Royal recognition for Naktuinbouw’s retiring director, John van Ruiten

On Friday, 19 April, John van Ruiten, the retiring director of the Dutch inspection service for horticulture  Naktuinbouw, became a Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau.

Mayor Astrid Heijstee of the municipality of Kaag en Braassem presented Van Ruiten with the royal honour at a farewell party in Roelofarendsveen, attended by family, friends, government officials and many green professionals.

For 39 years, John van Ruiten has defended the interests of Dutch horticulture as director of Naktuinbouw and its legal predecessors. Naktuinbouw is the Dutch inspection service for horticulture.

Van Ruiten advocated the introduction of a European system. He helped to ensure that phytosanitary and quality regulations, as laid down in various European regulations, were combined in such a way as to create an efficient system for business and (European) trade.

Van Ruiten never missed an opportunity to stress the importance of a well-working plant breeders’ rights system.

He used his expertise in agriculture and horticulture for the so-called ‘Twinning projects’ in former Eastern Europe. The Twinning projects supported candidate countries in their accession to the European Union, including Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Van Ruiten is chairman of the Dutch Association of Botanical Gardens (NVBT), an umbrella organisation with 27 member gardens spread across the Netherlands.

He is a board member of the Netherlands Institute of Biology (NIBI) and is affiliated with the magazine ‘Prophyta’.

Locally, he worked with residents and businesses on the Sotaweg / De Baan in Roelofarendsveen to achieve responsible area development. His input helped put this city area on the map as a ‘horticultural research hub’.

Jan Meiling is succeeding Van Ruiten as Naktuinbouw’s director.

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