Floriade Expo 2022, what has it yielded?
Floriade Expo 2022 will come to an end on 9 October; what has this world horticultural exhibition brought us? In a closing online talk show ‘Flevoland schept op!’ on 5 October 2022, representatives of the Province of Flevoland, Aeres University of Applied Sciences, Topsector Agri & Food, and Pixelfarming Robotics look back at their participation.
What have all the efforts on the theme of ‘Growing Green Cities’ yielded over the past six months, was the question that moderator Lotte Sluiter asked the participants. On behalf of the Province of Flevoland, programme manager Hillebrand Koning lists four concrete projects: a short food chain (local production and consumption), protein transition (more plant-based food), Floating Farms, and Bruggencampus (four circular bridges). These are all projects that piqued the interest of many governments and market players.
Aeres – knowledge & contacts
Other harvest moments, as Wil Bekkering, director of International Strategy Aeres University of Applied Sciences, calls it, are the international contacts. The need for knowledge about agriculture is great among the thirty participating countries at Floriade Expo 2022, Bekkering noted. As such, Aeres has already made agreements with the University of Suriname for exchange and knowledge sharing. The innovative Aeres building in the middle of Flevo Campus serves as a meeting space for this; international students have already successfully completed the masters in Food Systems Innovation here. A second master’s programme, Healthy Behaviour & Living Environment, is the follow-up, in line with the Floriade theme of healthy food for the whole world.
Topsector – cooperation & patience
And that is where the market lies, motivates Dirk Duijzer, the figurehead of Topsector Agri & Food, on the importance of this world horticultural exhibition. According to him, the added value of Floriade lies in the successful collaboration between government, education/science, and entrepreneurs who dare to show innovative concepts and manage to surprise the market with them. Partly driven by land scarcity, Duijzer sees the added value of Dutch manufacturing in the form of high-tech solutions, niches, and knowledge sharing. He does point out that an event like this has a long after-effect due to all the freshly made contacts, and thus only pays off later.
Pixelfarming – high tech & quality
Nevertheless, Arend Koekkoek of Pixelfarming Robotics has already been able to make the first concrete deals with international customers and establish contacts with education in recent months. The vegetable strips at Floriade Park offered the entrepreneur a nice test field on which he could run his innovative pixel robots over plots full of crops. The importance of growing a healthy crop on healthy soil was in line with both the Floriade theme and the international target group’s hunger for Dutch quality products. Koekkoek indicated that this technology can also contribute to producing according to demand and thus limiting food waste
Chef – discover & surprise
Grist to the mill of Sharon de Miranda, who works as a chef for the Province of Flevoland within the Food Forum pavilion. She gladly seized the opportunity to – optimally – use local and as many plant-based ingredients as possible in the various menus for the future. Her journey of discovery through Flevoland has already yielded countless products, such as sweet potatoes, pepper, saffron, and ginger. At the same time, she challenged local growers and producers to facilitate the kitchen with innovative products. In her new cookbook ‘Sharon gaat lokaal’, she offers everyone the opportunity to enjoy recipes from Flevoland products and wonderful stories from farmers and producers.
Flevo Campus – pride & future
In addition to all the concrete results, Hillebrand Koning also experiences a sense of pride in what has been achieved. He suspects that Floriade is a lever to structurally implement the changes that have been set in motion. Above all, it is important to retain and scale up all the enthusiasm and energy. Although a large part of Floriade Park will soon be transformed into a residential area, Flevo Campus will be retained. With Food Forum – including restaurant facilities – as an inspiring location for sustainability and Aeres University of Applied Sciences combining education and research. Floriade as an event will be over as of 9 October, but this is just the beginning!
Want to watch the entire talk show ‘Flevoland schept op!’? That is possible!
The Dutch Food Week 2022 from 8-15 October, an initiative of the Topsector Agri&Food, offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in and enjoy homegrown food. Want to know more? Go to www.dutchfoodweek.nl
Speakers talk show ‘Flevoland schept op!’
- Lotte Sluiter, moderator
- Hillebrand Koning, programme manager for the province of Flevoland
- Wil Bekkering, director of International Strategy Aeres University of Applied Sciences
- Arend Koekkoek, owner of Campus Almkerk and Pixelfarming Robotics
- Chef Sharon de Miranda, Chef of Food Forum
- Dirk Duijzer, chairman of Dutch Food Week and the figurehead of the Topsector Agri & Food