Four finalists announced for the 35th Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur Awards

WESTLAND, Netherlands: The Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur Award Foundation has announced the finalists for the prestigious Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur Awards which takes place on the 21st April 2022 at the world horticultural expo Floriade in Almere, the Netherlands.

Four finalists have been announced as possible winners of this prestigious award. Chrysanthemum grower Zentoo from Honselersdijk, succulent plant nursery Ovata from Bleiswijk, cut tulip grower Niels Kreuk from Andijk, and bell pepper and cucumber grower Wijnen Crops from Egchel 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 Robotics and Automation Award to highlight and honour companies that have done particularly well in terms of their technical innovations and their success in the horticultural industry.

Nominees for this inaugural award include Blue Radix from  Rotterdam, a company specialised in AI for the greenhouse industry, horticultural supplier Royal Brinkman from ’s-Gravenzande, Gearbox from Maasdijk and PATS from Delft, a reputable supplier of agricultural drones.

The horticulture sector faces significant challenges in 2022. Energy prices are skyrocketing and labour shortages are an ongoing issue. Fortunately, demand for horticultural products continues to be buoyant.

Newly elected Dutch minister of agriculture Henk Staghouwer will present the Dutch Horticultural Entrepreneur Award on 21 April at Floriade.

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.

The awards ceremony is now back after a one year break due to Covid-19. In this context, the event’s spokeswoman, Diana Duijvesteijn told FCI that the 2022 awards are also a celebration of perseverance, resilience and risk management in Dutch horticulture.

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