Robotics, AI, greenhouses, energy solutions, cleaning tools, plastic-free cultivation equipment, coffee, drinks, and gossip. It’s all present at GreenTech 2023, currently taking place in RAI Amsterdam.
After some (partly) online editions during the pandemic, the exhibition attracted over 500 exhibitors last year. This year, another 200 companies decided to come to Amsterdam. Parth of this growth is thanks to the Asian, and more specifically the 50+ Chinese suppliers, which were unable to travel last year, and thanks to several new players in the field. The GreenTech, therefore, consists of 4 halls this year, and preparing your visit digitally or downloading the app is advised as there’s no paper map available on the show.
The first day had a good start, although suppliers in the back of the halls did mention it took some time for visitors to reach their part of the exhibition. Traditionally the second day is the most crowded, so our expectations were high this morning as well. Many companies host drinks by the end of the day, for what they are allowed to remain in the RAI after the tradeshow closes at 6 PM.
The atmosphere on the show was good, but companies are open to having endured hard times. The energy crisis, the high raw material prices, the struggle in transport, and, relatively new, the increased interest rates have affected both growers and suppliers, and especially from the vertical farming industry, alarming sounds are heard as growers have been declared bankrupt or are severely reorganizing, and new projects are put on hold or have been canceled. The cost increases seem to have stabilized, but the tension remains real.
Also remarkable is how quite a few former Dutch growers were present to host the growers they’re currently working with. From China, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan – in addition to being a crop consultants, they also prove to be valuable as Dutch hosts or travel agencies.