World Horti Center looks back on a successful first year of the ∑-Grow Inside webinar series. During spring this year, the knowledge and innovation center launched this series as a part of their ∑-Grow pavilion.
This pavilion positions the Netherlands and its tech suppliers as frontrunners in the field of indoor farming. Each webinar had its own professional panel and subject. Themes like ‘Beyond leafies: what else?’ and ‘Which tech level is preferred?’ sparked fruitful discussions. The last webinar of this year was organized on Tuesday, December 6, which was well attended.
A strong panel
On Tuesday, December 6 World Horti Center organized the third and last ∑-Grow Inside webinar of this year. The panel of professionals formed by Eric Egberts (Farmer at Growy), Renko Schuil (Business Developer Indoor Farming at TTA), and Joep van den Bosch (Chief Innovation Officer at Ridder) had great discussions and really challenged each other on certain topics. Lisanne Meulendijks (Global R&D Director at &ever) was the new moderator for this edition and made sure to steer these three gentlemen in the right direction when needed.
Which tech level is preferred?
Together the panel dived into the subject ‘Which tech level is preferred?’ They discussed what the right tech level is for an indoor farm and on which factors these levels depend. Think of labor, energy, and even the consumer. According to Renko Schuil, a consumer determines if a company is viable or not: ‘Bluntly put, if a consumer does not value the quality of the food you produce in your vertical farm, it’s not worth the investment.’ Another main topic all three talked about is labor costs in relation to technique and automation.
Joep van den Bosch on this: ‘The tech requirements are determined by the minimum wages, where labor costs are high it fits to automate.’ Last but not least, Eric Egberts challenged everyone in the room by questioning if we can produce an indoor farm at the same price as a greenhouse because that’s probably your competitor. According to Egberts: ‘we need to make producing food cheaper.’
Next ∑-Grow Inside webinar
The ∑-Grow Inside webinar series continues next year, and the fourth webinar will be hosted on March 28, 2023. The topic for this edition will be communicated at the beginning of the new year. This webinar series is part of the ∑-Grow pavilion at World Horti Center and is organized in close cooperation with the community Indoor Farming NL and supported by GreenTech, FarmTech Society, and Greenport West-Holland.