It's been more than two years since the Dutch horticultural industry got to meet up at their annual national event, the HortiContact show. This year though, the show has finally come back, yet there are new challenges that have crippled a warm reunion. High energy prices, high raw material prices, and lack of labor available are pushing the greenhouse industry to its limits - and are urging growers to look around for new solutions.
The HortiContact show was previously known as the Tuinbouw Relatiedagen (Horticulture Networking Days) and has been an institution for the Dutch industry for many years: this has historically been the place to catch up with customers, suppliers, and even competitors. Thanks to a successful decade in the greenhouse industry, the show grew along and welcomed over 400 visitors two years ago. This year the event registered approximately 250 exhibitors.
On the first day of the three-day event, these exhibitors mainly caught up with each other as there were many justifications for actual growers not to visit the show, with the timing being one of the most important. Vegetable growers have harvested record yields because of the high temperatures and sunny weather, bedding plant growers have been taking care of their crop and preparing for more spring holidays, and cut flower growers... well, what's the fun in visiting a trade fair when you're not sure if you can continue your business due to high energy prices? However, yesterday, on the second day of the show, the atmosphere was much better as still more growers than expected found their way to the event: growers looking to switch their HPS lights for LEDs, for example, or trying to mitigate their energy costs with dehumidification solutions. As one flower grower said: "We always believed we couldn't improve our cultivation further, yet year after year, we proved ourselves wrong."
So how about novelties? Many suppliers save up their launches for the Greentech show, which will take place in June, addressing a more international audience as well. Yet, of course, there are always cool things to be found at the HortiContact. Here's a sneak peek, and please find many more photos in our full report on Monday.
The team with HPNow: Jan-Jacob Mekes & Tiret Dwanarain, talks about their sustainable water treatment, which was recently OMRI-listed and thus allowed to be used in organic cultivation.
Autonomous growing is what Jarl Blok and Marc Rooijackers with Pylot can tell you more about.
AGC by Agculture launched their new glass Geysir on the show. Read more about it here.
The team with Paskal showed their innovations from the past, their current offerings to growers, and also a preview of the solutions they're developing to keep helping growers in the future. On GreenTech, they will be present again to reveal more about it!