) to help you on your way when establishing or expanding your business in Westland. Business parcs ABC Westland and Royal Flora Holland, the Municipality of Westland and Westland Marketing link new businesses to businesses already established in Westland. In addition we provide a full-service solution to businesses when establishing or expanding in Westland. Whether it regards additional business premises, support during licensing, compliance with legislation and regulations or connecting with other businesses. The Westland team quickly helps you on your way.

Westland has a unique position when it comes to agro-logistics. Due to its strategic positioning, Westland can provide 500 million consumers in Europe with fresh products. It is a location that stands out in connections: a cluster of diversity of businesses in the sector, where all activities come together and reinforce each other. A place where all links in the chain are represented and that is governed by a very good work ethic. This implies synergy, dynamics and clout. This makes Westland your perfect gateway to Europe.  

Fruit Logistica covers every single sector of the fresh produce business and provides a complete picture of the latest innovations, products and services at every link in the international supply chain. It thus offers superb networking and contact opportunities to the key decision-makers in every sector of the industry. 3.077 exhibitors and 76.000 visitors attend Fruit Logistica every year to realise their full business potential within the international fresh produce trade. Companies from across the entire fresh produce sector – from global players to small and medium-sized companies and organisations from all over the world - will again be present in Berlin. The entire spectrum of the fresh fruit and vegetable sector.

More information: www.


Visit a city greenhouse

12 Octobre 2017
Do you like to know how a tomato grows from a city greenhouse? Yoin the excursion at our 'neighbours' on 14 October at Tomatoworld, Haagse Zwam and UrbanFarmers.
More information:


Dutch Agri Food Week

9-19 oct 2017
The Dutch Agri Food Week focuses on food and food production. Various parties from the agri-food sector will all be participating in the Dutch Agri Food Week. Farmers, businesses from the supply and processing industry, government and scientists will all show how they are working to ensure the availability of safe and healthy food for us and later, for the global population of 9 billion people. The cooperative partners are: Agrifood Capital, Food Valley NL, Greenport Westland-Oostland and Brightlands Greenport Venlo, with support from  the Agri & Food top sector.
More information:

Visit Japanese business delegation Kyushu Westland 

11 september 2017
Japanese Business delegation Kyushu Economic Federation visited Westland Municipality in Naaldwijk. Delegationleader Mr. Koichi Koike from The Miyazaki Bank is looking for actions to increase added value in Agriculture/Horticulture development in Kyushu. The Japanese delegation visited the Municipality of Westland to learn from the horticultural development in this area. More horticulture projects in collaboration between Dutch and Japanese companies are needed.

“Horticulture is the purveyor of health”

17 July 2017
On 8 September the Healthy Food Congress will take place in the World Forum in The Hague. It will precede a Food congress for doctors lasting several days. How long before doctors will be prescribing sweet peppers instead of pills? The Dutch government aims to turn the Netherlands into the healthiest delta in the world. With eight medical universities and the best horticultural industry worldwide we certainly have all the ingredients needed to realise that aim. The two sectors should interact more closely with one another. This congress will be very helpful in this respect.

The congress will focus on four themes: ‘The first 1000 Days’, ‘Best practices in improving health’, ‘Personalized Nutrition’ and ‘Food Trends’. “The congress will be interesting for a very broad public,” says Rob Baan, one of the congress’s initiators. “Medical science advises us to consume more vegetables, and that’s something the horticultural sector should be exploiting. Horticulture is the purveyor of health. Scientists offer the fruit and vegetable sector clearly formulated unique opportunities. A must for anyone involved in food horticulture.”

Positive vibe
Generating more attention for healthy food is Rob Baan’s key concern. Earlier this year he opened a canteen for the staff of his company Koppert Cress in the town of Monster. His ambition is for it to be the healthiest canteen in the world. In the fourth part of the programme - ‘Food Trends’ - he will talk about his experiences and those of his staff, his struggle with the tax department and the positive vibe that his initiative has created around Koppert Cress. Bob Hutten, CEO of Hutten Catering, will in this part of the programme discuss ‘Nudging and Food design’. The American professor of Food Marketing John Stanton will explain the impact of taste, health and prices, while Henk Kivits of the Van den Boer Group will share his experiences with Food for Care, a unique catering concept in health care that is based on the principle that a healthy diet contributes towards a patient’s recovery.

More information
The complete programme can be found at, where you can also order admission tickets.

Meeting & webinar Colombia

30 may 2017
Colombia has grown to become the biggest flower exporter to the US and is the second biggest cut flower exporter in the world, right behind the Netherlands. What are the opportunities for Dutch companies in the Colombian horticulture sector and how do you make the first contacts?

During an interactive meeting about Colombia at Sion De Lier, we will delve deeper into these questions and sketch the opportunities for the Dutch horticulture (Ornamental plants, vegetable cultivation, and supply) in Colombia. Part of the event is a webinar, in which experts from Colombia, Costa Rica and Miami express their opinions.

Mayor Van der Tak takes part in vegetable congress in Russia

5 April 2017
Mayor Van der Tak from the municipality of Westland visits Russia on the 4th and 5th of April to take part in the International Agrarian Forum on Vegetable Crops, VegCult 2017. He has been invited for this event by the Russian ambassador in Holland. He has taken part in a table discussion with the Russian Minister of agriculture and several other Russian guests, among which the governor of the Moscow area.

VegCult is a major international vegetable congress in which last year 2.000 visitors originating from 35 different countries participated. National and regional governments, the Russian and international companies and investors together make the target audience for this event. The Russian ministry of agriculture is intimately involved in organizing this event. In Russia large investments in agricultural projects take place at the moment, in which also the Westland greenhouse builders play an important role. The Moscow area is ahead of other regions in this development.

Mayor Van der Tak wants to increase the opportunities for the Dutch Horticulture in Russia. He discusses several developments and technological innovations in the vegetable sector.

Westland at Venture Café Rotterdam

17 March 2017
On the 16th of March LIFE Rotterdam and Venture Cafe presented a ‘high-tech’ program in CIC Rotterdam on inspiring and sustainable innovations in agro food, industrial biotech and clean-tech. In these branches of the market innovation is impressive coming from start-ups, but also from reputable companies with a long tradition who are adapting in times are change. During this event, Westland was represented by Jan Westra, strategic business developer from Priva, and Maurice Wubben from Vers+.

The Sustainable Urban Delta as driver for innovation, food, health and sustainability!
During the Venture Café, Jan Westra from Priva zoomed in on the field of urban agriculture or urban farming, where the horticulture and building worlds come together. Priva provides solutions for horticulture, building automation and anything in between, with a unique combination of software, hardware and services. Priva acts in two markets: horticulture and building management systems. In both fields they contribute in business development and research of new techniques in these fields.  They are involved in many initiatives worldwide as they try to solve challenges on these subjects.

Vegetables and fruits can do so much more for our health!
Vegetables and fruits taste good and are healthy, but do people know enough about why these products are healthier and what they contain? Renowned companies based in Westland, Best Fresh Group and Koppert Cress, together with Innovation Quarter have taken the initiative with Vers+ to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables. It is all about letting the Dutch eat healthier. Maurice Wubben told about the mission of Vers+, the projects and pilots.




Holland represented at Horti ASIA 2017

16 March 2017
The Horti ASIA in Bangkok, is an international trade fair for horticulture and floriculture. This year, Holland will be present with a Holland exhibition stand, a seminar and a network meeting with renowned Asian investors. This year the event is being held, from 15-17 March, and for the 5th time. The fair targets more than 200 exhibitors from 20 countries covering the full supply chain of the flower and food industry, such as breeding and seeding technologies, fertilizers, planting and cultivation technology, climate control equipment, grading and greenhouse equipment, packaging, as well as warehouse facilities for fruit, vegetables and flowers. The event will attract over 8. 000 visitors from ASEAN states and other countries around the world.

Queen Maxima visits Koppert Cress

7 March 2017
Koppert Cress specialises in a variety of edible plants and flowers that are used by national and international chefs, restaurants and hotels. The company won the Koning Willem I Award for sustainable entrepreneurship.

By winning the award  Koppert Cress was visited in Westland (Monster) by Queen Maxima of The Netherlands and was welcomed by the Mayor of Westland Sjaak Van der Tak.

The highness was astonished as she toured the company, admiring a variety of plants, flowers and specialist dishes made using them. Maxima also met esteemed chefs who talked her through their dishes while she got the chance to taste and smell a variety of plants.

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