Global cities are growing and new metropolises will be added to the map in the coming decades. Increasing population density, climate change and resource scarcity such as water are increasing the demand for smart, integrated solutions for the production and distribution of tasty, healthy and safe food. Flowers and plants are indispensable, too, surrounding people with the beauty of nature, bringing colour to homes and even purifying the air. The Netherlands is the largest exporter of food, plants, flowers and seeds – our technology and know-how in this industry are world-famous. It’s a unique achievement for a small, densely populated country. The Netherlands is the world champion in horticulture per square metre, thanks to a unique ‘ecosystem’ of growers, suppliers, greenhouse builders, installers, seed breeders, research institutes and universities. This ‘Dutch Delta’ offers opportunities and solutions for world cities such as Shanghai, Lagos, Jakarta and Sao Paulo. However, in order to tackle the problems facing the world and its major cities, we need to further join forces as a sector.
With Dutch Greenhouse Delta (DGD), we are launching a powerful international platform. DGD was created to promote Dutch horticulture worldwide, and to make sure that we’re identifying and capitalising on opportunities. It’s a single label under which various partners can join forces and enable common growth. In doing so, we’re ensuring that growth for the sector and its individual companies goes hand in hand with providing solutions to an ever-increasing lack of space and food worldwide. At the moment, ten leading companies and the AVAG have committed to DGD, including leading greenhouse builders, who are working together to make the large and complex projects of tomorrow a reality. We are well aware that, as a horticultural sector, we need to collaborate with other industries such as water, mobility, energy and logistics. Where necessary and possible, we will involve local partners, as well. This enables us to offer total solutions built on a Dutch foundation.
Joining forces is the path to success, and that means not only between private and public partners, but also between sectors, because we can learn from each other and help each other. Take, for example, the Dutch water sector, which cooperates internationally within the Netherlands Water Partnership. The NWP has been very successful in Vietnam, among other countries, where they are working on major desalination projects in the Mekong Delta. The cooperation within the NWP shows how separate parties can jointly achieve international success. Water projects in vulnerable countries like Vietnam offer enormous opportunities for high-tech horticulture. In short, the opportunities and possibilities are there. The first steps have been taken. Now is the time to put the Dutch Greenhouse Delta on the map like never before.