Finalists Horticultural Business Award at Floriade announced
The horticulture sector is showing real innovation and excellent entrepreneurship
The finalists for the 2022 Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize have been announced today. Chairman Michiel F. van Ginkel paid a congratulatory visit today to Zentoo in Honselersdijk, OVATA in Bleiswijk, Niels Kreuk in Andijk and Wijnen Square Crops in Egchel.
These companies have shown that even in these challenging times, outstanding entrepreneurship can lead to success in terms of sustainability, innovation and market focus. At the same time, congratulations were also delivered to the nominees for the Robotisation and Data-driven Horticulture theme prize. They are Blue Radix (Rotterdam), Royal Brinkman (’s-Gravenzande), Gearbox (Maasdijk) and PATS (Delft). The winners will be announced at Floriade on 21 April.
The four finalists
Zentoo is an engaging, ambitious and sustainable business that has given chrysanthemum cultivation a boost over the past ten years with smart marketing. Zentoo is also applying many innovations within its production in terms of LED lighting, biological crop protection and data-driven cultivation.
Ambitious, innovative and sustainable – all terms that apply perfectly to family business OVATA. This grower of succulents has a clear vision for cultivating niche products, whereby 75% come from their own breeding programme. They show excellence in processes, but also great social engagement.
Niels Kreuk b.v. is one of the most progressive tulip growers in the sector. The company has been successfully transformed in recent years into a sustainable and innovative nursery. The company has shown daring with multilayered cultivation, but also with innovations in the storage of bulbs.
More than 65% of the energy consumed at Wijnen Square Crops’ two sites is fossil-free and sustainable. It is one of the initiatives by this vegetable grower which demonstrates innovative, market-focused and innovative entrepreneurship.
Innovation and entrepreneurship in challenging times
The horticulture sector faces a number of big challenges in 2022. High gas prices are the topic on everyone’s lips, and getting enough workers has been a complex issue for a number of years. That makes it particularly important to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation. This sector, a large proportion of which consists of (originally) family businesses, has often had to overcome obstacles. Being down-to-earth, solution-oriented and able to carry on being entrepreneurial and grow healthy food, flowers and plants in a sustainable way even in challenging times – that is what makes Dutch horticulture relevant. Innovation is the most enduring tradition in horticulture, and we want to show that once again this year.
Theme prize for robotisation and data-driven horticulture
A new addition this year is the theme prize for Robotisation and Data-driven Horticulture, putting the spotlight on pioneering innovations in horticulture. With this prize, the Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize wants to draw special attention to technological developments within the horticulture sector. The nominees are Blue Radix (cultivation strategy based on data & artificial intelligence), Gearbox (automated quality control using smart cameras), Plantalyzer/Royal Brinkman (optimum harvest prediction) and PATS Indoor Drones (autonomous mechanical crop protection using drones).
35th prize ceremony on 21 April at Floriade
The winners will be announced at Floriade on 21 April by Henk Staghouwer, who has been the new Minister of Agriculture, Nature & Food Safety since the start of this year.
About the Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize
The Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize is the premier business prize in the sector, and is awarded annually by the Stichting Tuinbouw Ondernemersprijs (Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize Foundation). The partners in the foundation are Interpolis/Innovatiefonds Hagelunie, Royal FloraHolland, Rabobank Flynth Adviseurs en accountants, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Safety, and GroentenFruit Huis.
By awarding the Entrepreneur Prize, the foundation seeks to raise awareness of and generate interest in the positive and innovative developments within the Dutch horticulture sector.