The Netherlands’ greatest horticultural entrepreneurs will make their way to the stage on 29 March 2023 for the 36th Annual Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The glittering awards ceremony will be held at the fossil-free greenhouse of cresses and microgreens supplier Koppert Cress in Monster.
Earlier this year, the Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur Award Foundation announced the four finalists for this prestigious accolade, which Dutch agriculture minister Piet Adema will present to the winner.
Chrysanthemum grower Beyond Chrysant from Hoek van Holland, perennial nursery Griffioen from Boskoop, ‘Red Naomi’ and ‘White Naomi’ rose grower Porta Nova from Waddinxveen, and strawberry and raspberry grower Van der Avoird Trayplant from Bavel will be vying for what is called the Dutch Oscars of the horticultural industry. All four finalists stand out for their passion, vision, drive and excellent entrepreneurship.
This year, the event organisers are also launching a new award: the ‘New Crops, New Uses’ Award to highlight and honour companies that have done particularly well in terms of their product innovations and their success in the horticultural industry.
Nominees for this inaugural award include wasabi grower Dutch Wasabi from De Lier, Theelers, a partnership between Corn Bak, GOVA, De Kruidenaer, and Westlandpepers focused on the manufacturing of herbal tea, and Biota Nutri from Roelofarendsveen, a supplier of organic fertilisers.
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, and strong customer service and demonstrate their position as an industry leader.
Wijnen Square Crops, specialised in producing and marketing cucumbers and bell peppers, won the trophy in 2022. 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.
In 2021, there were no Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur Awards due to Covid-19 restrictions.