Dutch horticulture is a global trendsetter and a leading innovator in greenhouse technology, concentrated in Greenports, Agri & Horti clusters where businesses and research institutes work closely together on production, R&D, logistics, infrastructure, and exports. West Holland, the strong Greenport in the western part of the Netherlands, is known for the largest greenhouse area in the world, hosting world leading companies in the field of horticulture. Here new concepts and technological innovations are tested to contribute to the world's food supply. These include vertical urban farming, robot fruit pickers, innovative energy-saving lighting, water and waste recycling, and greenhouses that generate more energy than they consume and feed power to the grid.
West Holland, the Greenport with leading innovations in greenhouse technology
When it comes to greenhouse horticulture, West Holland is one of the most important regions in the world. This Greenport offers a concentration of high-quality production methods and efficient supply chains, delivery, trade, distribution and processing companies – all strongly interlinked – leading to widespread collaboration and knowledge sharing. 80% of all horticulture innovation worldwide originates from the Netherlands and West Holland holds the vast majority of Dutch innovative firms and organizations in this sector.
The strength of the horticulture sector has benefited from the country’s logistics hubs (Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol), with the Port of Rotterdam as the biggest fruit and vegetables harbour in Europe playing a key role. Leading research institutes concentrate in the region, such as the Wageningen UR Research Centre for Greenhouse Horticulture which operates in close collaboration with local horticulture firms. There is an excellent network of testing and demonstration facilities, seven thematic Innovation and Demonstration Centers (IDC’s). Other research institutes include TNO and Leiden University’s Faculty of Plant Cell Biotechnology.
West Holland is also home to the World Horti Center, the leading innovation center of the international greenhouse horticulture sector. It is a platform where business, education and government jointly innovate, connect, create and inspire. The new center is expected to be visited by 25,000 international professionals annually.
Westland is home to importers, exporters, packers, coldstores, ripening and repacking companies, growers, breeders, transport companies, customs, seed companies and warehouse & office space. There is a high concentration of suppliers to the horticulture value chain in the Greenport. They deliver top-notch solutions in areas like crop protection, climate control, greenhouse construction, consulting and irrigation etc. The companies in West Holland’s Greenport have the expertise, innovative approach, entrepreneurial spirit and international outlook to feed the world with healthy and tasty vegetables and to supply consumers worldwide with high-quality flowers and plants. They also develop innovations and export their knowledge and expertise on large scale.
In the fieldlab FreshTeq.nl, innovative breeders can test and apply new technologies. Ornamental plants is one of this region’s specialisms in which sensor and advanced technologies for food quality control are developed and applied.
To stay competitive the West Holland horticulture sector has strong ties with countries in Southern Asia and North America.