Growers who don’t benefit from advancements need to be phased out

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Adri Bom-Lemstra criticizes cowboys in a Dutch newspaper:

“I often hear: you export too much, you better stop doing so. But then I think: you don’t understand,” says Adri Bom-Lemstra, chair of Glastuinbouw Nederland (a Dutch entrepreneurial network) in an interview with Financieel Dagblad (a Dutch newspaper).

He responds to the recent statements made by Klaas Knot, president of the DNB (the Dutch central bank). Bom-Lemstra seeks to draw attention to the entire chain which includes innovative technical companies. “To develop and export knowledge to other parts of the world, this high-tech production must be retained.”

The extensive interview discusses labor and robotization (“Certainly, automation needs to be further developed”, and moving away from gas (“We are the first sector in the Netherlands that dares to say that it’s moving away from gas”). The interview also discusses whether it is better to grow in the south, which has more sunshine. In light of climate change, this remains to be seen: “The Netherlands is an excellent country in terms of climate.”

The interview also deals with the issues of malpractice and so-called ‘cowboys’. The journalist of the Financieel Dagblad mentions that these issues partly determine the sector’s image. Bom-Lemstra agrees and even speaks of ‘rental gardens’ when referring to gardens that are not being invested in. She proposes to introduce a buy-out scheme “like that for pig farmers”. “These schemes currently don’t exist for the horticulture sector.”

Read the full Dutch interview in the FD (€).

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