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Stop the Food Fight film festival:

"Mandatory holiday to Costa Rica"

A statement like the one in the headline of this article raises questions. After all, is it sustainable to fly for holidays? Before you know it, a discussion ensues, and camps for and against emerge.

Those who attended the first Stop the Food Fight film festival at the World Horti Center know that this is exactly what the people behind the initiative do NOT want. The food debate is already polarised enough.

Stop the Food Fight is a collaborative initiative of organizations that want to change the food world. They do so by 'working on the new sustainable food story' in various ways.

The greenhouse horticulture sector supports the initiative. Hidde Boersma, Joris Loman and Karsten de Vreugd are the faces of the initiative. Hidde and Karsten also made the video series 'Kom uit je Kas' (Come out of your greenhouse) in cooperation with the Federation of Fruit Vegetable Organisations (FVO).

The film Paved Paradise on the big screen at the World Horti Center

Saving land in Costa Rica
During the festival, it was possible to watch two films (complete with popcorn), attend workshops, and attend a talk show at the end of the Thursday afternoon. All aimed to inspire and encourage dialogue on food topics.

The film festival attracted around 100 visitors. They were made to think during the screening of the films 'Paved Paradise' and 'The Future of Food.' That first film came about with financial help from the entire horticulture sector but is certainly not just about horticulture.

On the contrary, among other things, strip farming passes by. And Costa Rica, where, against the trend, they have doubled the percentage of nature in their own country to 55% through saving land. It is the reason why, with a wink but also a serious undertone, 'all agriculture ministers should take a mandatory holiday to Costa Rica.'

Talkshow led by Joris Loman with Jelte van Kammen, Lotte van Rijn and Karsten de Vreugd

The story for a new film
In 2025, the people of Stop the Food Fight hope to deliver a new film. The working title is 'The New Sustainable Food Story'. On Thursday evening, the initiators talked to leading figures from the greenhouse horticulture sector about it.

Joris Loman and Hidde Boersma looking for input for a new film

During workshops on Thursday afternoon, they did the same with growers, suppliers, policymakers and interest representatives. The question put to them in one of the two workshops was: What really needs to be in the new film?

Gert-Jan van Staalduinen of Logiqs with his contribution to the workshop

The attendees were challenged to form a vision. In any case, waiting for a vision from the government is not an option. On that, everyone agreed. "The government seems paralysed," observed one of the provincial policymakers present. Meanwhile, politics tends very much towards "polemic", added Hidde. "You can score with that."

Floriculture was also present, with Eduard Ter Laak of Ter Laak Orchids pictured here

Horticulture hopes to score in the future with a good vision and a good story, without becoming a 'classic lobby'. The people who support the initiative, and there are more and more of them as it turned out when around six o'clock a room full of leaders in the World Horti Center were ready for discussions, also hope to start working together with non-governmental organisations.


Pride in horticulture like the Delta Works
During the closing talk show, the conversation centred around this for a while. People joked about Extinction Rebellion (those responsible for the A12 blockades) but also expressed the hope that they will also be there during a second edition of the film festival.

A little further into the future, Jelte van Kammen of Harvest House, who formed a panel with Lotte van Rijn of Certhon and organiser Karsten, hopes that the Netherlands will propagate the story of horticulture as proudly as it already does with the Delta Works. "After all, we in the Netherlands are distinctive with food production."


If that message is spread at home and abroad, it helps if people from outside the sector start telling that story. And just for that, let the first steps have been taken in the first year of Stop the Food Fight, which ended with the film festival.

For more information:
Stop the Food Fight
[email protected]

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