Saturday, 3 March 2012

Feb 29 - Marketing & Innovations in Dutch Agribusiness

Today we visited Koppert Cress factory where they produce micro herbs on a large scale. 
Here edible herbs are gorwn in artificial soil. This entrepreneurial business grows a wide range of different edible plants which are grown in trays of artificial soil - but this is only half the story! The other half, is the surprising flavours of some of these micro herbs. The people behind this business have travelled all over the world identifying culinery plant species suitable for this purpose. They then work very closely with chefs to demonstrate how they're used. We had a tasting session - some tasted like radish, honey, mustard and even oysters!
Large quantities of these plants are supplied to markets throughout Europe and further afield. We had an address from a fresh food expert with a flair for marketing and value adding product. He encouraged us to consider thinking like a consumer and finding ways of motivating and telling the story behind our products.
Also enjoyed a presentation from the Koppert Cress boss Rob Baan, which I found truly inspriational. Rob ran us through the history and evolution of the human diet and compared with our current day diets. He related increasing obesity and cancer rates to the modern day diet of the western world. Rob is passionate and driven to promote a healthy balanced diet consisting of a higher intake of fresh plants, reduced meat and less processed foods.
We then travelled to Amsterdam airport and flew into Heathrow/London. I have really enjoyed our time in the Netherlands and feel I now know a little about their agricultural businesses. I am certainly very respectful of their achievements in innovation, production, logistics and marketing.

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