WESTLAND, Netherlands: Against the backdrop of a second wave of Covid-19, Michiel van Ginkel, chairman of the board of the Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur Award has confirmed the cancellation of the 2021 edition of what is considered the highest accolade in Dutch horticulture. The awards ceremony had been scheduled to take place at Keukenhof, the Netherlands in January 2021.
Van Ginkel said that “during this global pandemic we knew that the awards event would not go ahead. A plenty of horticultural entrepreneurs have gone through a year of improvising, resolving, rethinking and reinventing. The fact is that the horticulture industry is in the midst of turmoil caused by the pandemic. At a time when growers have other priorities, we did not consider it is an appropriate period for the industry to be asked to celebrate the awards.”
The Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur of the Year have been referred to as the ‘Oscars of the horticultural industry’.
Independent and impartial, the awards started in 1986 in response to the rather difficult period following the recession of the 1980s, a gloomy period of low consumer confidence and unemployment in the Netherlands. Back then, the Dutch horticultural industry identified the need to recognise progressive growers who embrace technology, modern and sustainable production practices, market innovation, strong customer service and demonstrate their position as an industry leader.
Dutch cooperative Prominent, specialised in the production and marketing of tomatoes won the trophy in 2020. The latest winner from within the ornamental horticulture industry was Phalaenopsis and Anthurium breeder and propagator Anthura, which won the accolade on 9 January 2019. This achievement automatically qualified the company for the 2020 AIPH International Growers of the Year Awards at IPM Essen where it was crowned the overall winner of the Gold Rose Award.
Organisers have announced that there will be no alternative event in January. Instead, they prefer to focus on the 2022 awards ceremony with preparations starting in June next year.
The event’s spokeswoman, Diana Duijvestein told FCI that the coming months will be used to review and remaster the 2022 award, which will be designed to celebrate perseverance, resilience and risk management in Dutch horticulture.
2020 winner Prominent will automatically prolong its title