A unique horticulture cluster
West-Holland is one of the most important regions in the world for greenhouse horticulture.
Greenport West-Holland is the world’s most innovative region in the field of greenhouse horticulture, with the world’s best growers of vegetables and flowers, suppliers, trading companies, breeders, consultancies, personnel services, etc. They work closely together: with each other, with local and regional authorities, with top education institutions and with international research institutes.
When it comes to greenhouse horticulture, West-Holland is one of the most important regions in the world. It offers a concentration of state-of-the-art production, delivery, trade, distribution and processing companies, all strongly interlinked. West-Holland is home to importers, exporters, packers, coldstores, ripening and repacking companies, growers, breeders, transport companies, customs, seed companies and warehouse & office space.
The companies in the 'Greenport' or horticulture cluster in West-Holland have the knowledge and experience to feed the world with healthy and tasty vegetables and to supply consumers worldwide with high-quality flowers and plants. They also develop innovations and export their knowledge and expertise on large scale.
The governments in the region – together with entrepreneurs, educational institutions and research institutes – have united in a network organization: Greenport West-Holland. For the organization website https://greenportwestholland.nl/en/about/
Trade missions and government delegations
Each year a large number of foreign trade missions and government delegations come to West-Holland to gain and exchange knowledge. West-Holland companies also take part in the trade missions that the Dutch government initiates all over the world. Companies from abroad are very interested in the expertise that West-Holland entrepreneurs bring with them to those events. Their high level of knowledge makes West-Holland an interesting location for international knowledge-intensive companies to set up their business. In West-Holland they can further build and share their knowledge and develop new innovations in collaboration with other companies there.
To further strengthen the international position of the Netherlands' most innovative sectors of industry, the Dutch Government has designated nine 'Top Sectors'. One of those Top Sectors is called ‘Horticulture and Starting Materials’. West-Holland forms one of the most important pillars of this particular Top Sector.
Cooperations at the regional, national level
West Holland is constantly working to promote the greenhouse horticulture cluster, not only within the region (Greenport and in the Rotterdam- The Hague metropolitan area) and the Province of Zuid Holland, but also at the national level. It lobbies in the political realm and collaborates with parties in the horticulture sector itself (e.g. at Greenports Netherlands and within the 'Horticulture and Starting Materials' Top Sector).
Cooperations at the European level
West Holland is also active within the EU. Together with the Dutch province of Zuid Holland, Westland and the Greenport are active in the European Regions for Innovation in Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ERIAFF). The Greenport West-Holland is also very much involved in several European projects targeting the Biobased Economy, Urban Farming, digitalising of the horticulture sector and the development of peer- to- peer knowledge transfer between the various European regions, their clusters and their farmers and growers.
The Netherlands is the world's largest exporter of fresh vegetables. The country's horticulture sector also plays a key role in terms of food security, food safety, air quality and healthy living, but also when it comes to strengthening and renewing education. The sector is helping to accelerate the transition to sustainability. Among other things that involves transitioning from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, reducing the consumption of raw materials and encouraging their reuse, and making use of green pesticides and innovative cultivation techniques. In that connection, the sector is fully in line with the Dutch government's Sustainability Agenda.