‘Insight into well-being leads to better product development in horticulture’

Posted On 21 Sep 2012
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AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands, September 21, 2012: The second International HortiCongress will take place in the Amsterdam RAI on 30 October. Inspired by this year’s theme – well-being – internationally acclaimed speakers will be sharing their perspectives on how horticulture can contribute to a better world. ‘By holding the International HortiCongress, we want to give visitors an opportunity to reflect on new directions for horticulture’, said Ewald van Vliet, Chairman of the Board for Horti Fair.
From 30 October to 2 November inclusive, the Amsterdam RAI will be hosting the Horti Fair: the biggest international trade fair for Technology, Innovation and Inspiration in Horticulture. Also being held on the first day of the trade fair, starting at 10.00, will be the International HortiCongress.. Speaking will be Prof. Gunter Pauli (perhaps best known as the author of The Blue Economy), Dr. Aalt Dijkhuizen (Chairman of the Executive Board of Wageningen UR), Carolyn Steel (author of The Hunger City), Dick Veerman (Foodlog.nl) and Jeroen van Oijen (Gastronomixs.com at Culiversum).
All speakers will address the relationship between horticulture and the well-being of the world population. “The first International HortiCongress addressed issues surrounding water – something that involves everyone in horticulture”, said Ewald van Vliet, Chairman of the Board for the Horti Fair. He added, “‘Although horticulture is less involved in discussions about well-being, this is an issue for which horticulture could provide many solution alternatives.”
The purpose of the International HortiCongress is not to present visitors with technological and practical solutions. Instead, its intention to inspire visitors to look beyond the horizon and take ‘the roads less travelled’. The first HortiCongress, for example, did not address irrigation in greenhouses; it was about the global issues surrounding water: how can the world population remain assured of access to enough clean drinking water? The International HortiCongress of 2011 demonstrated that horticultural technologists could contribute to this.
Van Vliet: “Horticulture can contribute to the major global challenges concerning not only water, clean energy and food but well-being as well. What do we mean by well-being? Well-being is about how people feel and function, so it has a direct relationship with “health, happiness, prosperity and welfare”. This means that its link with horticulture is greater than what you might think at first.”
Each of the speakers at the second International HortiCongress will talk about a different aspect of well-being. Gunter Pauli’s presentation, ‘The power of society’, will focus on business models that respect not only ecosystems and natural resources but also human well-being. And Carolyn Steel is an acclaimed speaker about the relationship between urban planning development and development, and food.
Van Vliet: “When you look at horticulture in different ways, you come up with some inspiring ideas. Fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants are the best medicine for making people’s lives pleasant and productive. Insight into people’s need for well-being can inspire better product development and market concepts. Now that’s exactly what we want to achieve with the International HortiCongress: giving visitors an opportunity to reflect on new directions for horticulture.”
The International HortiCongress held on 30 October 2012 will commence at 10.00 in the Forum of the Amsterdam RAI and conclude with a Love My Salad Lunch and networking opportunity. Tickets for the International HortiCongress can be purchased for € 79.50 (excluding VAT) from the Horti Fair’s visitor registration. Participants in the International HortiCongress can then visit the Horti Fair.
The International HortiCongress takes place within the framework of Horti Fair. Partners include Rijk Zwaan, Saint-Gobain Cultilene, Wageningen UR and Greenport Holland International. More information is available at www.horticongress.com and at twitter: @horticongress.

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