The demand for healthy, fresh, sustainable, and locally grown food is exploding worldwide. To meet these food challenges, cooperation is more important than ever. By joining forces with various public and private partners, Dutch Greenhouse Delta (DGD) can make a substantial contribution to providing sufficient healthy, affordable, and safe food that is produced sustainably and locally. It is for this reason that DGD signs a partnership agreement with the Municipality of Westland, representing a community known worldwide for growing healthy and safe food sustainably and efficiently.
Nowhere in the world, food is grown more efficiently than here
''The cooperation with Municipality of Westland is of significant added value to contribute to the realization of our ambitions," states Joep van den Bosch, member of DGD's Executive Board. The horticulture sector accounts for 20-25 billion euros in annual turnover, leaving only the port of Rotterdam ahead of it. Not only a ripe tomato but the yet-to-be-germinated seed comes from the Westland municipality. Top innovation, sustainability, and an eye for health and happiness come together here. Nowhere in the world is cultivation more efficient.
Bouke Arends, Mayor of the Municipality of Westland: "To be able to feed the growing world population without harming the climate, the world cannot do without the innovations from the Dutch greenhouse horticulture cluster. This is also recognized internationally. Not surprisingly, the municipality of Westland receives many foreign delegations every year who come here to learn how to produce their own food. And not surprisingly, companies active in greenhouse horticulture are active all over the world."
The triple helix approach is the key to success
The key to success is the Dutch cooperation between government, industry, and (applied) science (triple helix). By working together and learning from each other, we, as a small country, are now leading the way in sustainable food production. Dutch Greenhouse Delta joins forces within the triple helix. We work closely with other industry associations and collective initiatives in the Netherlands and maintain good relationships with Dutch government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO), and NL Works. We also seek cooperation with other sectors, such as water, mobility, energy, and logistics. This allows us to offer total solutions on a Dutch foundation. Currently, more than twenty leading companies partner with DGD, most of which have their roots in the Westland region. From seed companies, biological control, and growing medium to technology companies specializing in greenhouses, climate control, screens, and irrigation, the cluster presents all the expertise needed to grow sustainable crops locally.
"As a municipality, we see DGD as a natural partner to actively engage together in regions and countries where we see many opportunities for our business community," says the Westland mayor. "With food safety and local production of fresh and healthy food becoming increasingly important, it is more relevant than ever that government, business, and science continue to work closely together to market Dutch greenhouse horticulture as a cluster worldwide.