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Webinar series “A one stop solution to feed the world”

Through a series of three webinars, we would like to show how cocreation of future proof production of food and flower systems can be achieved in practice. This webinar series is primarily focused on national and international policy makers, licensing and subsidy providers who stimulate investments in agri-food and investors in horticulture.

This webinar was held on:

  • June 15 from 16:30 – 17:45hrs (UTC +2)

A one stop solution to feed the world (part 2)

How can we feed 9 billion people by 2050 with safe, healthy and tasty food without further endangering the environment? How can we create livable cities where their inhabitants can live a healthy and happy life? To achieve that, we need to rethink the way we grow and produce our food. We need a sustainable food system that can boost production, the economy, and help us to restore nature and biodiversity. Food security can only be achieved through a strong partnership between governments, businesses, research institutions and citizens.

New sustainable horticultural ecosystems are needed to solve the world food problem and to create livable cities. The growth of mega-cities continues. Fortunately, valuable solutions have already been implemented in the world.

During this second webinar on June 15 2021, we will take you through the relevant developments in the global food and flower market and zoom in on the specific challenges in the North American market. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN with the help of the horticultural ecosystem is not left unaddressed. Various cooperation models and business models for setting up food and flower clusters will be discussed. As icing on the cake, we hope to inspire you with a showcase project from North America AppHarvest and with Ceickor, an organisation in Mexico with a proven track record

AppHarvest is an applied technology company in Appalachia building some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms that grow non-GMO, chemical pesticide-free produce using up to 90 percent less water than open-field agriculture and only recycled rainwater while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture on the same amount of land with zero agricultural runoff. The Company combines conventional agricultural techniques with cutting-edge technology including artificial intelligence and robotics to improve access for all to nutritious food, farm more sustainably, build a more reliable domestic food supply, and increase investment in Appalachia. The Company’s 60-acre Morehead, Ky. facility is among the largest indoor farms in the world.

Ceickor is a Mexican research, knowledge and training institute that has more than fifteen years of experience with professional training programmes and applied research and advises local producers and workers about the cultivation and technical operation of greenhouses. Every year, around 25 students graduate from Ceickor University as qualified growers. The centre contributes to the growing need for experienced specialists in the field of covered cultivation. Ceickor also has its own production location.


Frederik Vossenaar

Special Envoy, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality

The Dutch horticultural ecosystem can contribute to solving the global challenge of Feeding & Greening the cities. Innovative public/private partnerships in horticulture can provide healthy foods to a growing population, and can build a sector that could well become a mature asset class in the future.



Lambert van Horen

Senior Specialist Fresh Produce – Rabobank: Rabo Research Food & Agribusiness

Lambert van Horen has been with Rabobank for many years. Currently he is working as an analyst on developments in horticulture. Lambert has published various reports, presented at several conferences and is instrumental in providing relevant analyses and views for Rabobank deals. Before joining Rabobank, he worked at the Agricultural Economics Research Institute of Wageningen University and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. Lambert holds a master’s degree in horticulture from Wageningen University.

Food Challenges and Market Developments at a global perspective – How can protected horticulture contribute to feed 10bn people in 2050?
The world population is growing to approximately 10bn in 2050. Urbanization continues. Climate change can’t be ignored. How can governments cope with these challenges? Fresh produce production can play a pivotal role in different continents to improve overall health. Fruits and vegetables are vital ingredients for a healthy diet, and flowers are important for wellbeing. How can we ensure sustainable production of these crops? Which contributions are possible within protected horticulture (Controlled Environmental Agriculture)?

Marianne Vaes

Agricultural Counselor to the US and Canada

Marianne Vaes was appointed as Agricultural Counselor to the United States and Canada by the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture Nature and Food Quality in July 2018. She has an extensive background in agricultural policy, nature, fisheries and food and health related matters. Marianne started her career as Policy Officer at the Directorate of Fisheries at the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries. After serving for 6 years as Deputy Director of Fisheries at the Ministry, she served as the Agricultural Counselor at the Dutch Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, followed by a posting as Agricultural Counselor to France and Algeria at the Netherlands Embassy in Paris. Prior to her assignment at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C., Marianne represented the Netherlands Ministry of Health as Health Counselor at the Dutch Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. She holds a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. Marianne is fluent in Dutch, French, German and English and has basic knowledge of Italian, Spanish and Russian.

Market developments and challenges in the US and Canada
The positive perspectives of greenhouse production of food and flowers in the US and Canada offers opportunities. In the US COVID-19 has also increased the desire for more regional and urban production, especially of fresh fruit and vegetables. Greenhouse technology, horticultural input like seeds, fertilisers, crop protection agents (including biological control) and e.g. knowlegde offer the greatest opportunity to fulfil this wish.

The Agriculture Team Washington has noticed a marked increase in interest in knowledge and skills of the Netherlands in the field of controlled environment agriculture and an increasing desire for cooperation. In her presentation, Marianne Vaes will indicate what the priorities are for Agriculture Team Washington in its cooperation with the US and Canada. Existing collaborations with a number of states – including California, Washington State, Kentucky and Washington DC (UDC), Pennsylvania will be discussed.

J.H.M. (JAAP) Bond McI

President of Top Sector Horticulture & Starting Materials

As president, I prefer to call myself ambassador, I represent the business community of the horticultural sector and starting materials. I am chairman of the Top Sector Horticulture & Starting Materials (T & U) in which the triple helix is represented: research & education, the business community and, of course, the government. The Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Agriculture are the two Ministries with whom I coordinate many policy matters. Cooperation and crossovers with other top sectors is also an important part of my role.

How the Dutch Horticultural Sector adds value to the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
For almost 10 years, the top sector policy has been the structural soil under the innovation power and the triple helix. Hundreds of projects have been set up as a result of this top sector policy and public money has more than doubled thanks to the public-private cooperation that top sector policy also represents. The top sector policy is now well known to the business community as even in the past “crisis Corona year” the so-called calls were oversubscribed. The knowledge and innovation agenda is the main framework and the next level towards mission-driven innovation policy has been initiated. In this way, the top sector policy provides an important structural contribution to necessary innovations that make a valuable contribution to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Daniel da Costa

Program Manager NLWorks

Within NLWorks I am currently responsible for the development of two large public private Agtech programs both in Kentucky and in California/Washington state. We run these in close collaboration with the involved (Dutch) businesses, knowledge institutes and US government bodies together with both the Dutch agriculture council and the Embassy and local Consulates.

Global Challenges Dutch Solutions; sharing experiences on the development of two public private Agtech collaborations in the US
As a neutral third party broker organization, NLWorks works closely together with our public and private partners in the development of large transition programs and consortia. Our contribution consists of direct access to international government bodies, top sectors, financial institutions, embassies, consulates, agencies, the business community and academic institutions. With this, we open the right doors and enable growth opportunities for Dutch businesses working in these partnerships. We focus on aligning public goals with business goals, our aim is to solve societal challenges with Dutch solutions, creating societal impact for all.

Our goal is to translate these ambitions into long term collaborations and specified projects and deliverables and give guidance to them in these first stages. During this webinar I will share some of our experiences and the steps we have taken so far in the development of two agtech focused programs in the US.

Dave Nichols

Head of Strategy AppHarvest 

Dave has more than 15 years of experience at every stage of entrepreneurship, having co-founded several technology, agriculture, and energy startups. He began his career in socially responsible investing in 2005, working on carbon credit projects in developing countries under the Kyoto Protocol. Dave then transitioned from carbon trading to clean-tech finance, leading the development of clean-tech projects ranging from energy to agriculture. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Delaware and an MBA with distinction from Columbia University.

Ing. Félix Tarrats Zirión

General Manager Ceickor

I’m Félix Tarrats Zirión, General Manager of CEICKOR, private company in the agrobusiness sector, General Manager of CEICKOR University, specialized in protected agriculture.

Creating Growers in Mexico.
I believe that every project begins from our own personal history. In my case, I studied agronomy because I love the countryside and I believe that the production of food is very important and a good challenge for the future. It was clear to me that I wanted to be an agronomist who technically could have the knowledge on how to produce and, on the other side, I wanted to do something different that could help to change the environment where we live. For that reason, CEICKOR Group was born.

The importance of knowledge and technoloy transfer
Felix Tarrats will walk us through how Ceickor originated with the idea of being a greenhouse vegetable production operation that would become a center of knowledge and technology transfer to help the growing greenhouse production industry in Mexico. He will cover how the Dutch greenhouse technology and knowledge have helped Mexican growers to increase productivity and the importance of not only technology transfer, but also knowledge transfer.

Did you miss our first webinar in the series of three?

During the first webinar on May 18 2021 “A one stop solution to feed the world (part 1), the developments in the global food and flower market were discussed and the specific challenges in the Chinese market were highlighted. We discussed various cooperation – and business models for setting up food and flower clusters and showed you how cocreation of future proof production of food and flower systems can be achieved in practice. To top it all off, we hopefully inspired you with an impressive project in Jiashan, in which the High-Tech Agriculture Park illustrates a great example of non-competitive cooperation between a Chinese city and Dutch business based on knowledge.

The speakers during this webinar were:

Frederik Vossenaar

Lambert van Horen

Wouter Verhey

Jaap Bond

Karin Bax

Billy Wang

Meiny Prins

Organised by:

This webinarserie is financially supported by the "Strategic Trade Fair Program" of Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Topsector Horticulture and Starting Materials.