WUR (Wageningen University Research) is an important partner. We cooperate intensively with WUR in various domains, including the Greenhouse Horticulture Inno20 project. We are working on new business models for greenhouse horticulture, with a focus on new crops for Dutch greenhouse horticulture. But we also supervise research programmes of the WUR, such as the study into the possibilities and impossibilities of autonomous growing and Artificial Intelligence. We also cooperate with WUR for our own innovations. For example, the ID kas® was developed partly thanks to this intensive cooperation and knowledge sharing. Another cooperation resulted in our biobased packaging.
Driven by our mission to produce high quality and healthy food in a sustainable way, in 2018 we started a partnership with Albert and Jeroen: creators of healthy food concepts. Together we launched Groentegoed in 2019. A new kind of spread for bread and crackers and as a dip. Bursting with vegetables, free of E-numbers or preservatives. Groentegoed is sold by PLUS supermarkets, Rechtstreex, Landmarkt and Crisp.
We see innovation as more than continuously improving and increasing the sustainability of our processes and services. We are always on a quest for new opportunities and forms of cooperation that add value. Since November 2018, we have been a shareholder of Dutch Wasabi®, the first Dutch wasabi grower. Real wasabi is very difficult to grow and therefore very expensive. The bright green, pungently spicy paste we eat with sushi and call ‘wasabi’ is in fact often a mixture of horseradish, sugar and starch. So it is high time to introduce as many people as possible to the authentic taste of real wasabi.
Dutch Foundation for Innovation in Greenhouse Horticulture (SIGN)
The SIGN innovation programme is an initiative of the Dutch Horticultural Growers Association. It focuses on ground-breaking system innovations that serve the sector’s interest. As a partner and board member we are closely involved with the SIGN projects in terms of both scope and operational aspects. As such, we collaborate with various parties within and outside the sector. A good example is the ‘Circular construction with residual streams from horticulture’ project (an alliance with Gispen office equipment), for which start-up Fungalogic developed an acoustic phone booth made using our tomato stems.
Fresh Farma is a partnership with a number of growers where we test new business models. For instance, we are experimenting with various crops, but we also trialling new cultivation systems, such as our vertical farming project.
For a number of years we have worked closely with Greenport West-Holland, a regional partnership that unites regional authorities, entrepreneurs, educational institutions and research institutes. As a board member and one of the signatories of the Greenport West-Holland innovation pact, we cooperate on maintaining and enhancing the international, leading position of the Dutch horticultural cluster. From our role in Greenport we are working on various projects, including the development of a T-shirt, made of our tomatoes.
Lentiz | MBO Oostland
On behalf of Duijvestijn Tomaten, Ted Duijvestijn was appointed as the first green practor– an innovator and standard bearer of a sector – in the Netherlands in October 2019. At Lentiz | MBO Oostland, for the coming years he will be part of the expertise platform: ‘Circular Greenhouse and Horticultural Innovation’. One of the tasks of this expertise platform is ensuring that key innovations in the horticultural sector are incorporated into the study programme of students following secondary vocational education.
We are a partner and board member of SOB Oostland, a partnership of educational institutions and the business community. SOB Oostland is committed to promoting (career) activities for students of secondary education. More specifically, the SOB links schools and business so that students can personally experience what certain jobs actually involve on a day to day basis. The SOB supports students in ways including job shadowing days, lessons given by guest speakers, visits to companies, practical assignments and job application training. The ‘Hybrid learning in greenhouse horticulture’ project, in which pupils and students follow a current programme in modern nurseries, is also facilitated by SOB Oostland.