Dutch AgriFood Week starts | 12-20 Oct

With the common goal of promoting innovation, sharing knowledge and naturally also enjoying healthy food, Agrifood Capital, Food Valley NL, Greenport Westland-Oostland and Brightlands Greenport Venlo are organising the Dutch AgriFood Week from 12 through 20 October, with support from the Agri & Food top sector.

The Dutch AgriFood Week is one of the ways for the sector to show what is necessary throughout the entire chain, ‘from farm to fork’, to produce food. By opening their doors, the various parties in the sector aim to create transparency and clarity, and to reinforce their contact with society. Various parties from the agri-food sector will all be participating in the Dutch AgriFood Week, sharing their enthusiasm, knowledge and skills. 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.

The Dutch AgriFood Week will be showcasing the latest innovations in food and food production, and the events demonstrate why this modern and international sector offers plenty of opportunities for education and employment, as well as business and investment. Held at locations throughout the country, the events show that the agrifood sector is not only the most productive sector worldwide, but is also extremely innovative. They will also show how the parties work together on sustainable food systems now and in the future in order to be able to supply tasty, healthy and safe food every day. This new annual event is designed for anyone with an interest in food and food production, both professionals and consumers.

Events
The programme for the 2015 Dutch AgriFood Week will offer a combination of existing and new events, and will be officially opened during the Food Valley Expo on 12 October.

Food Valley Expo  |  12-13 October  | Wageningen
The 11th edition of the international innovation conference and expo for agri-food, horticulture and feed professionals will be held on the Wageningen Campus, in Wageningen. Roelof Joosten, CEO of FrieslandCampina, will talk about how innovation in the Dutch dairy industry is achieving success on an international level, and Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau will discuss innovative strength via start-ups. The Food Valley Award will also be presented at the event for the most innovative company or product, and the Science2Business segment will offer information on salt reduction and high-tech systems.

On 12 October, companies based outside of the Netherlands will have the opportunity to participate in the Food Valley Excellence Tour, the business and innovation tour.

Westland and Oostland Event  |  15 October
On 15 October, the municipality of Westland will hold the annual Westland Eventin Naaldwijk. This year’s theme is ‘Horticulture in Transition: the power of change’. The Oostland Day will be held on the same date in the Oostland region, the theme of which will be ‘Full steam ahead’. The Westland-Oostland Greenport will play an important role in both events. The focus of the Westland event will involve smart ways for the greenhouse cluster to accommodate consumer demand. The Oostland day will centre on the five economic opportunities for the region, including horticulture.

AgriFood Capital  |  15-20 October  |  Northeast Brabant
From the 15 through 20 October, events will be held at various locations throughout the Northeast Brabant region for both professionals and consumers. During the World Agri Food Forum in Den Bosch, 100 ‘game changers’ will discuss the future of food and the food supply. Scientists and chain partners from the dairy sector will be able to network at the Dairy Campus open house. The Grow Campus will also feature a festive grand opening. This campus is where start-ups, SMEs and other businesses, students and experts work together on innovation in the sector. Part of this opening celebration is the start of Insectlab, the pilot programme for education, practical research and the application of sustainable protein production from insects for the food and feed sector.

Innovative entrepreneurs will present their companies and product innovations to a professional jury during the initial rounds of the 2015 BOV-Food to Fit Awards (Best Entrepreneurs Vision trophy). During the best regional cooking competition in the Netherlands for 10- to 12-year-olds (the ‘Mega Live Cooking Battle’), young finalists will work with professional cooking teams to prepare meals for 300 people. At the same time, during the Open Doors event, the general public will be invited to come meet innovative companies and experience the newest developments for today and tomorrow.

The 7th edition of the Food Inspiration Days will be held in Veghel. This event presents concepts, trends and developments in the hospitality and food service industries. During exciting tastings, young entrepreneurs, chefs and trendwatchers will join forces to give added colour to this year’s theme, ‘Re-connect’: restoring the bond between consumers and producers, people and seasons, and between people themselves.

Brightlands Greenport Venlo  |  14-16 October
Various events will be held in the Venlo region during the Dutch AgriFood Week. One of the most important locations for these events is the recently opened Cocreatielab at Villa Flora. Boasting a number of facilities such as a cooking and flavour centre, a lecture hall, processing rooms and tasting facilities, this lab is a location serves as the setting for workshops, lectures and other activities that focus on the agri-food sector. Professor Dr Koen Venema will give a lecture on his research into various models that mimic the digestive tract. These models are used for research on the effects of nutrition on the intestines, such as digestibility, availability for absorption and so on.

Lectures and tours will be organised that centre on the Brightbox, the expertise centre for ‘daylight-free multi-layer cultivation’. This facility will provide the general public with a glimpse into the developments and advances being made in vertical farming or multi-layer cultivation, also known as city farming. The BrightBox research facility is a good example of innovation at Greenport Venlo, and emphasises this type of cultivation and production.

The 3PL summit, a large, international logistics exhibition, will also be held in Venlo. In the city where innovations in horticulture and logistics play the starring role, Brightlands Greenport Venlo will be turning the spotlights on the themes of food, nutrition, health and logistics.

A growing stage
The first edition of the Dutch AgriFood Week will be held in 2015. The objective for this event for the coming years is for it to grow to become the ultimate national stage for the Dutch agri-food sector.

Dutch agri-food is one of the economic sectors that has been named a top sector by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In the agri-food sector, government, businesses and knowledge institutes all work together on innovation and modernisation in the food industry, at both a national and international level. The Netherlands is the most productive and innovative agri-food country in the world. International research (Oxfam Novib) has rated the Netherlands as the best food country, offering the healthiest, most affordable, varied and safest food in the world. The Netherlands has garnered substantial interest on a worldwide scale for its knowledge and technology when it comes to sustainable, healthy and safe food production.

Agri-food sector
The agri-food sector comprises 135,000 companies and 641,000 people who work in the industry. With an added value of 42 billion Euros, and representing a 10% share of national income and employment, it is the largest manufacturing sector in the Netherlands.