Speaking with us are Saskia Goetgeluk, new CEO of Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo as of 1 May 2017, and Ton Voncken, the new interim director of the Bio Treat Center.
Saskia, you have been working in Venlo for six months now. What struck you when you came to this region?
‘The dynamics are great. This is shown by the many enthusiastic businesses in agrifood and ornamental horticulture which are investing in innovation. In four years’ time, projects amounting to a value of 35 million euros have been realised in the Greenport region, with businesses bearing the costs of half the investments. In itself that is not so surprising: the region is characterised by a strong and active SME in ornamental horticulture and agrifood. In addition, the region around Venlo is an enormous logistical hub for ornamental horticulture and agrifood products aimed at the German market. Now, most businesses know that a strong position is not a given. You have to defend it yourself or, rather, develop it. The keyword in this is innovation, with healthy (healthier) food first and foremost. Within this context we are also examining new methods of growing and cultivating and alternative raw materials and/or food sources, such as vegetable proteins which can replace animal proteins. At the end of the day it is about a more sustainable, healthier sector which supplies more sustainable and healthier products.’
Read the full interview with Goetgeluk and Voncken.