"High-tech, cool vibe" to define Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference

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From the team that brought the New York Produce Show and the London Produce Show, another Top 10 Innovation City is about to make its mark on the annual event calendar - Amsterdam.

"Each event grows in its own soil and every event is going to draw special characteristics from where it comes," says Jim Prevor, editor-in-chief of Produce Business, the magazine behind the Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference.

The fair is due to take place in the city's Westergasfabriek on Nov. 2-4, offering something different to the huge produce conferences like Fruit Logistica, PMA Fresh Summit and Fruit Attraction.

"I would say that in Amsterdam, this event has a kind of high-tech, cool vibe that is very different from what you get in London or New York," Prevor tells www.freshfruitportal.com.

"In such a small country the Dutch produce industry does so much for the world of produce, and we hope to drive the attention of the world to that and to learn lessons in terms of what is breeding that success."

Not only does a quarter of the international produce trade pass through the Netherlands, but the country is also a hub for new ideas and practices. The event organizers have sought to reflect this in the program with four key themes of innovation, sustainability, education and health.

"This event is also particularly forward facing. It’s not so much about the day-to-day trading of produce as it is about looking to the future and trying to position the produce industry, your company and your own personal career in such a way that it can maximize the opportunities that the future will present," Prevor says.

"That's why we have these thought zones that we’ve created."

Produce Business has collaborated with the likes of corporate center of excellence CSR Netherlands, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and Wageningen University in forming the program, involving world-class seminars on issues ranging from food waste challenges to phenomics.

The program will also involve chef demos, a thought leaders breakfast panel, a student program and a media class, plus the commercial component whereby the space given to a company for each stand is limited.amsterdam-produce-show

Prevor describes large-scale events in Europe and the United States as "wonderful", however it's often the case that "you’re in sort of this mad dash to get to see everyone for 10 minutes".

"What we’re focused on is creating a more leisurely opportunity – when you come in there’s food, drink, no charge, that’s just part of treating people like family.

"There are plenty of people who will come to this event and come to other events that we do who don't necessarily do any trading with that country, but that doesn’t mean they don’t learn from the tours, the seminars, the workshops.

"It’s our first year, we’re not trying to be the biggest of anything, but we’re always focused on always the best, having the most important people - people who are intellectually open and engaged in building a better produce industry for themselves and their companies."

Industry tours

The conference will also offer industry tours in and around Amsterdam, with one involving a tour to organic farm Bio Brass, which recently formed a joint venture with G's - the group behind I Love Beets - to launch the company BEETZ in Europe.

"In my case as a farmer, I think being able to connect with buyers in the supply chain, it’s also easier for me to understand what’s happening in the supply chain or what their wishes are, and from my side explaining what the possibilities are longer term," BEETZ owner Gerjan Snippe says when asked about the new event.

He believes participants will learn a lot from the tour of his farm, both about organic farming and how to find inspiration in a crop like beetroots, which for many has old-fashioned associations with the potential to be transformed through new recipes and uses.

Gerjan Snippe of BEETZ

Gerjan Snippe of BEETZ

"By walking in the fields, feeling what’s happening there, exploring the possibilities, you get a whole different view on how organic works," says Snippe, who grows organically on 2,000 hectares of land with crop rotation practices in place.

"Organic isn’t just a certification but it’s a way of working, and you have to come to our farm to experience it.

"We’ve built up an experience center as well where we have our cook inspiring sometimes our customers, sometimes consumers, sometimes people that are into food, just to be on that journey together instead of me pointing out in a nice presentation what we can do.

"If we start eating more root crops again instead of more complicated vegetables, it’s easier to grow in a sustainable way and have a decent price level on nice food. I think that’s where the two worlds are coming together."


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